Franciscan Sister Renee Mirkes was a recent speaker for Nebraskans Embracing Life. Sister shares on this experience.
Omaha, Nebraska—I was privileged to address members of Nebraskans Embracing Life as they gathered in front of the memorial statue in Omaha’s St. Mary Magdalene Cemetery to remember the 61 million unborn babies who have lost their lives since the legalization of abortion.
Those gathered also prayed for healing for the mothers who, tragically, often suffer from their abortion decision in a myriad of ways.
My contribution to the service was to demonstrate how examples of fetal research is making us more and more aware that the embryo/fetus/developing baby-in-the-womb is a person and, therefore, a subject of rights, beginning with the right to live. The research data suggest that all the while the mother is protecting and nourishing the baby in utero and beyond, the baby is protecting and aiding the mother, post-partum and beyond, via fetal stem cells—cells from the developing baby—that persist in the cells and tissue of the mother after giving birth. Fetal stem cells that could, long after delivery, perform their magic of (1) morphing into whatever maternal cells that are injured or degenerated; (2) rushing to the site of maternal injury, and (3) healing the mother of her perspective disease.
In sum this research highlights the reality that pregnancy is a two-person mutual aid society. Mom helps baby; baby helps mom. You could say, then, that baby and mother form a phalanx (a line) where each, as a hoplite (a foot soldier), uses his/her “shield” to protect the exposed side of the other. (The phalanx or multiple lines of hoplites (foot soldiers) was a Greek invention defining Greek warfare from the 7th through the 4th centuries, BC). My interest was to help those attending this prayer service to key in on the moral implications of what I call the hoplite phalanx effect of pregnancy.
Judging by the response, I can attest that everyone present heartily agreed the research data generated by these studies are both “dramatic” and “stunning,” and effectively dispel the myth that the baby’s basic right to live could be trumped by the mother’s putative right to privacy or to control her body.