bu Judy Rice
Clash Daily Guest contributor
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are LIFE, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” –The Declaration of Independence.
Isn’t it interesting that our Founding Fathers thought it important to mention LIFE first when they listed a few of our unalienable rights? I suspect they considered LIFE the most important unalienable right. They felt the need to write and state what seemed self-evident or obvious to the general population at the time the Declaration was written. They felt the need to state that these rights should never be taken away from us because they are obviously given to us by our Creator. Yet today we hear discussion after discussion about when it is ok to destroy an innocent human life. Is that ever ok even at the most microscopic level? I suspect our founders didn’t seem to think so.
I wasn’t always 150% pro-life. When I was younger, if I would have gotten pregnant my story might be much different. I was born and raised in a strict Catholic family that was very well respected. The thought of disappointing my father might have been reason enough for me to get rid of my child and hope I was never found out. I am sure I would have been very confused and frightened and may have very easily acted out of desperation. Not sure what I would have done and I thank God I was never put in a position where I had to decide then.
I can assure you this isn’t your typical pro-life article. A mother going to an abortion clinic to take the life of her unborn child is a horrible thing. What about those thousands of babies that are dying simply by a parent checking a box?
My triplets were conceived by invitro-fertilization. Recently, a friend asked for my opinion about the IVF to conceive a child as a Christian. Notice with many issues how we never clarify our view on something until the thing directly affects our lives or the life of someone we love?
When my triplets were conceived, we had six embryos that were fertilized. Three were put back inside of me to grow and three were frozen. My “extra babies” were frozen after they were growing for five days in the lab. That is typically how it works. Frozen cycles are far less intrusive and expensive than the “fresh cycle” they just experienced. I know several people who have conceived this way and believe me; no one ever gets upset or even doubts for one second that those frozen embryos are indeed human life. Nobody ever says, “Yeah! I can’t wait to see what those embryos will grow up to be! Maybe we just conceived a tree?” It is clearly understood that they are human babies. Frozen embryos are highly coveted and considered a bonus!
To keep embryos frozen, you have to pay an annual fee. Our fee started out at $200, but when my kids were five years old we received a notice that the fee is now $600.00. At this point in our lives, we are finally starting to breathe. My kids were starting full day kindergarten in the fall. We made it! My husband and I clearly said, “No more kids!” at least a thousand times.
My heart sunk to the floor when I saw the bill and I felt physically ill. I don’t recall the exact words that were on the bill. The choices were the same but I was reading them differently that year. Pay the bill or check one of the boxes which included: Killing my babies or giving them up to research and letting someone else use them for a time and then kill them. The research box was very confusing to me. What kind of research? Are my babies still going to die or be implanted in someone or something else? We could also put them up for adoption.
Now my three embryos were five years old. They had faces! How on earth can I kill their siblings? I knew instantly that I couldn’t. In fact, I wouldn’t. If my husband disagreed with me, I was willing to forge his signature so the babies could at the very least be adopted and have a chance at life. My husband understood immediately that we couldn’t kill the babies, but he told me to look into putting them up for adoption.
I did that, but soon realized, that I can’t live with that either. I pictured a 20 year old knocking on my door to meet his or her biological parents some day and ask us the dreaded question, “Why didn’t you want me?” I couldn’t imagine telling my three that they have siblings that they never met. The fact that the infertility clinic could have just as easily chosen one of the other “viable embryos” to put in me and I wouldn’t be looking at Jillian, or Spencer or Derek at that moment broke my heart too. So I pleaded my case. I pulled at my husband’s “heartstrings” a bit. He thought I was out of my mind at first, but shortly after agreed with me. We weren’t too poor or too old to have more children and we knew it was our responsibility to care for these three babies too.
We did the procedure again and this time one of our babies died right away and the other two were transferred into me and shortly after they died too. I cried as if I knew them my whole life. I know they were alive for only a short time and I know I will meet them some day.
My kids know they have three siblings in Heaven too. They don’t doubt it for a second. Notice how much smarter kids are about some things than adults. Kids get it. It is simple. Adults try to convince themselves that an embryo or fetus isn’t a human life. How did we get so “dumbed” down?
Our founding generation knew the Right to Life was self-evident and obvious! How far we have strayed when we are deeming a life “inconvenient or unwanted” because the baby doesn’t fit our perception of what a “good life” looks like for us. Frozen embryos and fetuses have faces! They are innocent human life and they deserve a chance to live the LIFE their Creator gave them.
Judy Rice is the proud mother of teenage triplets, Jillian, Spencer and Derek and wife to Gary, one of the most loving, hardworking, honorable men in the world. She is a Christian who is a huge fan of traditional marriage, freedom, and is pro- life to the core. She has a Masters in Counseling from DePaul University in Chicago and a Bachelors degree in Communications from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Before kids, she worked as a counselor, advisor and teacher at the university level. She clarified her world view in her thirties and believes her most valuable education continues to come from reading the Bible, reading in general, listening, paying attention and participating in meaningful communication wherever it occurs.