Most of you have seen the Virginia abortion circus over the last few days with Kathy Tran admitting that her bill would allow abortions during labor and Governor Northam’s follow up comments in a radio interview describing how in certain cases infants might be born, resuscitated if the mother desired, and then a discussion would ensue about what would be done with the infant. What many do not know is that Virginia already allows abortions up through 9 months of pregnancy including during delivery. What Governor Northam was describing, having practiced as a pediatric neurologist since 1992, is what already takes place in the state of Virginia.
As Michelle Goldberg calmly assures us in her New York Times opinion piece, “No, Democrats are not trying to legalize infanticide.” And this is because infanticide is already legal in Virginia. What the failed bill that Tran was defending would have done is lessen the current restrictions on that practice. Current Virginia law requires three physicians to sign off on a late term abortion, agreeing that continuing the pregnancy would result in the mother’s death or “substantially and irremediably impair the mental or physical health of the woman.” The proposed legislation would have removed the requirement for the two additional medical opinions as well as the words “substantially and irremediably” from the current law.
In other words, Governor Northam was not describing something that might happen in Virginia. He was describing something that currently happens in Virginia and something that he has likely witnessed and signed off on. The fact that Northam is a pediatric neurologist only makes all of this more vile and disturbing.
As we were discussing all these happenings, my daughter pointed out something recently that relates to all of this: In Pixar’s 2015 InsideOut, the beginning of the story opens at the birth of the baby. As the new parents look at their baby, a little spark of light ignites inside her, and her feelings come alive — specifically, initially “Joy” (the personified emotion in her mind), allowing her to open her eyes and see her parents for the first time in an (apparently) authentic human way. But notice the order and causation implied in the scene: the parents look at their baby happily, the spark ignites in the baby’s brain, and then the baby sees her parents. Apparently, in this Pixar/Disney mythology, when a baby is welcomed and wanted, then a baby gets feelings and thoughts and becomes fully human.
But what was before that moment inside the baby’s head according to Pixar? Nothing. Blackness. Darkness. It was empty. There was a baby body without feelings, emotions, thoughts, awareness — not fully human. In other words, before that moment there was no authentic human experience to worry about. Of course this is entirely false scientifically as well as biblically. Ultrasound technology show us babies bouncing and kicking, sucking their thumbs, and studies suggest that babies hear and recognize sounds as early as 16 weeks gestation, specifically responding to the sounds of the father’s and mother’s voices.
But biblically, the Word is even more clear: “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.” (Ps. 139:14-16)
Ultimately, the value of a human life is not found in our appreciation or welcome of that human life, or even in the feelings or awareness of the human being. The value of human life rests in God’s appreciation and welcome of that particular life. His eyes see our substance, our being, who and what we are even before we are formed. He has written all our days. He is our author. And He has written all of our stories, even those with severe deformities, chromosomal disorders, and those conceived by acts of sin. What — will you tell the Author of the universe that He cannot write the story He wants to write?
Eleven years ago, doctors told my wife and me that our (other) daughter would likely be born with severe disabilities, deformities, and disorders. We were shown ultrasounds that suggested all of these things. We were asked to abort her multiple times. Seasoned pediatric specialists looked at us with incredulity and disgust when we said that abortion was not an option. Today, our daughter is perfectly healthy. She is a beautiful fifth grader. She’s beginning gymnastics this week. And my point is not that all the stories are this easy or fun. My point is that we simply do not know the story that God can tell. And it is a monstrosity to try to grab God’s pen to write our own stories. We inevitably lie and destroy and kill when we do. But even the hardest stories God writes are some of the most beautiful.
Governor Northam and Delegate Tran have simply described what is already taking place in many states. They have determined to be the authors of life. They have claimed deity for themselves. But you cannot claim deity and then everything be Ok. You cannot claim to be a god and there be no innocent blood shed. Idolatry always deceives, deforms, destroys life. But if you think you are a god, then you are under the delusion that you are the master of your own fate, that you can speak realities into existence. If you want your baby, you can call light out of the darkness in her mind. And if you do not want your baby, you need not worry because it has no feelings, no emotions since your almightiness has not deigned for this to be so.
But you cannot stop there. You must also begin making proclamations about what marriage is, what male and female are, what money is, what good and evil are. And the great thing is that pretty soon, green will be red, and up will be down, and squares will be circles, and two plus two will be three on Wednesdays and seven on Friday. This is inside out and upside down and backwards and utterly insane.
In other words, the good news is that we still live in God’s world, the Lord Jesus died and rose again and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty, and therefore insanity never works in the long run.