The American Vision: A Biblical Worldview Ministry

When is a "Fetus" a Baby?: Twice-Born Macie

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Technology has no morals. Things are not evil in and of themselves (Col. 2:20–23). What people do with the things of this creation is the determining factor. This is certainly true with power (Matt. 10:25; 2 Cor. 1:24) and wealth (1 Tim. 3:3; 6:10; Heb. 13:5). Technological devices do not come with morality tags attached specifying how they should be used. Two men trained as physicians can use their skills to save a life or end a life. David Horowitz writes in his article “When Man Plays God”:

When ultrasound technology (sonogram) became readily available to physicians, it was a boon to the medical profession, which quickly realized its practical applications. Relatively inexpensive, portable and un-invasive, ultrasound scans soon became one of the first tests to be performed in the routine examination of a patient’s heart, liver, lymph nodes, etc.

Women, especially, benefit from sonograms, whose images can identify the causes of pelvic bleeding, menstrual problems, cysts and cancerous cells. And of course the general monitoring of the health of both baby and mother during pregnancy have made the sonogram an invaluable diagnostic tool.

But there is a flip side to this coin—the abuse of ultrasound technology (or of any technology, for that matter).

In societies that are culturally biased against women, the sonogram can lead to eugenics, genocide and murder. In many parts of the Islamic world, for example, the birth of a daughter can bring extreme financial hardship to a family, and the early knowledge of the existence of a female fetus developing inside the womb has led many a couple to either abort the pregnancy or hide knowledge of the pregnancy until birth, whereupon the baby girl was left on some hillside to die of exposure.

In countries with a tradition of honoring the birth of a son and lamenting the birth of a daughter, such as Communist China, the practice of female infanticide has reached new heights. China’s deadly (for females) combination of its one-child policy on the one hand, and a longstanding preference for sons on the other, has led to extremely high abortion rates for girls; as a result, in some regions of the country the living population consists of 120 males for every 100 females.

On the positive side, as Horowitz points out, there are a number of benefits, especially when the subject of abortion comes up. General Electric Medical Systems has developed 3D and 4D imaging. “To create 3D images, an ultrasound system determines the volume of a subject—for example, a baby. The system then reconstructs the image in three dimensions. As for 4D Ultrasound, only the Voluson 730 can gather 3D volumes and instantly reconstruct them into moving images.” The results are amazing.

Technology is a double-edged sword. As history attests, it can be used for both good and evil. For destroying the lives of preborn babies or for healing them. Here’s a story that shows the positive side of advances in fetal surgery techniques that incorporate sonogram imaging. “Just four months into Keri McCartney’s pregnancy, an ultrasound revealed a tumor growing on the baby’s tailbone the size of a grapefruit—nearly as large as the baby herself—that was stealing the baby’s blood and weakening her heart.” In order to remove the tumor, the six-month preborn baby had to be operated on. “Surgeons anesthetized Keri McCartney into a deep sleep in order to make sure the womb did not think the pregnancy was over during the procedure. After finding the right place that would not disturb the placenta, surgeons opened the womb and extracted about 80 percent of Macie Hope’s body, leaving only her head and upper body inside.” Amazing!

These types of procedures, as more people learn about them, could send the abortion industry into economic freefall. Here’s a question for the doctors who operated on baby Macie: Was the “fetus” a baby when you operated on “it”? Throughout one article I read, Macie was continually described as “the fetus.” Why bother with an expensive operation on a “fetus” who is not really a human being until “it” takes a breath? Why weren’t the parents told that at this stage in the pregnancy, the tumor was just as significant as the “the fetus” since they were nothing more than a mass of cells? Some news stories slipped up and called the pre-born Macie a baby. Good for them.

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