“It is a poverty that a ‘child must die’, so that you may live as you wish...” – Mother Teresa

“For behold as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy.” – Bible

Joe and Janice married a couple of years ago and were looking forward to becoming parents soon. Janice had a difficult time becoming pregnant, and her pregnancy itself was a little rough. But they were thinking positive and hoping and praying and believing everything would be OK.

Then their doctor called them into her office with a note of urgency and concern in her voice. Recent tests indicated that the baby had some problems that could be life-threatening to the baby and to the mother.

The options for Joe and Janice were to continue the pregnancy recognizing the associated significant dangers, terminate the pregnancy now or try a new but uncertain experimental treatment that might work but also had possible serious side effects.

Their doctor was pushing for early termination because of the danger to the mother from the other two options and because, if the child was born, it could have serious birth defects and/or developmental disabilities.

Joe and Janice had always believed that life begins at conception and opposed abortion whenever the subject came up. But their pro-life stance did not have a lot thought behind it. They knew the Bible talked about a baby in the womb of Mary and hence affirmed that life certainly exists before birth.

They also knew that one of the Ten Commandments says “Thou shalt not kill.” However, they also believed in capital punishment, and even the Bible condones people being put to death for various reasons.

After giving this some thought, they concluded that capital punishment penalizes someone who has committed an egregious crime against society. A baby in the womb has committed no crime and, hence, can’t deserve any kind of punishment.

So the baby in Janice’s womb was a living human being and did not deserve to die. They also realized that society goes to extreme measures to save the lives of people who have been born; shouldn’t the same consideration be given to those people not yet born?

They still struggled with the fact that mother and/or baby might die. Was it OK to proceed along a path that might kill two people rather than just one?

Joe and Janice decided their only option in line with their faith in God was to carry the baby to term. They did decide, however, to try the experimental drug.

Both Janice and the baby survived the birth process. The baby had some developmental challenges, but this time of trial strengthened Joe and Janice, and they were looking forward to loving and caring for their child no matter what.

The agonizing that Joe and Janice went through really helped them empathize with others who had gone through the same struggles, even when the decision might be to terminate the pregnancy. They knew how difficult the decision could be, and, even though Joe and Janice chose life, they were able to love and pray for friends and others who chose differently.

President Ronald Reagan had a unique way of explaining things. He said, “Simple morality dictates that unless and until someone can prove the unborn human is not alive, we must give it the benefit of the doubt and assume it is (alive). And, thus, it should be entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

On Jan. 25, 2013, the 40th annual March for Life will be held in Washington, D.C.

This march affirms the following: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all human beings are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, among which is the right to life, and therefore. The right to life of each human being shall be preserved and protected by every human being in the society and by the society as a whole.”

The Family and Marriage Coalition of Aiken Inc. (FAMCO) provides resources for you to succeed in your marriage and families. Roger Rollins, executive director of FAMCO, 640-4689, rogerrollins@aikenfamco.com, www.aikenfamco.com.