September 28, 2010 by Stacy McDonald

A Right to Live…

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The following article was written by my husband, James McDonald:

Psalm 139:13-16: For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. 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.

‘Some people say that life begins at birth. Others say that it begins at conception. But my God is so pro-life that He said “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb.”’ – Pastor Luke J. Robinson

January 22, 1973 brought a sinister welcome to abortion on demand in America. The Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade was a wake up call for the church. Demonstrations and organizations sprung up like the spring grass. But, in the 37 years that have passed, it seems many don’t bother themselves with the disturbing fact that children are being murdered in our backyards. Protests take time. Volunteering to pray in front of abortion mills is embarrassing. Life Chain Sunday usually interferes with a good football game. And it is just too cold to march in January on the anniversary of the Roe decision.

To me, the apathy is appalling. Human life is precious. Most Christians say they are “pro-life,” but what are they doing to stand against the tide? Can we not see the impact of the proverbial “slippery slope” on our culture? How can we forget the demise of the children? Why do so many pastors ignore preaching on this issue? Who will defend the weak?

If we continue to ignore what is happening, there may come a day when doctors evaluate the value of live births. They may come up with a quantitative way to assess whether or not a child is worthy to live:

  • A child’s home life (HL)
  • Potential contribution to society (CS)
  • Physical natural endowment and physical condition at birth (NE)

They may combine these factors into some bizarre mathematical equation and come up with a Quality of Life Index (QL). If a child scores above this mark, they may then be deemed worthy to live. Fall below that mark, and they will be left to die.

Science fiction? Think again. Such a formula [(HL + CS) * NE = QL] was used by Children’s Hospital of Oklahoma, in Oklahoma City from 1977 to 1982 to evaluate children born with Spina Bifida. During this period, 24 children were determined to be better off dead. And they were left to die.

Young StacyThis story is important to me. You see, my wife, Stacy, was born with Spina Bifida in the 60’s, the day after her birth mother, Ginger, turned sixteen. Ginger, was one of eight children—the oldest in the household. No doubt being brought up in a home full of little ones helped develop in this young mother an understanding and appreciation for the life growing within her womb—because when faced with a crisis pregnancy, what she chose for Stacy was life. Granted, the choice was made a little easier by the fact that it was still illegal to murder a child in the womb. But even in that day there were ways to “terminate a pregnancy,” code word for killing a child. But, Ginger chose life for the baby she carried!

Ginger was allowed to hold and rock Stacy during brief visits to the hospital during her infancy. My wife was even baptized in her birth mother’s christening gown. Sadly, because Stacy was so young, she has no recollection of these short meetings.

Stacy was placed into the family of her adoptive parents when she was two years old. By God’s grace, this young couple chose to take on a child who was past infancy, loaded with hefty medical bills, and facing future difficult surgeries. Yet, despite all that, they brought Stacy home and called her their own. Years later, when God captured the heart of my wife, He revealed to her the providential Hand that had protected and guided her throughout her life.

Soon after her twenty-first birthday, after a series of incredible events, Stacy was introduced to her birth grandparents and all of her birth mother’s siblings, nieces, nephews, aunts, and uncles. She even had the opportunity to know her great-grandmother. Stacy was not able to meet her birth-mother. Ironically, Ginger was twenty-one years old when she died in a tragic automobile accident – the same age Stacy was when she was reunited with her birth-family.

Since that time, not only has Stacy grown to appreciate her adoptive parents in new ways, she has also grown close to her birth family—especially her grandparents. When asked about her thoughts on God’s providential hand in her life, she said, “I stand amazed and humbled that God spared my life; and, by His grace, He gave me the chance to raise ten beautiful children for His glory.”

“I stand amazed and humbled that God spared my life; and, by His grace, He gave me the chance to raise ten beautiful children for His glory.”

When I gaze upon our children, I marvel at the way God weaved His thread of Providence throughout the intricate fabric of Stacy’s life. And yes, I am thankful for the precious gift of that life—a gift that is continuing into future generations.

This gift of life, given by God, is stolen from so many. In our human deception, we are too often convinced by the Enemy that some precious souls are not fit to live. Some children are conceived during an “inconvenient” time of life; and, since the child is often not even considered human yet, murder is treated as a form of “birth control.”

Other times, we are persuaded to believe that the life of the mother is more important than the life of the child, and a precious life is snuffed out. Other times, even live babies outside the womb–at least partially outside–are not safe, and children are butchered as they are being delivered.

May we continue to fight for the sanctity of all life. May we view it in the pre-born, the handicapped, the elderly, the helpless, and the infirmed as a gift from the Lord. It is the God-breathed spirit of our Heavenly Father (Genesis 2:7) that gives quality to life. Such worth is not determined by a doctor or by the state. And it cannot be stolen from them without consequence – for their blood cries out to God (Genesis 4:10).

This Sunday marks the annual Life Chain, a silent protest against the practice of abortion on demand. It only takes an hour of your time to stand, side by side, with others in prayer against this national holocaust. Are you willing to make this investment for life?

Read the following articles to get a glimpse of how we as a people have treated the “sanctity of life.”
It Can Happen Here
Mathematical Formula Decides Life and Death
Who Gets to Live? Who Will Decide?

Testimonies of the Devastation of Abortion:
The Boyfriend
Various Testimonies
A Girl’s Testimony

More Information:
Post Abortion Syndrome
A Victim of Choice
Silent No More
Safe Haven Ministries
(with chat board)

And to make it legal, the opinions expressed herein are not necessarily those of the other elders or members of Providence Church.



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31 Responses to “A Right to Live…”

  1. Natalya says:

    Hello,
    I was so blessed to be able to meet you all at the Ladies Tea. I got to sit next to Melisa with my mom, what a gift!
    Anyway, this post made me cry. Because: I was very much like you when I was little. I was born right after my mother turned 16. I was adopted at 6 months. I still get to see my birth family. My birth mom even got married and had my little sister Ravyn-May! I am so thankful my birth mom chose life for me! Thanks for posting on this. It just makes me cry to think of how many moms don’t see what their children are: God’s children. :(
    God bless you all,
    Natalya

  2. Sarah says:

    Thank you so much for posting this!!! I am an adoptive mom to our 2.5 year old son, whom we have had since birth. I was in the delivery room, cut the cord, and was the first to hold him. We have struggled through infertiltiy, a surprise pregnancy that ended in miscarriage, and now we are 28.5 weeks pregnant with a little girl, and are hoping to adopt again next year.

    Children are a precious miracle and gift from the Lord, however they are conceived and come to be. They are not a burden, they are not a “blob of cells” or unfeeling fetuses; they are the divine craftsmanship of the most Perfect Craftsman there ever was–God.

    I just got back from my 29 week appointment today with a new doctor, one who values life. Seeing my baby on the ultrasound screen brought tears to my eyes, but I don’t have to see her to know what a miracle she is. Some women contemplating abortion don’t even have a clue that the miracles they have growing inside of them are truly miracles, that they are living babies, not blobs. If only they could see them the way God sees them… as babies who deserve to be loved and cherished.

    May we all have eyes to see and the courage to always stand up without embarrassment or selfish hinderence for children and unborn babies, and to see them as they really are…undeniable works of God’s miraculous, divine grace.

    I’m still in awe of the fact that I get to be a Momma through the miracle of adoption and once again in pregnancy. Praise the Lord!
    In Him,
    Sarah

  3. I loved this post, and am so thankful that both of my sons have birthmothers that chose life over death. How could I not be thankful? She gave them an opportunity to live, to bless our life, and impact the world for Christ.

    I wish more young women would choose adoption over abortion. What a blessing it is, in so many ways.

    I met you at the Ladies Reformation Tea this year, and you seem to be a precious lady. It was so nice to meet you face-to-face :)

    Thank you for sharing this post.

  4. mosey says:

    As a mommy, both through adoption and birth this post is especially a treasure to me! Thank you for sharing your passion for life!

    What a beautiful story and what an incredibly important topic to continue to fight for! I am SO blessed that my daughter’s birth mother chose life and even to hide her from danger for 9months completely alone. My heart breaks for her but yet rejoices in her bravery and determination to give my BEAUTIFUL baby life! My life would be incomplete without hers!

  5. Jennifer says:

    This is a great article! And you were a beautiful child, Stacy.

  6. Mike says:

    Hi,

    I love visiting many of these Christian sites on the web. I was prompted to post here for the first time because I too was born with spina bifida. I actually managed to serve in the US Army. Today I remain an avid runner participating in races because a doctor once told me: “I don’t understand why you’re not a paraplegic”. It’s wonderful how God uses each of us to fulfill his purposes.

  7. Erin says:

    An absolutely precious post, thank you for speaking the Truth about this.

    Abortion is murder. Period. It grieves me to no end that some have no regard for human life. Welcome to America where we seem to care more about (so called) global warming, promoting sin in the name of “diversity”, the ethical treatment of animals and not offending radical Islamic groups than pre-born babies. That some even doubt life begins at conception is beyond me. Of course it does…how could it not? Non-living things do not continue to live or grow. Can I say “duh” here?

    There is a wonderfully glorious story going around right now on video about a woman named Gianna who survived abortion. I read a book about her a few years ago and you can watch her deliver a speech at this link, here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kPF1FhCMPuQ or search for her “Gianna Jessen”.

    Lord, please open their eyes, ears, hearts and minds so this silent holocaust can end.

    Thank you, Mr. and Mrs. McDonald, for standing up yet again, for what is right and what is true.

  8. Dana Renda says:

    Thank you for posting this! What a true testament of how miraculous our Father works through us.
    Sadly, I have to say in my younger years, I was unsure what I thought of abortion. Of course now that I’m older & have my own children my views have changed dramatically. I could never snuff out one of their lives with my own hands. That’s what an abortion is. It’s a mother taking her child’s life by her own free will. A life that is NOT ours to take. We belong to God. Therefore, we are stealing from the One who provides all. I’m thankful that God has touched me in ways I never thought possible.

    Thank you again for such a beautiful, sweet story of Life!!

  9. Dana Renda says:

    Ok, so I hit submit a little too fast..I type like I talk, too fast.

    I felt I always had a strong relationship with God until I was pregnant with my second child, my first died in miscarriage. We had gone for the normal scheduled ultra-sound. We didn’t want to know the sex, because let’s face it, it doesn’t really matter. Anyway, we were told that our baby was healthy and lively. I was nervous while pregnant due to losing my first baby. So when we left our appointment we were confident that everything would be fine this time. Funny how life works…

    Two days later we received a call from my OB/GYN telling us that the ultra-sound tech missed something on her exam. My doctor found what appeared to be a discoloration on the baby’s heart. She said it could be a hole or some other birth defect. She made an appointment with a specialist in our area, however, it would take three longs before we could be seen. She also advised us to prepare for the worst. She said we should have an action plan if things did not turn out well. I knew what she meant. I hung up the phone. We were devastated. That night after the shock of her call wore off, I realized it didn’t matter what this specialist said, this baby was a gift from God. A gift I prayed for. A gift I cherished long before I conceived. My husband & I both knew the only plan for us, was God’s. By the day of our appointment I had this strong feeling that everything was fine. I have no idea when I started feeling like this, I just did. When I finally had the 3D ultra-sound showing this little tiny baby I knew it was all going to be fine. I cried with such immense joy long before he told us our doctor was mistaken.. What he saw was a tear in the film. There was nothing but God on our baby’s heart….
    Eight years later I’m happy to say SHE is healthy, happy & very passionate about life..God is good- All the time.

    Thank you Mr. & Mrs. McDonald for always getting to the heart.
    Love,
    Dana

  10. Becky says:

    I gave you The Versatile Blogger Award today. Check out my blog!

  11. Kasey says:

    Absolutely wonderful blog, my husband was also adopted so this resonates with me as well. What people don’t realize is abortion doesn’t just kill one child, it also kills their future children. When I think that my husband’s life could have been taken, and I’d be living without him and my precious children I am so grateful to his birth-mother, and God.

  12. Mary says:

    If you don’t want an abortion, don’t have one. But you have absolutely no right to tell or dictate to other women what they can or cannot do in regards to their own reproductive rights.

  13. Michelle says:

    This story was very moving. To think that by God’s grace you were not only spared for death but able to birth and raise so many beautiful children! Only He should get to decide who lives!

    Two ladies sent me here after I wrote a post about emotions. They said they had read a similar post that you wrote. I need to get to bed so I will have to find it later.(Sorry) but look forward to reading about it!

    Love in Christ,
    Michelle

  14. Stacy McDonald says:

    Mary – would you also defend the “right” for a father to murder his newborn baby? After all, he’s being forced to alter his lifestyle by having to supply care for that child. Isn’t that infringing upon his rights? Why do you care about the supposed reproductive “rights” of adult women, but ignore the rights of women under the age of birth to even live? Apparently it’s ok to mercilessly tear them from limb to limb without concerning yourself with their “right” not to be murdered.

    You see, nobody has the “right” to murder another person. God gives us all the right to live. We are made in His image and we have value because of that.

    So, you are wrong – I do have the right to tell other women they cannot lawfully murder their own child. The state doesn’t have the “right” to tell her it’s ok. They are overstepping their bounds and violating the law of God.

  15. Kathryn says:

    While I am not pro-abortion you hint that your wife’s birth mother knew that she had spina bifida BEFORE she was born. There were no ultrasounds or tests that would have provided such information in the 60′s. I think that leaving out such details makes your argument for having such children misleading and a little shaky.

  16. The powerful hand of God can been see trough all your life, how He has protected you and taken you to the place where you are now, so you can serve Him.

    How do you preach about abortion and similars in a FIC? I think we should protect the innocence of children as long as we can. How do you talk about those things if they are sitting with you? Our children sit with us during the sermon, and sometimes I worry the pastor is going to say something that is not appropiate for their ages -7 and 3-. I just hope it will go over their heads, but i cannot really know how much my oldest can understand.

  17. Stacy McDonald says:

    Hi Kathryn – My husband wrote this article, but it is my blog; so, I’ll answer you. My husband never hinted that my birth mother knew that I had Spina Bifida before I was born. I’m trying to understand where you got that impression.

    He did say:

    Such a formula [(HL + CS) * NE = QL] was used by Children’s Hospital of Oklahoma, in Oklahoma City from 1977 to 1982 to evaluate children born with Spina Bifida. During this period, 24 children were determined to be better off dead. And they were left to die.

    His point was that people actually allowed live babies (with Spina Bifida) to die from neglect because they weren’t deemed worthy to live. Similar justifications are given for abortion, but people act like this would NEVER happen to babies already born…even though it has happened to people who were born like me. These children weren’t evaluated in the womb through ultrasound – this atrocity happened after they were born. Though, either way, it is murder.

  18. Joanna Donahue says:

    Hello~

    I had an ultrasound of our 6th child this past November. We found out that our son had anencephaly. It is a fatal birth defect in which the skull bone never forms over the brain. The brain tissue that was there had been exposed to amniotic fluid the whole time. He also had a heart defect and signs of neurological problems. When the perinatologist told me that the baby would not survive he immediately said that there was nothing wrong with carrying our son full term…he encouraged it! He said that if we chose the carry the baby full term we would totally be supported by the staff at the hospital. Our midwife was the same way~ she was such a strong support to me during the pregnancy. The pediatrician who worked with the hospice group that helped us told me verbally and gave me an article that had research that showed that women in my situation who carried their babies full term were able to handle the the whole circumstance better than women who had abortions. No other doctor or nurse questioned why I would want to carry my child to term who was doomed to die. When we delivered in February my midwife and the hospital staff treated us and our son that ended up being stillborn with great respect and care.

    I couldn’t imagine going through this difficult time with doctors and nurses telling us to abort our baby and not supporting us with our decisions.

    Praise God that there are those in medical practice who encourage life even though the life is short.

  19. Jennifer says:

    Some women choose not to carry it to term because it would be incredibly painful. One woman I know had an ectopic pregnancy and, I think, may have chosen to induce an early birth since she knew the baby would die and that carrying it further would kill her too. The pain she and her husband felt was unimaginable, and the cruelty and nasty judgementalism she received from some people was almost demonic.

  20. Stacy McDonald says:

    Jennifer –

    I am not Catholic, but I think the Catholic Church has a good position on this HERE.

    “The Church has taught that if one is treating the “diseased tissue” (the fallopian tube) which if left alone will burst – killing both the mother and the baby – then a salpingectomy is permissible. Why? Because the intent is not to abort the fetus, but to treat the diseased tissue which will end up killing both mother and baby if left in place. The intent is not abortion, rather it is to perform a medically necessary surgery to save the mother’s life. In this case it is not an abortion and should not be referred to as one. Sometimes drugs are used to kill the wrongly placed fetus and an abortion then follows – this is immoral and not allowed under any circumstances.”

  21. Stacy McDonald says:

    Joanna – Thank you for sharing your story. Praise the Lord your son was honored and loved, and that your family glorified God by accepting the precious gift from His hand, as painful as it was to lose him.

  22. Jennifer says:

    That sounds interesting, Stacy. Praise God that sometimes there are other options. I rechecked the details, and my friend had been bleeding profusely from the detached fetus, among other dangerous symptoms. She was a nurse herself, and after much prayer, extra counsel and grief, the decision was made to induce the birth, knowing they’d both die otherwise (the baby would die for certain in any case). The intent was not to kill the baby, but they knew survival was unlikely, and the affect of delivering their silent daughter was heart-shattering. It’s tragic indeed when an induced birth is the only option.

  23. Stacy McDonald says:

    That is heartbreaking. But I would not call that an abortion. If the baby was detached, she could not survive that way; it sounds like delivering the baby was the only option for either of them.

  24. Jennifer says:

    Oh, it definitely wasn’t an abortion; I thought of it because of the topic of not carrying to full term. Sorry if I was confusing.

  25. Tracy says:

    This touched my heart. So many things here were very close to home to me. Thank you for sharing. You have a wonderful testimony to the awesome grace and mercy of our God.

  26. Jenna says:

    What an amazing testimony of God’s grace! This definitely touched my heart. While I may disagree with your views on baptism and eschatology, I consider you a sister in Christ and have found encouragement on your blog many times. Abortion angers me SO much. I just keep thinking how we are in the days where good is called evil and evil is called good (Isaiah 5:20)

  27. Mrs. McDonald,
    I am 14-year-old young woman living in SC, and I cannot tell you just how much I have appreciated this post. It has helped me write a speech on abortion (I delivered it publicly as well) and it also has helped me realize just how wrong abortion really is, and not just that is “wrong” but WHY it is wrong (thanks for the link, A Girl’s Testimony!!!). My friends and I now are talking a lot about we can help prevent abortion. Thanks for your ALL your posts–it is helping me to grow stronger in the Lord and also is helping to train me up in the way I should go!!!! My parents are very pleased that this is the kind of thing I’m doing on the internet! :) God bless and thank you for this eye-opening post!!!!! With Joy in the Lord, ~Emily Elizabeth Rose~

  28. Renee Stam says:

    what a beautiful post!!!! Ps I love the new look!!!

  29. Ron says:

    I added myself to follow your blog. You are more than welcome to visit mine and become a follower if you want to.

    God Bless You :-)

    ~Ron

  30. Ivy says:

    Stacy, I hope everything is ok over there. We haven’t heard from you in a while…

  31. Between the annihilating fierceness of personal ambition and those who clutter its path, there is only one possible mediator, and that is love.

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