Pro-life Panel: Caitie Wood

First and foremost, I understand this is a very controversial topic so it’s important to acknowledge that no woman ever wants to be in the position where she’s considering abortion. No matter your personal views on the morality of it, abortion is a very traumatic thing for a woman to go through. Therefore, I want to say that I by no means support the action of going to planned parenthood, screaming in these women’s faces, calling them murderers, and the like. Unlike what the media portrays, that’s actually a rarity, however it is unacceptable. If we’re going to evoke real change, we need to act with compassion, as most pro-life people do.

Additionally, real change comes with having a real conversation; not a one-sided belittlement toward the other side. No woman faced with a pregnancy crisis is going to care about the message we have unless they know they’re loved, supported, and cherished by us and God. This is the perfect opportunity to let God’s light shine through the controversy and speak through us. So, if there happen to be any women watching this video who are considering having an abortion, I know I speak for all of us when I say that we don’t want to discriminate against you for being faced with this crisis nor do we intend to belittle any women who have had an abortion or have considered it. We’re just passionate about our belief that life starts in the womb and want to explain why.

The pro-life position is not about stripping away the right to make medical choices with bodily autonomy. We absolutely support that. However, as it stands right now, woman don’t even have bodily autonomy in the case of abortion! She is not able to give informed consent because she’s not educated about her child’s development, she does not see the ultrasound, she is not given any resources that could help her through her pregnancy, and she is not educated about what the procedure she’ll have actually entails.

Now that said, my stance of being against abortion include both scientific and biblical reasons. Starting purely based on science:

1) For those that may not know, the gestational age of a pregnancy goes based off when a woman last had her cycle, not the conception date. Based on this calculation, the fertilized egg attaches itself to the lining of the uterus in the 3rd week of pregnancy. Therefore, a baby’s heart starts beating at 5-6 weeks of pregnancy, which would only be 2-3 weeks after conception. A woman with an average cycle would find out she’s pregnant at approximately 4-6 weeks. 4-6 weeks is also the earliest an abortion could be received, but by the time a woman has discovered she’s expecting, a complex series of fetal development has already started taking place. Let’s look at some highlights of fetal development in the first trimester of pregnancy, which covers up to 13 weeks. At 5 weeks of pregnancy, 3 weeks after conception, the brain and spinal cord are already starting to develop. At this point, some women are already feeling pregnancy symptoms. At 7 weeks of pregnancy, 5 weeks after conception, almost every organ has started developing along with arms and legs. The umbilical cord has also formed and the baby is receiving everything it needs from the mother. At 9 weeks of pregnancy, only 7 weeks after conception, the baby can now be seen on an ultrasound and reproductive organs are also forming. At 10 weeks, the baby now has defined facial features and the brain is starting to build neurological connections. By week 12, the baby even looks like a tiny human. Organs continue developing and the baby has teeth, fingers, toes, and nails.

2) If we found a heartbeat on another planet, it would be breaking news that life was found outside of earth. So why is a heartbeat by medical and scientific definition a sign of life, yet that fact is ignored when it comes to whether a baby in the womb deserves to live?

In terms of Biblical reasons, we see very consistently that God values life and created everyone alive intentionally, which makes sense when you consider the mere statistics of how we got here. 1 egg and millions of sperm. If a different sperm fertilized any one of the eggs that formed any one of us, we would be an entirely different person. I’m sure we’ve all heard these two verses in Psalm 139:14: “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.” and “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”

These are well-known verses, but they go to show the intention behind God creating us. Beyond those verses, if we look at Mary’s encounter with Elizabeth in the first chapter of Luke, Mary had just immaculately conceived Jesus and Elizabeth was pregnant with John the Baptist. And what happened? John leaped in Elizabeth’s womb. A fetus was the very first one to rejoice at the news of Jesus. This further goes to show that babies are very much alive even if they haven’t been born yet.

Also, in Genesis 1:27, we see the words, “God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God He created them, male and female he created them.” Not only do we see that humans are made in the image of God, but if we look at the Hebrew word for “create” it also means “to shape.” God shapes us in his own image. That shows beautiful intentionality behind how we were created on purpose, for a purpose. Also, Eve was the last thing God created.

A woman, a human, was the pinnacle of God’s creation. Finally, we see all throughout Jesus’ ministry that he held in high regard those that the general public deemed unimportant. If society, in general, says that babies are just a clump of cells and don’t see them for what they are, which is children of God, then our duty as Christians is to reflect Jesus’ example and honor them as such.