An unborn baby's heart begins to beat eighteen days after conception, and his fingerprints are completely established during the fourth week of development in his mother's womb. He sucks his thumb seven weeks after conception; and sometime between nine and ten weeks, this preborn wonder squints, swallows, and moves his tongue. At the moment of conception, every piece of his genetic puzzle is in place — a miraculous blueprint of life.
Using modern scientific advancements such as high-resolution ultrasound imaging, Scripture's absolute accuracy can be demonstrated. As a weaver knows his every stitch, as a seamstress purposefully fashions a beautiful garment — God's creation is wonderful and whole even while our form is hidden.
Many pro-life leaders cite improvements in ultrasound technology and increased accessibility to the machines as key reasons for a growing awareness that abortion takes a human life in every instance.
"If wombs had windows, people would be much more reticent to abort babies because they would be forced to confront the evident humanity of the baby from very early gestation onward," ERLC President Richard Land says, explaining that sonograms provide such a window into the womb.
"Pregnant mothers who see their babies on sonograms are going to be far more likely to carry their baby to term," Land continues. "These ultrasound machines will save babies' lives."
Nearly 100 percent of the women in crisis pregnancies who are given a glimpse of the life within them chose life, but this is only possible when women can go to a pregnancy resource center with an ultrasound machine. Yet Shari Richard, a sonographer and founder of Sound Wave Images, an ultrasound education group, estimates that less than 10 percent of all centers across the U.S. have access to ultrasound technology and a trained operator. Sonogram machines are expensive and most crisis pregnancy centers do not have the funds to buy the equipment or have a medical expert on staff to 'read' the output.
There are many ways to be a Champion for Life, not the least of which is providing a woman in a crisis pregnancy a "window" into the world of the child she is carrying. This is the intent of the Psalm 139 Project — to aid pregnancy care centers in securing ultrasound machines.
"Increased access to ultrasound technology promises to reduce teenage pregnancies and abortions and to provide women with the information and support to make an informed decision," Richard says. "From my own statistics showing a 90 percent decreased rate of abortion with the use of ultrasound, this is an extremely effective means of reducing crisis pregnancies and changing hearts."
Simply put, it's all about saving lives.
Southern Baptists can help outfit centers with ultrasound machines. One hundred percent of the gifts to the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission for the Psalm 139 Project will go to evangelistically oriented centers. Gifts are tax-deductible and should be sent to the Psalm 139 Project, c/o ERLC, 901 Commerce St., Nashville, TN 37203. An acknowledgment and proper accounting of gifts will be provided. For more information, contact the ERLC at (800) 475-9127.
Dwayne Hastings is Vice-President for Print & Interactive Communications for the ERLC. He can be reached at (615) 782-8412 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.