What is a life worth?
By Kendra Miller
In the battle over a woman’s right to choose whether or not a child she carries has the right to live, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of thought given to the possible value of the life that is taken.
Ask a young couple who has been trying to conceive for years about the value of an unborn child. Considering that one round of in vitro fertilization runs somewhere between $12,000-$15,000, plus another $5,000-$9,000 for medications, a couple could spend almost $25,000 dollars trying to conceive what another woman has deemed a worthless inconvenience. In most cases, this is paid for by the couple because only a handful of states require the cost to be covered by insurance.
If they have to go through multiple rounds of in vitro, the cost only escalates, not to mention the emotional toll it takes on them when they discover month after month, that their attempts have been unsuccessful.
Choosing to adopt a child can be equally pricey, depending on the child’s country of origin and the type of agency used. A private adoption can run anywhere from $20,000 to $40,000 or more.
Suppose the child who is aborted could have grown up to cure cancer or Alzheimer’s, write a symphony or best-selling book, or create some incredible work of art? It is impossible to put a price on that loss, but with a different choice, that child could have affected an unlimited number of people.
While the fetal heartbeat law in Iowa has been struck down by the courts as unconstitutional, the state recognized that life begins at conception. Contrast this law against the one recently passed in New York state, which allows a baby’s life to be terminated based on a medical professional’s “reasonable and good faith professional judgment based on the facts of the patient’s case” or if “the patient is within twenty-four weeks [six months] from the commencement of pregnancy, or there is an absence of fetal viability, or the abortion is necessary to protect the patient’s life or health.” They are very different approaches to the value of life.
And yet neither comes anywhere close to what the Bible says about the creation of life in Psalm 139:13-16: “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”
The Creator knows that each life has value, even if politicians and others do not share that belief about the unborn. To borrow a tagline from a well-known ad campaign: The value of the unborn?
Kendra Miller is a writer and editor based in Maryland. She has a passion for seeing women reach their full potential and is involved in the mentoring ministry at her church.