Thursday, April 30, 2015


Fifty years ago today, LIFE published Lennart Nilsson’s photo essay “Drama of Life Before Birth”.  The issue sold out within days.

The images publicly revealed for the first time what a developing child looks like, and in the process raised pointed new questions about when life begins.  All but one of the infants pictured were photographed outside the womb and had been removed—or aborted—“for a variety of medical reasons,” in a Stockholm hospital.

For fifty years, we've done our best to deny the humanity of the pre-born.  We've refused to acknowledge the interdependency of mother and child, that two lives are entwined, and that there are difficult choices to make while considering both of them.

Rather than inquire of science or ethics, pro-choice activists insist that there is no child until birth; even moments before, it is just a fetus and not a child.

The pro-life side has but few answers for the reality of an unintended or dangerous pregnancy and the burden of bearing that child.

How might the tragedy be averted?  How might the unintended pregnancy be avoided in the larger social venue?

"In time, it’s going to be impossible to deny that abortion is violence against children. Future generations, as they look back, are not necessarily going to go easy on ours. Our bland acceptance of abortion is not going to look like an understandable goof. In fact, the kind of hatred that people now level at Nazis and slave-owners may well fall upon our era. Future generations can accurately say, “It’s not like they didn’t know.” They can say, “After all, they had sonograms.” They may consider this bloodshed to be a form of genocide. They might judge our generation to be monsters."  ~ Frederica Mathewes-Green