Medicine & Science

A time to be born

I brought my nine-year-old nephew, Joshua, home with me yesterday. He is going to spend the next four days playing with his cousins. This is really an act of bravery on my part because Joshua is one hundred percent energy. He has been this way ever since he was born. He would climb anything that didn’t move before he had even hit his first birthday, and seemed to fear nothing. His fearlessness is one my of my favorite things about him. I am in awe at his love for life, And I shudder to think how close he came to not having one.

It was ten years ago when my sister, Anita, called to tell me that her doctor had put her on birth control, using Norplant. I understood what led her to make this choice, yet my spirit cried out in protest. I knew that it had not been easy for her and her husband, Joe, for the past two and a half years. Anita and Joe had been high-school sweethearts and married quite young. They became pregnant with their first daughter, Kimberly Renee, soon after they said “I do.” Megan Beth came the following year. With two babies in diapers and money tight, Anita and Joe decided to look into birth control options. Norplant seemed to be the solution. It’s just a small device inserted under the skin with no worries, or so they thought.

Though I had strong feelings about birth control, I knew that I could not just force this on my little sister. So I began to pray that God would intervene, and nearly a month later Anita and I talked again. She shared with me that she had not been feeling well. She was having terrible menstrual cramps, and her periods were extremely difficult. I did not know much about the side effects of Norplant, but I suspected that this was the cause of her problems. She asked her doctor who had implanted the device about her symptoms. He reassured her that these were only temporary.  Soon, other health problems began to appear, not disappear! Anita began to struggle with depression. I asked Anita to please consider having Norplant removed. She still wasn’t convinced.

Days later, while channel surfing, I stopped on a cable show when I heard the words Norplant. This immediately caught my attention, and what I learned over the next thirty minutes grieved me. The panel of speakers were talking about abortifacient birth control, a term that I was not familiar with. These are forms of birth control that not only stop a pregnancy from occurring, but also have the added capability of aborting a baby if one is “accidentally” conceived. Norplant was one of them. I knew that Anita was not aware of these facts, and that her Christian beliefs would not stand for it. I was right.

If there is even the slightest chance that I might harm a baby, then I want this out now!

Anita and Joe had chosen their doctor because he professed to be a Christian, assuring them that he was pro-life. Anita made a visit to see him immediately. She asked him if he knew that Norplant had the capability to cause a baby to be aborted, if one was conceived, by not allowing the baby to implant in the womb. He said yes, but that the chances of this occurring were small, only about a one in a hundred. Anita was furious. “I came to you because your practice claims to be pro-life! If there is even the slightest chance that I might harm a baby, then I want this out now!” She would not take no for an answer. The doctor finally agreed to remove it.

In the very next month, Joshua was conceived. Seeing God’s timing in this, Anita and Joe rejoiced. Just think how close they came to never having their only son! On the day after Joshua was born, the doctor who had removed the Norplant from Anita’s arm, was making rounds on the maternity ward. He was to be the one who discharged her from the hospital. This was the first time Anita had seen him since the incident over the Norplant. He asked to talk to her. A bit apprehensive, Anita agreed. “I just wanted to tell you that after you and I talked, my colleagues and I had a meeting and agreed that if we were going to make a pro-life stand, then we had to do it all the way. We no longer offer abortificient birth control methods to our clients. Thank you for helping us to see this.” Anita called me, and we praised God together over His divine intervention.

Anita’s health problems disappeared shortly after she had the Norplant removed, though she still has a major scar on her arm where the device use to be.

Joshua loves Jesus with the same intensity that he lives life. I know without a doubt that he was born for such a time as this. Look out world, here he comes!

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About the author

Laura Ashley

Laura Ashley is a pro-life writer and speaker from Blanco, Tex. She and her husband are church pastors and have eight children.