By Dave Andrusko
Ask yourself this question. Building on the indispensable work of
grassroots pro-lifers, what are the ingredients that are
contributing most to hastening the day when unborn children are (to
quote President George W. Bush) “welcomed in life and protected in
law”? Even a moment’s reflection suggests a dozen.
My nominee, and it’s just mine, is anything that cuts through the
fog that hides the concreteness of a vibrant, developing member of
the human family. Part of that—a very large part—is linguistic.
And we have made serious headway.
Who has the temerity to talk about a “clump of tissue” anymore?
Even “choice” has a clanking sound to it, grating on the ears. Why?
In large measure because we routinely see visual evidence of the
little ones who once were virtually invisible. When the phrase
“window on the womb” was first coined, that window was opaque, at
best. Now we see clearly.
Let me offer three examples out of hundreds. There is the utterly
amazing, jaw-dropping work of Alexander Tsiaras. He has developed
scanning and visualization software that enables him to develop
rich, 4-D animations of different human body parts, organs, and
Some of Tsiaras’s most stunning work has been with fetal
development. He has catalogued his work in a 2002 book called From
Conception to Birth: A Life Unfolds and then has animated this in a
series of 40 videos—one for each week—on his website. A video at
features a fascinating talk by Tsiaras discussing his work with the
fetal images at an INK conference in Lavasa, India, in December
The fetal development video is awe-inspiring, offering a
shortened version of the series Tsiaras has on his website at
I assure you that you will never think about the unborn child the
same way again.
A less elaborate, but no less powerful, example was illustrated
by a YouTube video I wrote about at www.nationalrighttolifenews.org.
A pregnant mom posted a video of a Doppler measurement of a fetal
heartbeat. She writes that she found her baby’s heartbeat at eight
weeks and two days: “It just keeps getting stronger.”
And the sound of the baby’s heart is strong: tha-thump, tha-thump,
tha-thump. That little one is “real” in a remarkably powerful way.
Finally, a very different example, one it would be nice to be
able to adapt to our purposes. When making a point about the growth
in the federal debt, cable television will often show you the
“National Debt Clock.” The numbers whirl by, changing non-stop,
making what was an abstraction (what the heck is a trillion
dollars?) dramatically real.
Likewise, a National Abortion Clock would say there were over
3,300 per day, 137 per hour, about one dead baby every 30 seconds.
My guess is that were the average American—including even many who
self-identify as “pro-choice”—to understand that the scale of death
is of that magnitude, they would be shocked.
One other quick but important thought. The ability to
personalize, to make concrete what is routinely ignored or glossed
over, is the power behind the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection
Yes, it does! And every day in every way that more people realize
this is true for the little ones by no later than the 20 week after
fertilization, we are that much closer to the day when unborn
children are “welcomed in life and protected in law.”