In a valley between two mountains lies a small village. In this modest village lives a man known throughout the area for his wisdom. He knows when it rains, and thus when the village should plant crops. He can predict the frost, and thus when crops should be harvested. He knows how to treat illness and prevent impending illness. Being so well respected, people travel from near and far to seek his advice and counsel. People bring questions and the wise man provides them answers. In this village, a young man is struggling to find his place in the world. Internally, he is suffering. He has, in his mind, not proven his value and worth. He struggles for the respect of others. In frustration, he decides to challenge the wise man, believing if he defeats the village’s most respected person, he will take the wise man’s glory and respect. The young man crafts a plan and shares it with his friends. He says, “I will take a baby bird in my hands and offer it to the great man of knowledge. I will ask the wise man two questions. “What do I have in my hands?” and “Is it alive or dead?” The young man’s challenge was in the second question. “Is the bird alive or dead?” The young man tells his friends that should the wise man answer ‘alive’, the young man will crush the bird to death with his hands and throw in on the ground. Conversely, if the wise man answers that the bird is dead, the boy shares that he will open his hands and let the bird fly free. The boy, pleased with the reaction of his friends, and sensing victory, travels through the village to the wise man’s hut.
Along the way, a crowd of followers gathers. Upon arrival, the wise man graciously acknowledges the young boy and encourages him to speak. With defiance, the young adolescent thrusts the bird held within his closed hands before the man and asks – “What do I have in my hands?” The wise man looks at the boy’s hands and says “Why, you have a baby bird in your hands.” With this answer the boy defiantly asks, “Is it alive or dead?” The wise man reflectively locks eyes with the troubled young man and then looking down into the young man’s hands and back into the young man’s eyes replies “Why, that answer lies in your hands.”
Today, whether that which is in a woman’s womb is a living person or not is totally in the hands of the mother. Let me explain:
Here are two women who are both three months pregnant. The first woman decides she wants to end her pregnancy. So she goes to a doctor and gets an abortion. In the eyes of the law this is not a murder because that which was in the womb was not a living person (but a fetus) based solely upon the fact that the mother “didn’t” want it. The second woman decides she wants to continue her pregnancy. But that same day she is fatally shot in the womb and the shooter is charged with murder because that which was in the womb was a living person (not a fetus) based solely on the fact that the mother “did” want it.
Thank you to all of our new mothers for not legally taking life but lovingly giving it. You deserve a hand.