Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The beginning of "Life": what it is NOT (part 2)

Yesterday we saw "the rules," so to speak. But what makes the rules work is the facts.

Let's take a look at miscarriages. They happen all the time, and most of the time, the woman did not even know she was pregnant yet. The American Pregnancy Association's web site says "10-25% of all clinically recognized pregnancies will end in miscarriage." According to,
Sources vary, but many estimate that approximately 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage; and some estimates are as high as 1 in 3. If you include loss that occurs before a positive pregnancy test, some estimate that 40% of all conceptions result in loss.
They happen all the time.

Please don't think I'm dismissing the profound loss that a miscarriage can be -- I'm merely pointing out how common they are. (Cancer happens all the time too, this does not mean we should stop caring about it or that it doesn't suck when it happens to you or someone you love.)

We don't talk about miscarriage, though. Often, this is something the woman bears on her own, without any help or support. She mourns privately not because it's a "private" matter, but because it's not "okay" to talk about these things.

Miscarriages are much more likely to happen in the first 12-13 weeks, so doctors tell pregnant women not to tell family and friends about the pregnancy yet, in case something goes wrong.

Yes, because when a woman loses her potential child*, she should go through that alone, without the love and support of her family and friends. Seriously, people, where's the logic in that?

But enough of the tangential rant, back to the topic at hand: miscarriages, sadly, are very common.

I don't know about your God, but my God is not stupid. He's a pretty smart guy, pulling off that whole "creating the ENTIRE UNIVERSE" thing and all. Set the whole thing up to work like clockwork (you know, with evolution and all? If you don't believe me, go read some science stuff. Are you going to tell me all that happened BY ACCIDENT?) I happen to think pretty highly of God. He's done some impressive stuff.

So why in the world would he make "Life" begin at conception, when so many of those fertilized (conceived) eggs are going to "die"?

If "Life" were to begin at conception, then God would have to give each one of those fertilized eggs a soul. And then He kills them, weeks later? Like, just for fun?


I don't buy that. My God is neither that stupid, nor that sadistic. (Maybe yours is... and if that's the case, then you have much bigger problems to deal with than the reproductive rights debate.)
Jeremiah 1:5 "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations."
Notice how it says "before I formed you in the womb": before conception. This has nothing to do with the science and the multiplying mass of cells, because God is bigger than that.

He is the Alpha and the Omega, after all. He knew you before He created the heavens and the earth. He knows what will happen to each and every pregnancy. He's not going to send souls -- Lives -- to die in a miscarriage. It just doesn't make any sense that He would make "Life" begin at conception, when so many of those "Lives" are going to end before we even knew they had begun.

Before He formed me in the womb, He knew me. He knew what path my life would take, He knew what challenges would present themselves to me. He knew what choices I would have to make. I strongly believe he gave me the life experiences I've had to help me make the choice I did. I have free will, He gave it to me, but He put certain people and certain experiences in my life to give me the knowledge and understanding I would need to make the decision that was best for me.

Do I know I'm right? No. I'm not arrogant enough to assume I know what God's thinking. Given all the evidence He has left for me, I have a pretty good idea of what He would be okay with me doing. I'm not going to know until I get up to the Pearly Gates and ask if my name is on that list, or on the other one.

This is one of the reasons why I want to leave the options open: those of us who think like I do, are free to make that choice. Those who do not think like I do, are free to make a different choice.

Politically, though, I know I'm right. Because not everyone reads the same Bible I do, or understands it the same way I do; so we need to leave the options open. Women deserve to make the choice for themselves, not based on someone else's interpretation of a book they may not even believe in.

*Some might think I'm contradicting myself, but I'm not. I'll explain tomorrow.

1 comment:


    I was visiting my grandmother's Episcopal church one Sunday a long time ago, and I remember the priest talking about God matching souls to bodies. I wish I could remember what the rest of the sermon was about, but the gist was definitely that souls are given to people once they are living; i.e. once they are born. I think that was the first time I'd heard a Christian way of looking at conception and birth that "made sense" to me.

    You have a wonderful mind, it seems - you are able to really think outside the box and think analytically with great attention to detail. Every single one of your arguments in both of the "where life begins" posts have made a tremendous deal of sense, and yet they are explained in ways I never would have thought of before.