This is Not a Fetus

I know a very lovely woman who is sweet and compassionate and well-educated. She loves her children and she loves Jesus, and although her and I do not agree on some things politically, we can still be sociable. She is wonderful to talk to. Her kids are sweet, and she has a knack for always saying something nice, just the thing you need to hear, when you see her. She is still accepting of my f-bombs on social media, meaning she still hasn’t blocked me or hidden me like some of my “friends” and family members (I see y’all. I see you. Please just delete me!) But there is one thing that we are very, very far apart on, and that is the topic of abortion.

To be fair, I have never had a conversation on the topic with her. I just know, from social media, that she is anti-abortion. She knows, I assume, that I am pro-choice. And both of us just take the higher road, which is something I wish I could say for a lot more people. But alas, life isn’t so much about open discussions anymore, as much as it is about “being right,” and that is sad and a bit scary.

Having said all of this, I have to share a picture that I came across the other day from her newsfeed. She was explaining that her church, or a local church maybe not hers, made a mobile clinic to go to the rural areas in the counties near them and do ultrasounds, and pregnancy tests, and discuss options with women. And honestly, I support that. I know there are a ton of woman, a lot of them young, a lot of them scared. A lot of them in need of some kind of support, and this might be the key to helping them. Some might just stop in to get a free pregnancy test and a hug, some might just to see their baby on the screen. Some might still go to a local abortion clinic, some might choose “the word of God” like they promise. Either way, it seems it is one more thing that is helping women who might need it. It is a group taking action. And there is an awful lot of talk and no action these days. But they have done something that angers me so much when it comes to anti-abortion propaganda. They have misrepresented a fetus.

Now am I more offended by this because I had a baby who was not anatomically correct? Probably. My daughter was born with half a heart, half a brain, a severe cleft palate rendering her unable to eat, and her intestines formed outside of her body. So yeah, this is a touchy subject for me. But, this is something that anti-abortion people do to make women feel bad for even considering abortion. And they wonder why people react like I do when I talk to them. Let me share the picture.

These are not actual representations of a fetus, and we have to stop pretending like they are. You see that 12-week embryo/fetus there? That is not what your 12-week-old gestational baby looks like, because there is no such thing as a 12-week-old gestational baby. See that 16-week-old “baby,” that is not an accurate depiction of a 16-week-old gestational “baby.” That is not what your 22-week-old baby looks like. Ask me how I know what a 22-week-old fetus looks like…

I understand wanting to get women thinking about embryos and fetuses like babies, but give us some credit here, y’all. Give us some damn credit. And we will try to give y’all a little bit of grace. I know you think you’re doing God’s work here. But so do we. The difference is, we aren’t being deceptive.

I don’t know what I am suggesting, other than to get rid of these damn dolls and speak truth. Real medical science. Listen to the women. Don’t just push your agenda. And remember, remember above all else, no one is keeping score here. You don’t get extra points for “saving a baby,” but imagine how satisfying it could be to save the life of a teen girl who got herself into a really bad situation and you are her only hope out.

Think. Love. Act. But most importantly love, regardless of anything.

M.

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