Light in Darkness

    Recently, doctors at St. George's Hospital in London took a major step beyond the traditional black-and- white ultrasound. The old technique revealed the internal organs of a developing fetus, but a new device shows the baby's face -- with all its human emotions. Images are in full color and four dimensions; that is, three spatial dimensions plus time. In their July 6th segment called, "Womb With a View," ABC News showed a baby in the seventh month of gestation. The report said, "Waving arms, kicking feet -- and . . . you can see a seven-month fetus yawning." And smiling. The picture provides what ABC called "a window parents have never had, and an early opportunity to bond." Well, so far, there's only a handful of Voluson 730 ultrasound machines in the U.S., located at screening centers. But the message here is powerful and provides dramatic support for the biblical view of life. Look at the 4-D ultrasound images on TV, in prints, or on the Internet. Does this look like a blob of fetal tissue to you? Are those yawns and smiles coming from inert matter or from a person -- someone who is fully human and fully alive? In previous broadcasts I've told you about Dr. Bernard Nathanson, who was once the director of the world's largest abortion clinic. He honestly thought he was helping women whenever he and his medical team performed an abortion. But when he became Chief of Obstetrical Services at a New York hospital, he monitored heartbeats and other bodily functions electronically. He observed that the waveforms on the monitors were the same for the fetus in the womb as for the infant outside. And suddenly, with great anguish, he realized that he had presided over the deaths of more than seventy-five thousand children. He became a convert to the pro-life cause, and later to Christianity. In his powerful book, Aborting America, Dr. Nathanson says, "The most obvious change at birth is breathing, as the lungs are galvanized into activity . . . The routing of the blood in the circulatory system," he says, "and the intake of nutrients, and the outgo of wastes are shifted. All other functions of the newborn baby, even crying, may occur within the womb. . . . In terms of metabolism, biochemistry, brain and heart function, and almost everything else, birth is an insignificant event . . . The organism is put into a different physiological milieu -- and nothing more." Dr. Nathanson says the move from life in the womb to life after birth is "like switching from A.C. to D.C. current; the energy connection changes, but the basic mechanics remain the same." This is an important and exciting analysis, but it's no surprise. It's merely confirmation from science of what the Bible has always said: that life is sacred. And now, looking at that four-dimensional, color ultrasound of the baby in the womb can be eye-opening for those who need to be convinced. What some have downplayed as a "product of conception" is a living human being, with promise, potential, and the right to live. I, for one, am delighted by this new "window" on the life of the unborn child. As the Scripps-Howard motto says, it's a way to "give light" so people can find their way to God's truth. For further information: ABC News. "Womb with a View," July 6, 2001. Nathanson, Bernard, M.D. Aborting America. Toronto: Life Cycle Books, 1979. Previous BreakPoints about Dr. Nathanson: "A Pushy God," Apr 4, 1996. "The Ultimate Victory," Dec 11, 1996. "Life and Death Decisions," Apr 25, 2000.


Chuck Colson


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