Phyllis Beveridge Nissila
The Best of Times
It is the best of times for pre-born babies in America due to the advances in technology resulting in a much better view of the growth and development of babies in the womb. See below at* for a video of a recent, 4-D ultrasound of an eight-month’s gestation baby in the womb.
It is also the best time for surgical intervention for pre-born babies with life-threatening conditions as well as for those born much too soon. For example, here is a recent story about a baby born at 23 weeks and 3 days, weighing 8.6 ounces, and thriving despite great odds.
Due to such technological advances, there is no more trying to euphemize-away who and/or what is truly developing in a human mother’s womb during pregnancy using terms such as “clump of cells,” “tissue,” and perhaps the most degrading for the baby, “parasite.”
We can actually view, now, what before we could only know scientifically, logically, and by the end result of natural gestation when the baby emerges to continue with his or her next stages of development.
Of course a mother has always known, deep down, that what has been nesting and growing inside her if she’s only known, ironically, because of the blaring sign at the “women’s reproductive health center” reminding her that it’s all about planned…parenthood.
You don’t plan to parent (or not) a clump of cells, tissue, or a parasite.
But if nothing else speaks to the truth of a baby in the womb, and if a picture is worth a thousand words, a 4-D, ultra sound picture of a little one in his or her “human incubator,” so to speak, sucking a thumb, perhaps, or pressing a tiny nose or miniature fist up against the “wall” of Mom’s uterus, leaves no doubt.
Although many people believe there are fewer abortions now due to stricter laws protecting the lives of babies before they are born, laws that have been enacted since the Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion in 1973, a strong case can be made that technology has been as effective, if not more so, in saving little lives as well.
So why is it also the worst of times for pre-born babies?
The Worst of Times
But some people still kill them, and advocate for continuing the infanticide both within the womb and now even right after birth while baby, fresh from his mother’s womb waits on a tray as Mom chooses his fate (life? death?) with an abortionist on hand to help her decide.
She makes this profound decision, I would add, likely under the influence of anesthetics and, more importantly, in the highly-charged pro-abortion environment of the “procedure room” not to mention under the influence of also highly-charged mental, emotional, psychological, social, and/or spiritual pressures pooling in her mind like the blood pooled just now in the little sink over there from the “product” of her uterus (at least in the case of abortion right after birth, only the baby’s blood).
That “product” is her baby, of course, as vulnerable as a baby will ever be to the choices of other people who have all the power and politics, scalpels and suction devices, at their disposal–for its disposal.
I would add, a “disposal” in the most inhumane and gruesome of ways depending upon how old the baby is in the womb, if she is partially delivered, or now, even outside the womb completely where, if the abortion failed, baby is still in danger.
Besides the case referenced just above where it could be a completely healthy, full term baby awaiting Mom’s literal life or death decision “on its behalf,” according to a recent report by LifeNews.com, “A shocking 19 states do not require any protection for babies born alive after botched abortions.”
And nowadays, some babies are even disposed of incomplete, that is to say, after their body parts are severed postmortem and sold to the highest bidder.
Certain members of the world community also didn’t like the pictures of the killing secretly taking place in concentration camps of the last century, either, when the evidence then, the pictures, black and white and grainy in those days, were smuggled out of the death camps. Indeed, there are still those who deny that the Holocaust ever happened. If you can believe it.
Indeed, it seems the fervor to continue to end baby’s life through chemical, suction, or “dilation and evacuation” methods, or neglecting her until she dies of “failure to thrive” on a metal tray alone in a room in an abortion clinic, seems to have reached fever pitch.
Some are even “shouting“/advertising their abortions now, as “normal,” while others celebrate the killing! Here is a rally videotaped outside at the University of Texas a few weeks ago where girls who’d had abortions also mocked a “Cemetery of the Innocents.”
Thus the abortion mindset continues–and worsens–despite the 4-D technology.
Despite the efforts of pro-life advocates for many years.
Because sometimes, all the evidence in the world will still not stop a mindset to kill.
It’s not about killing babies!
Of course. How is it sold? It’s not about the actual abortion. It’s about Mom’s “choice” not baby’s death.
I will leave all the psychological reasons for the cognitive dissonance–and the emotional and spiritual dissonance–to the psychologists, and to the mental, emotional and spiritual counselors to explain–if they are still allowed to in this age of censorship and increasingly restricted freedoms.
If they are still allowed to comfort mothers who may not realize the full impact of their decision until afterward, or later on, or every day for the rest of their lives–and therein is the other great tragedy of abortion-on-demand.
But I can parse words, smell propaganda, identify a euphemism when I read it, and know what my eyes are seeing on an ultrasound screen.
But even though the facts are uncovered–and the politics discovered–the pro-abortion sentiment seems to continue to escalate as many pro-life, pro-baby, pro-parent advocates, jaws dropped, shake their heads in awe and disbelief.
“Why is this such a hard thing to understand?” they ask, frustrated and dismayed. “It’s a baby! CAN’T YOU SEE?!”
And many pro-life advocates, contrary to popular propaganda, still support the ages-old acceptance of abortion for the rare occasion where the mother’s life is in danger and for certain other extreme and rare circumstances. That has not changed.
But, of course, the arguments still exist that babies are “unwanted” and pro-lifers don’t do anything to help the mothers. And what about bringing handicapped children into the world, isn’t that cruel to them (quality of life and all)?
As a former adoption worker, I can testify to the great number of childless couples and singles who will often go to great lengths, time, and expense to take one of the so-called “unwanted babies” into their homes, as well as parents who already have children and want to grow their family.
Further, because my job was as the “special needs coordinator” for an international adoption agency, I can also attest to the amazing number of couples and singles who have a big heart to aid “special needs” children, and who will adopt developmentally-delayed, physically challenged, mentally impaired, older children and sibling groups–and yes, even Down Syndrome and Spina Bifida children (children often used to promote abortion-on-demand).
The bottom line, and what does not often make the news, is that pro-baby advocates are also pro-mother and pro-father as well as pro-choice advocates. The choice we promote is, however, life, for developing babies–even if they are special needs children.
We also promote–and provide–and have for over 45 years since the Roe v. Wade decision, financial support, information, and free goods and services for pregnant women in dire circumstances or just curious about “the other choice” called life.
As just one, ordinary person in one small town in America who came of activist-age in the seventies, over the years I’ve contributed thousands of dollars to help pregnant women in need and their babies, written reams of letters to the editor, guest editorials, essays, and other print materials, and donated countless hours to activities promoting life for babies and hands-on help for their mothers.
Multiply my single-person activism by millions of other pro-baby, pro-mother, pro-father activists (on both sides of the aisle) and in other arenas of advocacy including legal and political, and you begin to get the scope and sequence of the tremendous amount of provision and resources that are at the ready for women who think they face, alone, the hardest decision they may ever have to make.
(NOTE: for a list of resources for those working in the abortion industry and who want to get out, those contemplating having an abortion or dealing with the emotional aftermath, or those who are interested in adoption, see “Helpful Resources” underneath the video.)
Pro-abortion advocates who are so loud and intimidating now were even so back then, of course. When post-R v. W early pro-life activists gathered on public squares for speeches and prayers, marched, and distributed literature legally, we were opposed even then by people who burned our banners, shouted “Nazi whores,” “women-haters,” threatened us with dogs (in one memorable case I was involved in), threw things at us, and so on.
Nevertheless, it is a cause come to a rolling boil, now, particularly with all of the major Democrat front-runners for the presidential race in 2020 advocating abortion–for all, for any reason, at any time–even after birth.
And no men allowed, it seems, unless they lock-step behind.
What I’ve Learned
I admit to my own frustrations over time and due to the obvious nature of the truth of what abortion is and why it should be exceedingly rare, I mean in reality, not just as in the early pro-abortion advertising campaigns (over 60 million abortions later, that ad campaign has quietly gone away).
Below, is what I think is at play, here, and it is essentially a collection of old truisms about human nature, as old as rationalization, deception, and greed.
I share my experienced-based thoughts and long-term study of the issue because while life advocates yet work on behalf of babies, mothers, and fathers, we need to keep clear minds and calm hearts as much as is possible.
And we need to keep on working to preserve–and assist–life because strife, stress, and political battles have a way of being very distracting and discouraging.
They have a way of stopping the work, too.
We need to resist these increasingly formidable forces and press on how we may.
To some further thoughts:
What You Think (and Believe and Value and Learn) is What You Do
A very wise person once told me, “Everything is attitudinal,” meaning, underneath every opinion, formulated even sometimes despite evidence to the contrary, is an attitude.
As defined in freedictionary.com, an attitude is “a learnt and enduring tendency to perceive or act towards persons or situations in a particular way.”
Attitudes are influenced by beliefs and ideas, values and emotions, and a predisposition to act in a certain way which is the behavioral component. (ibid)
And they are solidified over time.
In other words, something might appear to be reasonable, evidence-based, safe, and in your best interests, but when you peel back the layers of appearance and get to the actualities, the advertisement on the pages of the slick, shiny brochure may not be what is advertised at all. In fact, might be something that, if you knew all the facts, you might find even dangerous. Or potentially so.
For example, when we could all finally, thanks to the Internet, access the publications describing everything we need to know about used cars no longer could (some) salesmen try to manipulate a sale while hiding critical information.
But of course getting to the truth of abortion is a far more serious matter, literally, a life and death one.
And the longer period of time an attitude is “fed” not only does it become solidified, if not held up to the light of evidence, it becomes stronger which is why I think that unless our efforts on behalf of babies and their mothers continue, the pro-abortion mindset will only become more deeply entrenched; it will worsen. If that’s possible.
To the “sales pitch” of legal abortion that has metastasized to include death in every stage of baby’s development even after birth, for virtually any reason, many people of faith, including me, also believe it is a spiritual battle of good versus evil.
Make of that what you will, scoff or drop your own jaw, but with all the evidence in, what else makes the flames of the pro-abortion attitude burn even more intensely?
What has such power to override science, technological advances, and critical thinking?
Two powerful influences, in my mind, perpetuate abortion on demand, indeed, have increased the fervor for it, one might say, exponentially, in this age. Those influences are emotional and spiritual.
A lot of research has been done in the area of what happens when an event–issue or cause–deemed urgent or dangerous, whether real or promoted as real–is rendered down to the “base of the brain,” the amygdala, as it is known, where basic functions take place such as the famous “fight, flight, or freeze” response to impending danger.
One of the best examples of this phenomenon, also from the world of technology, regarding how such events, issues, or causes can reduce thought and action down to a focal point of survival, or just to get customers, is how social media is used to both hook and exploit users–to “buy” whatever it is selling: goods, services, and/or political causes.
In the case of abortion-on-demand, fear has been, of course, a classic sales technique.
It we don’t legalize abortion, said its advocates, ginning up fear from the get-go, millions of women will die because of botched back-alley abortions. Marching in demonstrations for the legal right to abort carrying coat-hangers, the “tool” of home-abortions, was de rigueur.
Another exploited fear was the financial, social, and career hardships having to keep a baby would impose on women, especially teens and poor mothers.
And, of course, the fear of having to raise a handicapped (as it was termed then) child, or one who was the result of rape (including the rape called incest), was also highlighted, although in such cases and including the mother’s physical health, provisions had already been in place. And such cases were–and are–rare. Here are some statistics to consider–scroll down to “Why Do Abortions Occur?”
Here is also a thoughtful discussion going beyond the “seven second, fear-based sound bytes” often used to create a, say, “fight and flee” response, aka an abortion, to an unexpected pregnancy. The article, “Rape, Incest, and Abortion: Searching Beyond the Myths,” dispels several misconceptions, no pun intended.
But back to the power of social media to gin up emotion (and sell products and causes). Here is a revelatory exposé on this very-well-planned and carefully-designed technology. The video, entitled “Brain Hacking,” is a “60 Minutes” program featuring former tech employees who explain the technology and its power. I would add, “Emotional Hacking” to the title as well.
Inventors and developers make billions. With a B. On this potent mind-and-emotion-controlling technology.
Imagine, then, how it can be used to sell abortion-on-demand, for instance, especially in light of how other technology like 4-D ultrasound imaging is affecting business.
And imagine how, over time, brain (and emotion) hacking via technology could cement a mindset, an attitude, in this case a pro-death attitude, although the word “death” must never and will never be used in the advertising campaign.
Certainly, if anybody of any political or social cause has access to the world of arguably the most powerful “influencers” of any time in history, the Internet and social media, such a cause as abortion-on-demand is bound to catch fire, burn even brighter, or at least crowd out (or “ban”) the 4-D exposés.
And there is no doubt emotional manipulation is the main tool.
For another potent influence, consider the spiritual.
Individuals from many pro-life spiritual traditions, as well as many agnostics and atheists, agree that the battle for life in America is not just political and social, but it is a battle between good and evil. I write through a Christian lens.
In my tradition and from the Christian’s text, the Bible, the following timeless verses guide me as I take nothing for granted, anymore, in the battle for the lives of babies–and help for their mothers that is life-giving, not life-taking.
Classic American values and traditions can no longer be trusted, particularly as the Bible, one of the foundations of our Judeo-Christian basis of governance, is held in greater and greater contempt.
Classic American–and Constitutional–fair play for all (including the youngest among us) also seems to be withering away, as our current, arguably two-tiered, justice system is being exposed –and attempts are just now underway to push back on some of the crimes and to preserve the republic.
But mostly, the evidence of a loss of morals and decency where the rubber meets the road of interpersonal relationships is becoming more and more evidenced in the public square, in classrooms, at family gatherings where disparate political viewpoints have little chance of being explored amid the rising voices of vitriol, and, of course, in the wildly degenerative state of political “discourse” in Washington D.C. where, like family get-togethers anymore, hate and division serve bitter meals.
I offer the following as both clarity and encouragement as we take back our time, our strength and the best of who we can be from the social media hawkers, the political hacks, and those who would promote the worst–even in these best of times–for the most innocent and helpless among us. This guidance is from the spiritual realm.
This was my first “incentive” to enter the fight for the lives of babies shortly after the commencement of the war against them otherwise known as the passage of Roe v. Wade:
If you falter in a time of trouble,
how small is your strength!
11 Rescue those being led away to death;
hold back those staggering toward slaughter.
12 If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,”
does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?
Does not he who guards your life know it?
Will he not repay everyone according to what they have done? (Proverbs 24:10-12, NIV)
The following two verses from the Book of Proverbs guide me now in particular as I consider carefully and prayerfully the attitude that those on the pro-abortion side might now be engaged in in what I along with millions of others can only conclude is, indeed, a supernatural conflict of good versus evil:
[Where] your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:21)
Treasure, θησαυρός, οῦ, ὁ, means “storehouse, repository […] metaphorically, of the soul, as the repository of thoughts, feelings, purposes, etc.” By extrapolation, A treasure can be an attitude as well, good or bad, life-giving or death-promoting.
Heart, καρδία, ας, ἡ, is only used figuratively in the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, as referring to “the affective center of our being” and the capacity of moral preference (volitional desire, choice […], ‘desire-producer that makes us tick’ […] i.e our ‘desire-decisions’ that establish who we really are.”
The explanation speaks for itself, and also speaks, I would add, of the strength of the pro-abortion attitude that can be far more powerful, apparently, than even the compelling evidence in favor of saving babies’ lives.
Indeed, it’s an attitude even stronger than what is promoted by the real-time images of a moving, growing baby as revealed on a 4-D ultrasound video while she is living the first months of development in what should be her safest place of all places on earth, her mother’s womb.
And most importantly, a pro-abortion attitude is an attitude that literally leads to the destruction of life itself.
If there is anything that can explain a growing destructive mindset especially as it concerns the killing of the most innocent and vulnerable of human lives, despite compelling evidence to stop the growth, it’s evil.
And lastly, this verse helps me to watch my own attitude about people who advocate for and/or chose abortion, many misguided, others thoroughly propagandized, and still others who have not yet examined the evidence. And as always, there are those most vulnerable to the abortion ad campaigns: the very young, the abused, the poor, the single and the alone who find themselves pregnant and for whom this is not good news, but genuinely frightening.
The following Scripture is also an over-arching call to action in every challenging situation a believer finds herself/himself in:
17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”[b] says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”[c]
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:17-21)
Carry on for life.
I know I will.
*From the YouTube video promo of a recent 4-D ultrasound of a baby in the womb and permission to share:
“Near the end of Alive From New York – a pro-life event held in New York City May 4, 2019 – a Live ultrasound was performed to reveal a third-trimester baby. The mother of the baby shown in the Live ultrasound is Abby Johnson, Planned Parenthood director turned pro-life advocate. Before the Live ultrasound, a video explaining how and why the picture appears a certain way plays. Please share this video, and videos like it, with everyone you know.”
For more information and resources to help you if you want to get out of working in the abortion industry: see https://www.abbyjohnson.org/work-at-pp
For more information on pro-life support: see here and here .
For more information on adoption: see http://www.adoptioncouncil.org/resources/general
For information on one of my favorite pro-life/mother-assistance support groups, especially teen mothers: see: StandUpGirl.com. Here is the organization’s promotional:
I’m so glad you stopped by StandUpGirl.com. Maybe you’re pregnant, or worried that you might be pregnant. You feel scared, overwhelmed, alone. I’ve been there, too. Need someone to talk to…someone you can be real with? We’re here for you. We have an amazing community of women here. Women who get what you’re going through, because they’ve lived through it. Women who care! Learn about Early Pregnancy Symptoms and use the pregnancy calculator tool.
I hope StandUpGirl.com can be the pregnancy support network that you so desperately need at this time in your life. Our stories are a lot like yours. If we can do it, so can you! We girls need each other. Remember, You are not alone!
God bless you,
13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. 17 How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! 18 Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand— when I awake, I am still with you. Psalm139:13-18
That says it all.
And a resounding AMEN! to that!
Infanticide, the killing of unwanted babies, was common in the Roman Empire and other parts of the ancient world. Two thousand year later, those who advocate abortion would claim to be living in an advanced society. But actually it isn’t. We may be more advanced in a scientific and technological sense, but morally we are no better than the pagan culture into which the apostles launched their missions to proclaim Christ. We see around us moral decline, a decadent culture, not enlightenment. Except in cases of medical emergency, the killing of unborn babies is morally reprehensible.
And thus you point out yet another way we have not learned from the mistakes and tragedies of the past…