Sermons

Summary: We are all precious to Jesus and each human life is worth something.

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It is a few minutes before 11 a.m. when Harrison raps on the door of his operating room and walks in.

His Fayetteville Women’s Clinic occupies a once-elegant home dating to the 1940s; the first-floor surgery looks like it was a parlor. Thick blue curtains block the windows and paintings of butterflies and flowers hang on the walls. The radio is tuned to an easy-listening station.

An 18-year-old with braces on her teeth is on the operating table, her head on a plaid pillow, her feet up in stirrups, her arms strapped down at her sides. A pink blanket is draped over her stomach. She’s 13 weeks pregnant, at the very end of the first trimester. She hasn’t told her parents.

A nurse has already given her a local anesthetic, Valium and a drug to dilate her cervix; Harrison prepares to inject Versed, a sedative, in her intravenous line. The drug will wipe out her memory of everything that happens during the 20 minutes she’s in the operating room. It’s so effective that patients who return for a follow-up exam often don’t recognize Harrison.

The doctor is wearing a black turtleneck, brown slacks and tennis shoes. He snaps his gum as he checks the monitors displaying the patient’s pulse rate and oxygen count.

"This is not going to be nearly as hard as you anticipate," he tells her.

She smiles wanly. Keeping up a constant patter — he asks about her brothers, her future birth control plans, whether she’s good at tongue twisters — Harrison pulls on sterile gloves.

"How’re you doing up there?" he asks.

"Doing OK."……."Good girl."

Harrison glances at an ultrasound screen frozen with an image of the fetus taken moments before. Against the fuzzy black-and-white screen, he sees the curve of a head, the bend of an elbow, the ball of a fist.

"You may feel some cramping while we suction everything out," Harrison tells the patient.

A moment later, he says: "You’re going to hear a sucking sound."

The abortion takes two minutes. The patient lies still and quiet, her eyes closed, a few tears rolling down her cheeks. The friend who has accompanied her stands at her side, mutely stroking her arm.

When he’s done, Harrison performs another ultrasound. The screen this time is blank but for the contours of the uterus. "We’ve gotten everything out of there," he says.

As the nurse drops the instruments in the sink with a clatter, the teenager looks around, woozy.

"It was a lot easier than I thought it would be," she says. "I thought it would be horrible, but it wasn’t. The procedure, that is."

She is not yet sure, she says, how she is doing emotionally. She feels guilty, sad and relieved, all in a jumble.

"There’s things wrong with abortion," she says. "But I want to have a good life. And provide a good life for my child." To keep this baby now, she says, when she’s single, broke and about to start college, "would be unfair."

Sanctity of Human Life

On January 22, 1973 the United States Supreme Court handed down its famous Roe vs. Wade decision which unleashed death and destruction to the unborn. By a vote of 7-2 they declared that abortion was a constitutional right. This January marked the 23rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the dreadful Supreme Court decision that found this "right to privacy" in the Constitution and used that right to legalize abortion-on-demand. Human dignity was dealt a horrendous blow. Some 50 million babies have died since that ruling was handed down. Today, however, the stakes are higher. We’re not talking about taking the lives of 50 million kids, as horrible as that is. We’re talking about creating the lives of 50 million kids—and then killing them, ostensibly for the good of humanity. Supposedly, we have created life for our own purposes.


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