Knit and Pray

Thursday, July 4, 2013

20 Weeks vs Whose Rights????


Those of you who read my blog—and those of you who know me well—will be surprised at my post today. I seldom take a stand on either side of controversial issues. You can name any current issue and I guarantee you I will have dear friends or precious family members on BOTH sides of that issue.

Perhaps I am wrong, but relationships are far more important to me than arguing about things we will most likely never change.

And you are right: today is an exception.
The issue is summed up at CNN Politics (www.cnn.com/2013/07/03/politics/texas-abortion-battle : "...HB2, a bill that would impose strict new regulations on abortions in the state. The measure seeks to ban abortions past 20 weeks of gestation, mandate abortion clinics to become ambulatory surgical centers, and require doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic at which they're providing abortion services...."
 
For weeks, local television news has reported the bill will deny women their right to choice.

My question: What does 20 weeks have to do with women's rights?

In my mind: absolutely nothing.
 
At about 39 weeks, most full-term babies go—kicking and screaming—into life outside its mommy's safe, nurturing, nourishing womb.

Do the math.

                39
       -        20
               19
Almost HALF.

Might come as a surprise to some who know me, but I am WOMAN.

And, I believe, ABSOLUTELY AND STRONGLY

... in equal pay for equal work (I know firsthand that sometimes women do MORE than their fair share)

 ... that you don't hit me just 'cause you're stronger than me

… it is good for women to be in the pulpit

… that it’s a very good thing when dads take the Mr. Mom shift

 ... that women are smart … (and often smarter than  the average guy. Just sayin…)

... and etc etc and etc

You are also right if you expect a story to explain my hard line on killing babies at 20 weeks.

Long ago in the land of young parenting, in prehistoric 1965, my young husband and I (even younger) were pregnant and thrilled that our five-year-old daughter would soon be a big sister. Happy doesn’t tell it !!!

By my 12th WEEK, I knew. For sure that time. Getting pregnant had not come easily.

I had a history of irregular everythings and a history of not able to keep a baby after about six weeks. Nobody knew for sure or exactly how “far along” I was, but it was agreed I was at least past three months. Which was remarkable. And gave me hope. And I believed that this time - - - -

I knew that our BABY was real and very alive. In another few weeks, our baby moved. The hands of my mother and mother-in-law went immediately to work creating magical baby things.

Then, one day, my belly got quiet. We waited, we prayed, we waited.

NOTHING.

Another day: cramps. Pain. Bleeding.

The third day, full-blown labor.

And tears. Hot, angry, tears that had nothing to do with physical pain.
Tears turned to sobs.
Pain. Hospital. Pain.
Then . . .NOTHING.

In those days, my baby was just “it;” my baby was just a fetus.
                    To everyone but me and my young husband and our parents.

In those days, we did not count by weeks.
In those days, disappointed mommies did not grieve.
In those days, a miscarriage was sad but… just a miscarriage.

My precious mother-in-law sat with me, afterward, for long hours, in the hospital. Quietly.
Once, I saw her tears.
She held my hand and stroked my arm, tenderly, gently.

My heart was ripped out. My body had carried a baby. A real, live, person. My baby had wiggled inside me. It was ALIVE. “It” was only . . .

About FIFTEEN WEEKS old.

Now, you tell me..... Because I don't understand......

Why is it that some folks say:

....... if  a state chooses to protect the LIFE of a real, ALIVE human being at TWENTY WEEKS ...... The state is denying the rights of a woman...... ?????

 20 weeks is more than half way to birth.

I realize that way back in 1965, medical science did not work the miracles with premature babies that it does today. Had I carried my baby just FIVE weeks longer, he could have survived outside my womb.... TWENTY WEEKS.

My baby would be 47 years old this year.

No, I can't second guess God as to why, what -if, if-only.

I only know that on that August afternoon in 1965 in Carlsbad, New Mexico, I lost a REAL life.

One day we will meet in person.

Until then..... I wonder.... 20 weeks ....

....what does that have to do with the rights of a woman?

 That young husband, our little girl, and this young mother had a long, long wait and another “miscarriage.”  But, God did hear our prayers and in 1970 on a bitterly cold January morning in Texas a very LIVE son was born to us. Our Eddy was absolutely worth waiting for and is a pride to our hearts and souls.

For all those babies who don’t live beyond 20 weeks, God will bless you and keep you. Forever.

For all my young friends whose empty arms ache, I pray Psalm 20:4 & 5 with you:

          “May He grant you your heart’s desire, and fulfill all your counsel! We will sing for joy over your victory, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners. May the Lord fulfill all your petitions.”

In love and kindness,

      Liz

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