The most recent damning video released against Planned Parenthood and its practice of harvesting and selling baby body parts is beyond horrific. I cried and cried and cried at the image of the tiny little boy, lying in a medical dish of some sort, while listening to a former abortion worker describe the horror of seeing and participating in cutting open the face -- the FACE!!!--- of a tiny little boy probably very much like the one shown in order to harvest his brain.
There are not enough words to describe the disgust, the anger, the heartbreak I feel watching these videos. Like you, I am fully aware that abortions happen every single day. Like you, I've read articles or heard speeches or even watched a video or two about why abortion is wrong. But never has it been so real. Never has it been so despicable. Never has it hit me to the point of deep, deep grief for the precious lives that are being treated like scientific experiments.
Let me tell you a story...
Way back in the fall of 1992 we were thrilled to learn we were expecting our second child. Having been through this before just a couple years prior with our first son, I had no reason to think everything wouldn't be completely normal with this pregnancy. At six weeks along, I went for my first doctor's appointment. My sweet mother-in-law accompanied me so she could keep my toddler, Taylor, occupied while I went in for a sonogram. I couldn't wait to see the tiny pulsating "blob" on the screen and maybe hear its heartbeat. Laying on the table as the nurse smeared cold gel on my flat stomach, I wondered who was inside of me! Was it another boy or a maybe a little girl this time? Time would tell. This appointment was strictly about confirming that yes indeed I was pregnant and to get the ball rolling.
Dr. Kaplan, with his South African accent, chatted with me as he swirled the sonogram device across my abdomen. After a while, though, he quit talking. He stared at the screen intensely as he kept running the little device over the same area. When he began to frown, fear started to rise in my heart.
Something was wrong. I could tell just by looking at him. Was my baby all right?
Finally, he moved the device way over on my side, nodded, and then went back to the troubling area. After what seemed like eternity, his eyes met mine.
"The good news is you are pregnant," he said, swishing the device on my side again, where the familiar little bleeping blob resided.
Pure relief flooded me. My baby were there, safe and sound. But just when I started to relax, he moved the device back to the top of my stomach.
"But I'm afraid this," he said, pointing to a large, dark area, "is a problem."
"What is it?" I asked, completely baffled.
"It's a tumor."
I can't remember how the rest of the conversation went exactly, but suffice it to say it was not good news. The tumor was directly behind my uterus. It was the size of a plum. Dr. Kaplan calmly laid out my options:
1. Terminate the pregnancy, remove the tumor, and go on with life.
2. Wait until the first trimester was over and then do surgery. It would require lifting out the uterus with the baby inside through a huge incision to remove the tumor. There were, of course, risks involved. I could lose the baby. The tumor could grow and spread while we waited. Recovery would be horrendous due to the large incision on a growing belly. The baby could suffer damage. Etc. Etc. Etc.
I don't say this to pat myself on the back like I'm some kind of saint or something, but I never ONCE thought about myself and the dangers to my person. My thoughts were 100% for my baby. Termination of the pregnancy was not ever an option. God planted this precious life inside me for a reason. He created the little boy or the little girl with His own hand. Yes, I was frightened about how all this was going to turn out, but killing my baby before it ever drew a breath was unthinkable.
The next weeks were filled with anxiousness but also with trust in God and a whole lot of prayer! We had all our family and close friends praying. I'm sure the words, "Not my will but thine" passed over my lips a multitude of times.
The day for our second sonogram arrived. Brian and I went to the doctor alone, leaving Taylor with Grandma Shocklee. There would be serious decisions and plans to make regarding the surgery and moving forward. When the doctor began the sonogram, Brian and I fully expected to see the dark mass, maybe even bigger. I think the doctor expected that too. But as he swirled the sonogram device over my still fairly flat stomach, what we saw is still imprinted in my memory.
A perfect little person, facing us on the screen, literally DANCING! Not big enough to require being tucked in the normal fetal position yet, this little person's arms and legs were moving like crazy. He seriously looked like he was dancing. We heard his heart beating. We saw his little hands and arms and legs and feet.
He was 13 weeks gestation. The same age as millions of babies when they are aborted.
It was Dr. Kaplan's turn to be baffled. He looked and looked for that tumor, but it wasn't there. I think he was an atheist, but when I shared that people had been praying for this very thing, he seemed a little impressed.
On May 22, 1993 our Austin James Shocklee arrived 3 1/2 weeks early but perfect in every way. He's grown into an amazing young man with God-given gifts and dreams. Our lives would not be complete without him. While I would have been justified in the eyes of the world to have an abortion due to the danger to my own health, I would have missed the miracle that God wanted to do. Not only did He remove the tumor, but He gave us a beautiful, healthy baby boy.
I realize my story does not look like others. Our baby was very much wanted and planned. But an unplanned baby is still just as precious. An unplanned baby is still a baby. An unplanned baby was created by God, so it is IN FACT a PLANNED baby!
No matter the circumstances of a pregnancy, one thing remains absolutely certain. Abortion is NEVER the right answer. Never.