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The Sacred Gift of Life

January is Sanctity of Human Life month. I believe this sanctity extends to far more than the pro-life movement. To me, this is not just a political issue, but one that affects our moral fiber because all life is sacred.

With the 45th anniversary of January 1973’s Roe v. Wade abortion decision, I’m sharing the story of a mother-to-be who had two healthy children. This time, however, she was very ill with her pregnancy, vomiting frequently, she steadily got worse. She was struggling to carry this new life, and her doctor sought a “medically necessary” abortion. At that time, three doctors needed to sign documentation indicating the mother’s life was in jeopardy if the pregnancy continued. But no third physician would put his name on the line to allow an abortion.

To me, this is not just a political issue, but one that affects our moral fiber because all life is sacred.

A Cesarean section was performed at 7 months’ gestation, to avoid losing both mother and baby. To everyone's surprise, twin boys were born! After surgery, the mom nearly died from the effects of toxemia (i.e. pre-eclampsia), the result of high blood pressure and the demands on her body by two babies.

With much prayer and great medical care, she pulled through. But the largest twin, only 5 lbs and born with an enlarged heart, died at two days, while the smaller twin (3 1/2 lbs) was placed in an incubator for a month. This tiny preemie survived, albeit with health problems. After living with limited vision for many years, he has been totally blind now for 20 years.

How do I know? The smallest twin is my husband, Edward. We praise God that no third physician was willing to sign for an abortion which would have killed these boys before they were given a chance at life.

At about 18-21 days, the pre-born infant’s heart begins beating. By 12 weeks, she is about 2 inches long, fully formed and recognizably human, able to feel pain. By 14-16 weeks, being fully formed, fingers and toes have fingerprints and nails, he sees and blinks, inhales and exhales amniotic fluid, kicks, may suck a thumb, and sleeps regularly. At full-term, 39 weeks, your baby is ready for life outside the nurturing womb.

How do I know? The smallest twin is my husband, Edward.

Since Roe v. Wade was passed January 22, 1973 allowing legal abortions in the United States, the number of abortions have reached an approximate 58.6 or 59.1 million by 2016 (depending on source). While some data is voluntarily reported, other American states have not provided details in years, so the real number of abortions could be higher than these reported numbers.

To anyone who has aborted a baby for whatever reason: I pray you find peace. I pray too that each precious life be allowed to reach his or her full potential and purpose, regardless of ability. Yet, I realize there are women in situations for whom abortion may truly be necessary. Such personal decisions are difficult and painful. Abortion decisions are often made when parents learn that their pre-born child has a disability. While the stress that parents experience when learning their child will face more challenges in life is understandable, this is tragic. While there can be many difficult scenarios surrounding pregnancy and birth, there is help. Even in our imperfect world, there are alternatives such as adoption. As abortion survivors will tell you, they are very thankful to be alive.

My late cousin Randy, who had an intellectual disability, grew up to be a kind and loving young man thanks to the love of his widowed mother, Marjorie. Despite his disabilities, he knew everything there was to know about his baseball team and the players!

To anyone who has aborted a baby for whatever reason: I pray you find peace.

My step-sister’s son, Cory, was born with DeGeorge syndrome due to a missing part of chromosome 22.  Like many people with disabilities, Cory had an infectious joy for life and an unconditional love for everyone he met, thanks to his mother, Janet.

Despite their disabilities, they were each created uniquely and had a special place in this world for touching the lives of others. Life is sacred, and each pre-born child is a treasured gift from God just waiting for us to open our arms and heart to their life.

As David wrote in Psalm 139:13-16: “…you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”

I wrote this short poem as I was reflecting on precious people like Edward, Cory, and Randy, who I am so grateful to know.

What If…

Linda A. Roorda

What if…

There was no God?

Would we know how to love

Or, would ego rule our lives?

Would we each decide

What laws to live by

Changing like the wind

As our wants wrest control?


Would we violate

The sanctity of life

Simply because

Life would not matter

Except for the worth

We each determine

How best we can serve

Our selfish ambition?


And yet, what if…

Each life among us

Was somehow meant

To open the eyes

Of our heart and soul

To a higher purpose

To show the value

Inherent within

No matter the wrapping?


And what if…

We move toward each other

And then extend

Our outstretched hands?

Would that not show

Great caring and love

From within the depths

Of a heart overflowing?


For is that not like

The hands of One

Extended outward

Nailed upon a beam

To show us how

We too should love

And sacrifice self

Our gift to each other?


Because…what if…

There is a God

Who really cares

And Who truly loves

Each for who we are?

For His life was a gift

That we would know

Just how we should love.

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