The abortion issue has brought into focus the uniqueness of women who are willing to be mothers today compared to 50 years ago. In 2023, many women consider the demands of motherhood to be excessive. Trans advocates are pushing girls to become boys so they do not have to go through childbirth and motherhood. People are correct in saying that women have often been unfairly treated by denying them equal pay or job opportunities. However, abortion is a different issue because it involves another life.
From a scientific and medical standpoint, when a baby is conceived, it is a human being. A woman’s choice has allowed the baby to come into existence. People obey or disobey God’s moral instructions by choice, and whether the baby is allowed to live is another moral choice. Our culture faces a significant moral decision. Will we allow humans to destroy another human whose existence causes unwanted demands?
Abortion rights advocates campaign on the idea that a woman has the right to choose what to do with her body. They consider pregnancy as just a change in her body, not the production of another human being. However, morning sickness and microchimerism clearly indicate that the baby is not just an extension of her body. (We have discussed microchimerism before HERE and HERE.)
A major point often overlooked in the abortion debate is that having a baby and being a mother are two different things. My first wife was a great mother but never experienced a pregnancy. Some have said that a mother has less pain in having a baby than in raising one. As adoptive parents of three wonderful children, we went through the pain of raising children and did so joyously. There are scores of women in today’s world who are willing to be mothers and desire to take on the role, but for physical reasons, like my wife, are unable to become pregnant.
In 1 Timothy 2:15, Paul addresses the significant role uniquely available to most women: “Yet she will be saved through child-bearing…” Timothy was a great ambassador of God because his mother, Eunice, and grandmother, Lois, raised him in God’s Word. Of course, a woman can be of great service in other capacities if she chooses, and the Bible is full of examples of such women. However, being a mother and raising children who will positively change the world is what Mother’s Day is all about. Unfortunately, in today’s world, fewer women are willing to be mothers, so we thank God for women of faith who accept and carry out that responsibility.
We all know that a mother carries her unborn child for nine months until the baby is born. However, most people don’t realize that a mother carries her child for decades. That is true even of a woman who chooses to abort her child.
The term “chimera” (pronounced ky-mer-uh) refers to an animal made up of parts of different animals. It goes back to ancient mythology, which told of a creature made of parts from various animals, such as a goat, a lion, and a snake. The Bible even speaks about a vision of multiple animal combinations in the book of Revelation. However, in human mothers, scientists see microchimerism in which fetal cells and DNA are left behind in the mother’s body.
The unborn baby, commonly called a fetus, is not part of the mother’s body and has his or her own DNA. The baby is like a foreign object inside the mother. That’s the reason for “morning sickness,” as the mother’s immune system tries to reject it. The often repeated slogan “my body, my choice” does not consider that the baby is not part of the woman’s body and has no choice in the matter.
The placenta is the link between mother and baby. The unborn baby gets nourishment through the placenta as it connects to the mother’s arteries. However, the baby can also shed some cells and DNA, which enter the mother’s bloodstream as early as two weeks after conception. Those fetal cells can find a home in various organs of the mother, including her heart and brain. Since those cells are from a different person, the result is microchimerism. The woman has part of another person remaining inside of her body.
Scientists have found that a mother carries her child for decades as the baby’s cells remain in her. If she has more than one child, she can retain cells from each of them in her body. Just as science has found that stem cells can be helpful in medical treatments because of their ability to form into different kinds of cells, the potent cells from the baby can become pancreas, heart, liver, or brain cells in the mother. Or they can become skin cells. Scientists have found cells from the baby in the scar tissue after a caesarian birth, indicating that the baby’s cells are helping the mother to heal.
Not only do fetal cells continue in the mother after normal births, but also they are left behind when there is a miscarriage or medical abortion. Surprisingly, studies indicate that more cells are left in the mother after an induced abortion than in a natural miscarriage. Furthermore, this transfer of cells works both ways. To a lesser extent, cells from the mother can get into the unborn baby. Since cells from previous siblings are still in the mother, even those can be passed on to the fetus. In other words, a second or third child may have cells from his or her older siblings.
What does this mean? It tells us that a mother carries her child for decades. As mothers carry with them a part of their children, there is good reason for the bonding between mother and child. Even when a woman decides to end her baby’s life before birth, she still carries some of that child with her. Being a mother is a precious blessing, and abortion is not something to be taken lightly.
“IT’S NOT FAIR!!” my atheist, feminist opponent declared. “Why would your God allow men to father children well into their old age while the average woman ceases having menstrual cycles by the age of 51.” Her challenge sent me digging into the whole business of menopause and women’s roles, and how they are designed and why.
The facts in a woman’s reproductive life are clear. Pregnancy becomes more hazardous with age, and younger women are more likely to survive childbirth than older women. It is a fact that we see more chromosomal abnormalities in the ova of women over 40, so there are genetic issues as well.
Aside from the survival rate physically and genetically of children born to older mothers, there is the issue of different roles that women have at different times in their lives. If a woman reaches menopause by the age of 50 and she lives to be 80, she has time for a new phase of life–that of being a grandmother. Studies on a variety of societies have shown that the survival rate of children in primitive societies is directly related to the presence of grandmothers. Assuming that human children need their mothers until they are around ten years old, the support of a grandmother can obviously be a positive feature.
We are all familiar with the poem “There was an old woman who lived in a shoe; she had so many children she didn’t know what to do.” As a public school teacher in an inner-city high school, I saw a huge number of grandmothers who came to PTA meetings or conferences about the needs of a child. In our day of working mothers and single parents, the need for the role of grandmother is undeniable.
The apostle Paul described the foundation of the faith of the young man, Timothy, in 1 Timothy 1:5: “When I call to remembrance that unfeigned faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice…”
One of the things that defines us as humans is the exceptional care that we receive from our mothers. The difficult business of raising children today is compounded by the unwillingness of many to accept our biological design. The facts of menopause and women’s roles clearly show evidence of design.
There is no substitute for mothers. At least that’s how it now stands under British law, and that’s the way God intended. Even a biological woman who identifies as a transgender man is still a “mother” and not a “father.”
Freddy McConnell is the current name of a British transgender journalist who was born as a female. She had a mastectomy and testosterone treatments and now identifies as a man. Freddy became pregnant by sperm donation, gave birth to a baby, and wanted to be listed as the “father” on the birth certificate. The High Court of Justice in London said, “No.” Freddy took the case to the Court of Appeal, and at the end of April 2020, the justices agreed with the High Court.
The British Children Act of 1989 requires that a mother be listed on the birth certificate. The justices said that according to the law, “a mother has automatic parental responsibility for a child from the moment of birth.” Further, they stated: “No-one else has that automatic parental responsibility…The fact of giving birth to a child has that effect as a matter of operation of law…From the moment of birth, someone must have parental responsibility for a newly born child…” In other words, there is no substitute for mothers.
Judge McFarlane of the High Court of Justice said: “It is now medically and legally possible for an individual, whose gender is recognized in law as male, to become pregnant and give birth to their child. Whilst that person’s gender is ‘male,’ their parental status, which derives from their biological role in giving birth, is that of ‘mother.’”
There is great confusion in society today concerning sexual orientation, genders, and gender roles. Recently I was required to complete a form that listed seven different options for “gender.”
I thank God that there are biological women who are willing to fill the role of being mothers. Women were designed for that role, and there is no substitute for mothers. For various reasons, many women today are single moms, and here are single fathers who must serve as “Mr. Mom.” The truth is that women can do many jobs as well as men, but no man can fill the full role as a mother. Today we want to thank and honor our mothers, especially Christian mothers, for filling that essential role.
Mothers are important and an organization called MOPS encourages motherhood. On their website they say that there are two billion mothers in the world and that four million babies are born in the United States every year with six out of ten born to single mothers.
Christians should be concerned that five in ten mothers say they don’t feel they receive emotional support from their churches. Outreach ministries of most congregations have ignored the needs of mothers. Mothers are important and we cannot overemphasize the importance of helping young mothers realize that the first seven years of a baby’s life shapes their entire development.