Some in the pro-abortion camp wholeheartedly agree that abortion ends a life. For them, a woman’s right to choose is more important than the life of the baby. Those people are pure evil, and apart from the grace of God, probably cannot be dissuaded. However, others who support abortion feebly contend that abortion does not end a life. Whether out of moral cowardice or the desire to have sex outside of marriage without consequences, they attempt to deny the obvious fact that abortion ends a human life. That position is both morally and intellectually untenable, although many in that camp may be able to be brought to repentance. To that end, a new, cutting-edge surgery makes that denial next to impossible to maintain while retaining any semblance of honesty.
The surgery took place at Houston’s Texas Children’s Hospital. After an ultrasound at thirteen weeks, doctors discovered that the baby had spina bifida. According to BPNews, “The medical team told the parents their baby’s brain stem was slipping down into the spinal column and the amniotic fluid, which becomes toxic to the exposed nerves, would likely cause more damage over time.”
After the diagnoses, the parents were encouraged to
abort murder the baby. Refusing to cave to the pressure, the parents asked for the experimental surgery. The surgery doesn’t hold out the hope for full healing, but, if successful, will greatly improve the quality of life for the baby. Recognizing that human life is a gift from God and precious in His sight, BPNews reports, “The parents know their baby will still likely suffer some damage from the defect, but they hope the procedure will enhance his quality of life.”
The surgery was complex. Doctors made “a wide incision in the mother’s lower abdomen, gently lifted out her uterus — still attached internally — and made two tiny, 4-millimeter slits. In one, they inserted a ‘fetoscope,’ a small telescope fitted with a camera, light and grasping tool. The second slit was for other miniature instruments,” according to a report in the New York Times.
The Times goes on to explain,
Spina bifida is generally not fatal, so the standard practice was to operate after birth. But the results of postnatal surgery were mixed: most children could not walk and had other problems.
Doctors began to suspect that outcomes might be better if they could fix the defect before birth. Some of the spinal damage is caused by amniotic fluid, which turns increasingly toxic to the exposed nerve tissue as the pregnancy progresses and the fetus passes more and more wastes into the fluid.
Surgeons thought that if the opening could be closed before birth, sealing out the fluid, some of the nerve damage might be averted. They began operating in the 1990s, but it was not clear the surgery was helping.
A landmark study published in 2011 found that — for carefully selected fetuses — prenatal surgery was better than operating after birth. The percentage of children who could walk independently rose to 40 percent from 20 percent, and the need for a shunt was cut in half, to 40 percent from 82 percent.
In his popular podcast “The Briefing,” theologian Dr. Albert Mohler passionately and movingly described the surgery. At one point, he makes the observation that the temperature in the surgical theatre gives evidence to how meticulously God crafted the mother’s womb to meet the needs of the baby. It is unlike all other surgeries in that the uterus is removed and the baby operated on. The temperature in the room had to be much higher than normal for surgeries, mimicking the mother’s womb. Quoting the Times’ reporter, Mohler relayed a nurse’s warning to the reporter and cameraman that it would feel like a sauna in the operating room.
Among his pointed conclusions, Dr. Mohler wisely stated, “What we see here is irrefutable evidence, even visual as well as verbal evidence, of what it means that unborn life in the womb is a baby.”