I admit my first reaction was awful, one of abject fear, and it showed on my face. My wife interpreted this as anger that she'd become pregnant, as evidence that I did not want a child. In that she was quite mistaken. Coming from a broken home myself, and having lost my mother to cancer at age 13, with no father around and spending my teenage years as a "ward of the state," constantly moving from one temporary home to another, I desperately craved the comfort and solidity of having my own family.
My fear came from reading a scientific study reporting that as adults, we replicate the home environment in which we were raised, becoming like our parents. Now, my mother was a saint, but for all my life I'd known my father as an angry man, and I was far more accustomed to receiving harsh discipline than love. So, learning I would be a father, my first thought was that this most innocent of creatures would brought into the world, and I would end up ruining him.
That night, just before Christmas, was very busy for the staff of labor and delivery. A small town hospital, there was one doctor on call, but four women in the final stages of labor, three with complications and one, my wife, that seemed to be healthy. I recall the doctor running into the room every so often pleading with my wife not to push, promising to come as quickly as he could. Eventually, she could bear no more and began to push, and the journey into this world entered its final stages for my son. Panicked, I told the nurse the baby was coming and that she needed to come to the bedside immediately. To my horror, she told me that I would have to deliver my son. I objected, but she said that there was no other option.
My fear, in an instant, turned to wonder and awe as I saw my son's head crown. I was witnessing the most miraculous of events; not only witnessing but participating. Moments later I was holding my son in my arms, this beautiful, precious, fragile creature that I'd helped to create. It was then that my fear was washed away and I knew that no matter what had happened to me in my childhood, I would not repeat that cycle of anger. I knew, without question, that I would do everything within my power, give my dying breath, to protect and provide for this most cherubic child; no harm would to come to him, certainly not by my hand. As I held him in my arms, feeling the warmth and softness of his skin, the downy touch of his hair, and that sweet smell of his newborn skin, I felt as if God had made me a junior partner in the creation of a miracle. Tears of pure, unadulterated joy streamed down my cheeks, and my life would be forever changed for the better.
Over the next 17 years, my wife bore seven more children, each one so unique and so precious in their own way, and each finding their way into my heart, making me a better man in the process. Of those seven, I would deliver three myself, a breathtaking experience which made me more and more aware of the sacredness of human life.
Less than two weeks ago, our family wept as we said goodbye to Elijah, my oldest, as he left to go teach the gospel of Christ and serve the people of southern Mexico for the next two years. Watching him leave, it was like having a piece of my heart ripped out of my chest, but there was also great pride in seeing the incredible young man that he'd become. It also made me aware that, with each passing year, my children will be growing up, leaving the house and starting families of their own. It was a bittersweet reflection.
Having experienced such poignant emotions and a renewal and resurgence of love for my children over these last few weeks, I saddened and appalled to read an article about a joint initiative between Planned Parenthood and a "religious" group called Faith Aloud which launched "40 Days a Prayer," an effort to encourage participation in a series of "prayers" offered up in support of abortion rights. There is a short prayer to be offered for each of the 40 days, including "Day 4: Today we give thanks for the doctors who provide quality abortion care, and pray that they may be kept safe," and "Day 5: Today we pray for medical students who want to include abortion services in their practices. May they receive good training and find good mentors." Support for the extermination of the unborn is horrific enough, but to do so in the name of God is an outright sacrilege.
In 1973, the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade discovered a "right to privacy" that included abortion. This "right" had escaped the awareness of the Founding Fathers, and the legislatures and Supreme Courts of the next two centuries, but was fortuitously discovered hiding within the "emanations and penumbras" of the Constitution. Lucky us ...
Abortion supporters have claimed that they want it to be "safe, legal and RARE," but it has been anything but rare. In the 40 years since Roe v. Wade, more than 50 million abortions have been performed in this country. In essence, we've exercised the "right" to exterminate the equivalent of the combined populations of New York, Florida and Illinois. Hitler is rightly remembered as a monster in human form for the slaughter of six million Jews in the gas chambers of Auschwitz, Buchenwald, Dachau and others. Yet our government provides funding for the abortuaries of Planned Parenthood and similar organizations, which are responsible for nine times more innocent deaths than the Nazis. Can we truly say that we are any different?
According to a report released several years ago by the Guttmacher Institute (the research arm of Planned Parenthood and the foremost authority on abortion statistics), less than 1.5 percent of all abortions were performed for reasons of rape or incest, the two circumstances that abortion advocates most often argue we must keep abortion legal to deal with. If they truly want abortion to be rare, would they then support eliminating abortions for matters of convenience (thereby reducing the number by 90 percent or more)?
Abortion can only have become so common in conjunction with the devaluing of human life, but it is a two-edged sword. If society has the "right" to end life before birth if that life would be a burden to society, then does the same not hold true for the elderly that have become an economic burden to society? In fact, that very logic has taken root among many of the intellectual elites in Europe, and with Obama's top health care advisor. If our worth as humans is measured in dollars, then are any of us truly safe? If we do not speak out on behalf of these most innocent of lives, then one day we may find ourselves in a similar circumstance. Then, as German pastor Martin Niemoller wrote, there will be "no one to speak out for [you]."
Louis DeBroux is a Taylorsville resident, married, with eight children. He is chairman of the Bartow County Republican Party. He owns Gatekeeper data backup and recovery. He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.