I Prayed have prayed
Lord God, wake up the Supreme Court Justices to the humanity of the preborn person in the womb. Wake up the people of America to the humanity and personhood in the womb.
Reading Time: 7 minutes

I think we’re missing the point in the Dobbs’ case–and it’s not just the point of viability. We’re missing something bigger.

Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization is the latest U.S. Supreme Court challenge to the 48-year-old Roe v. Wade ruling, which, with its sister case, Doe v. Bolton, legalized abortion in America for any reason through all nine months of pregnancy.

For 48 years, every case to come before the U.S. Supreme Court attempting to limit abortion in any way has been shot down using stare decisis, a term meaning “stick with precedent,” precedent in this case being Roe.

But Justice Harry Blackmun, in writing the majority opinion for Roe, left Roe vulnerable, giving us the key to its reversal. “The appellee and certain amici argue that the fetus is a ‘person’ within the language and meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment …. If this suggestion of personhood is established, the appellee’s case, of course, collapses, for the fetus’ right to life would then be guaranteed specifically by the Fourteenth Amendment.” Roe v. Wade, January 22,1973

The key is personhood. “If personhood is established.” What is personhood? How can it be established? Justice Blackmon implied that future advances in science and medicine might push viability (the ability to survive outside the womb) earlier and provide more substantive definitions of “life.”

In oral arguments for Dobbs, lawyers on both sides talked extensively about viability, a point during pregnancy at which a fetus is able to survive outside its mother, thus qualifying it as a “person” under the Constitution. But if personhood is ever established in the womb, Roe could be not only reversed but nullified–discredited as a precedent altogether.

The point of viability and even the criteria used to determine it are controversial and, according to Justice Blackmon himself (in private papers), “arbitrary.” I would submit that, based on recent scientific discoveries, they are meaningless.

In Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, Mississippi wants to restrict abortion after 15 weeks’ gestation, “except in cases involving medical emergencies or severe fetal abnormality.” The state bases this gestational age limit on expert testimony that at this point in pregnancy the fetus can feel pain.

On the face of it, it could be just one more case the precedent of Roe v. Wade will knock down. But for the first time it looks like the Court has the five votes necessary to reverse Roe, sending the power of decision-making back to the states where “The People” can help determine their own laws regarding abortion.

Mississippi’s Solicitor General Scott Stewart explained that scientific evidence of fetal pain is one of the example of the “advances in medicine and science” since the abortion decisions of Roe v. Wade (1973) and of Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992).

Justice Sonia Sotomayor objected, “A gross minority of doctors believe a fetus can feel pain before 24-26 weeks… a small fringe of doctors …”

I don’t know what scientific weight to give the claim that fetal pain is dismissed by a “gross minority” of doctors. But I give a lot of weight to the opinions of two abortionists who became pro-life in the ’80s based on evidence they saw of fetal pain.

Dr. Bernard Nathanson, abortionist and author of Aborting America, became pro-life after he converted to Catholicism. He then persuaded a protégé to let him use ultrasound imaging to film a 12 week fetus suction abortion (with the permission of the woman, who would not be talked out of aborting).

Nathanson added his own narration of what was happening during the procedure, called the resulting documentary “The Silent Scream” and insisted his protégé watch it.

At the end of the video, the doctor watching his own abortion sat stunned, then breathed, “OH  MY GOD!” and walked out of the clinic. He never did another abortion.

Does the fact of fetal pain at 12 (or 15) weeks establish the personhood of the fetus?

There have been no changes in the science regarding the status of the fetus since 1973–every textbook on human biology, embryology, and fetology has always presented the tiny being conceived in a human womb as alive and human.

But there have been significant changes in the technology which proves the science. Ultrasound, as used by Dr. Nathanson, for instance, provides a window into the womb to see more and more clearly what is in there.

And what is it they see? What is it that is in the womb, that we are aborting?

When pregnant women look through this window at what is inside, they don’t have to be told what it is. Seeing “it,” many of them change their minds about having an abortion. It is awesome to discover—not “clumps of cells” or “fetal tissue” as described by Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers but a curved human spine, rib cage, closed eyes, tiny arms and legs, later in gestation a baby’s face, a little mouth yawning, sometimes a little thumb in that mouth.

That is the “elephant” in this courtroom, one might even say the elephant in the womb. When we actually look into the womb what we see is a real, tiny, active human being.

A person.

In certain cases, unborn babies are already treated as persons:

Fetal surgery: A Mayo Clinic website lists dozens of procedures done “routinely” on unborn babies in utero, “to help improve the long-term outcome of children with specific birth defects.” When operating on them, their doctors consider fetuses their “second patients,” that is, persons. You don’t do surgery on a “clump of cells.”

This image circulated the world some 17 years ago. On August 19th, 1999, a medical team in Nashville, U.S.A, carried out surgery on the pregnant Julie Armas, more specifically, on the 21-week-old fetus in her womb.

Constitutional rights: Some babies have constitutional rights before birth, such as the right to inherit property.

I wrote earlier that I believe the concept of a point during pregnancy when the fetus becomes viable is meaningless. First, I believe no baby can ever survive outside the womb, even at childbirth, without continuing to get the nurture and nutrition it gets inside the womb. (The IFA amicus brief addressed this.)

There are rare cases of babies surviving a late-term abortion (I wrote the biography of one of them) but unless they are rushed to NICU—most of them are just set aside or even smothered—they will not continue to survive.

One could make the case that none of us is viable at any point in our lives without the life support of nutrition, water, oxygen and personal care.

But second, I believe that there is a point in time when the unborn becomes a person—but that point is not during pregnancy. It initiates pregnancy. From that certain point, pregnancy is a continuum. Heartbeat, brainwaves, “quickening” (movement of the fetus felt by those outside the womb), capacity for feeling pain-these aren’t points when life begins. They are evidence that life already exists. They are milestones along the way as life develops.

How do we know?

In 2016 scientists made an historic discovery. They were able to capture the moments before, during, and after a human egg was fertilized. At the split second of implantation, the event triggered a literal explosion of light (looking much like a solar flare). We have astonishing photographic evidence of that electric burst.

Scientists Just Captured The Flash of Light That Sparks When a Sperm Meets an Egg– https://www.sciencealert.com/scientists-just-captured-the-actual-flash-of-light-that-sparks-when-sperm-meets-an-egg

At the instant of the fertilization event between two gametes, a zygote (a eukaryotic cell) is formed. The zygote’s genome is a combination of the DNA in each gamete, and contains all of the genetic information necessary to form a new individual organism.

At every conception of a human being—at our conception—this brand new cell with its own unique DNA (genetic information for development and growth) begins to divide, following those instructions, that design, to differentiate into pre-determined organs and parts of a unique, living human body.

This process is a continuum which will continue, if not interrupted, until natural death. (Nothing will be added from conception on but nutrition and time.)

If life begins, as it seems obvious it does, with that burst of light at impregnation, then we have personhood, as defined in the Constitution—with all its inalienable rights and protections. Including the right to life.

Despite changes in appearance and growth, that gamete/embryo/fetus/baby remains the same organism from its very first cell. It has—we have—the same DNA with one cell as we will have in every cell as long as the organism lives.

It’s a person then and through every stage of life to come.

Fetuses are not an alien species, or somehow sub- or pre-human. They—we—are the same being, the same person, that we were at conception, as we were when our heart and brainwaves began, the same person we were when we learned to eat with a spoon and ride a tricycle and struggle with multiplication and fall in love.

Lana Clarke Phelan, author of The Abortion Handbook for Responsible Women, whose fabricated statistics helped legalize abortion in this country, spoke at a meeting I attended in Long Beach, CA back in the 80s. She said she routinely asked women who came to her for abortion referrals, “Do you think it’s a baby? I don’t help women kill their babies.”

She made truth subject to the whims, opinions, and desires of the individual. But a woman cannot change an unborn baby’s status by changing her mind, wanting it this minute (“my baby”), not wanting it the next (“clump of cells”).

It’s a person. We are persons.

We are all former fetuses. In fact, apart from location, I could accurately describe myself as a 932-month fetus. I have the very same DNA in every cell of my body as I had in that first cell. That zygote/embryo/fetus/baby–that person was me.

And still is.

So it’s moot whether you abort that process at one cell, two cells, or after every cell has split and developed into its assigned organ or limb, after the differentiated arm is throwing baseballs and the fully developed uterus is carrying cells which will someday contribute to the development of your grandchildren.

If what resides within, what has been entrusted to, the womb of a pregnant woman is a person, then abortion is the violent taking of life. From the very beginning.

Please share your thoughts and prayers about the personhood of the preborn in the comments.


Jessica Renshaw is an intercessor and author of GIANNA, ABORTED AND LIVED TO TELL ABOUT IT, the true story of a baby born alive during a legal saline abortion (Focus on the Family, 1995, Gold Medallion finalist) and COMPELLING INTERESTS: A NOVEL ABOUT ABORTION FROM THE HEARTS OF PEOPLE ON BOTH SIDES.


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Patricia Erbes
December 10, 2021

I am prolife but this moved me more then anything I’ve ever read. Thank you!

William Lee Kohler
December 9, 2021

Many years ago I read a pictorial magazine article of how we develop inside our mothers from the beginning. I told my mother how this was nothing less than a miracle from God how this happens. I think she was surprised I told her this and also very proud of me. It was a good thing and a good day for me. I think I was just 19. I’m 75 now and wish I could tell my mom again how much I love her for all she gave me.

sally akin
December 9, 2021

I am so overwheled happy that you would address the ” Elephant in the Room “. Of course this is totally biblical. In fact God know us BEFORE we were formed. I will understand this mystery on the other side! Praise God.

Now, how do we get the “Elephant in the Room,?” addressed by the Catholic Church, the Conservative Christian Churches and all others with a moral concience??????

Gayle Snyder
December 9, 2021

Lord, I pray for the knock-out blow; not only that Roe will be overturned, but that it will be truly reversed. Abortion does not uphold any right, it denies the most fundamental right (to live) of millions of babies. I pray that the Supreme Court will be convicted by your Holy Spirit and send down a decision that affirms the child’s most fundamental right.

Herb Johnston
December 9, 2021

My prayer is that a woman would never consider ending the life of her baby for any reason

Herb Johnston
December 9, 2021

Lord I pray that human beings would return to their senses, such as they were hundreds of years ago.. when the life in the womb of a woman was cherished and revered as a human life- created in your image. Lord I pray for a return to their senses-of humanity..that this ridiculous conversation about when life begins would not only end.. but be forgotten to have ever existed.
Long before the consideration of technology- we as human beings knew a woman pregnant with life was carrying a human being created in your image. I knew that when I was 12 years old. And I was not raised in a Christian home. So Lord help us to stay diligent in prayer before you-, that this blight of humanity,-this diseased thinking, – this evil travesty,-could be removed from our lives,from the fabric of our being – from our history, as though it never existed.
In the Mighty Name of Jesus.,

Bob Huseby
December 9, 2021

Wow!!! Such a great article.. I-need to reread this one till I hv it memorized.. It shows perfect logic even to an unbeliever.. Father may this truth b expressed to th justices, in Jesus blessed name!!

Selma Kolke
December 9, 2021

Life begins at conception! We seem to forget that besides the DNA that life is a living “Soul!” You may/can kill the body…however you cannot kill the “soul!” God created it before the foundation of the world! Jesus said that “not to fear those that kill the body; however fear Him who is ‘the Creator/God.!'”

Thomas Wilson
December 9, 2021

Fantastic article. I completely agree. God needs to slap those justices silly until they wake up to truth. In reality, it’s the Supreme Court on trial right now. May their consciences come awake to truth. For all but the deluded, this is a “no-brainer” decision.

Darlene Estlow
December 9, 2021

Yes, the bottom line of this case is: is this preborn child a person? If so, what gives us the right to kill it? It now has been shown to be a person at conception. Thank you for this article . We pray for the Supreme Court justices to agree with God and life.

Billie Hall
December 9, 2021

Thank you for this powerful article. I have been very grieved at the idea of being content to have a “win” in the decision to uphold 15 week abortions. Either this is murder, or we are all in a delusion! My prayer is for Roe v. Wade to be so destroyed, and that there wouldn’t be a shred of evidence to hang an oral argument on, when this decision comes forth. I serve the God of the impossible, and I’m praying that all nine Justices conclude that “abortion is the ending of a human life.” We will then need to argue and clarify; “if and when” there is ever a reason to consider ending an unborn Childs life for the safety of the mother, which I believe should be her choice alone. I personally would trust God for that outcome. After all He is a miracle working God.

    Herb Johnston
    December 9, 2021

    Yes!! Amen!! All 9 justices agree that the life inside the woman is a baby!! Amen!!

Patricia M
December 9, 2021

Jesus My sense is a courts of heaven case for SCOTUS as an institution of the USA making us culpable for its decisions. Help usA Jedus to do this in some corporate way these 21 days called for prayer and communion up to Chrustmad 2021. The compromise and immorality is egregious to You, The Supreme Judge of the Universe. We appeal to You on grounds of 2 Chronicles 7:1

Cole and Connie Nelson
December 9, 2021

One of the greatest hindrances or “blockage of our hearts and minds” is that we live in a society today that has become ‘numb to pain and suffering”. Satan has purposely influenced our culture to ignore suffering, devastation, pain, murder, etc. He has used the media to primarily influence this thinking and “dulling of our souls”. At times, the vast majority of people “being entertained” don’t think twice about much of the violence they visually consume.
This has had a spillover effect on children in the womb. If we are not reacting and responding with proper Godly conviction to those already living outside the womb…. how much easier is it to “not respond to those already living” inside the womb.
**Lord, create in all of us hearts of flesh. Convict us 24/7 of how to act and react as Your people. Place within us a burning fire to protect “Your miracle creation” in a mother’s womb. Let us fight fiercely for the beauty of a life that starts at conception. Help us to see the vision and goal of a “new dawn” for our nation as we fight to reclaim the right to all life, born and unborn. We commit the hearts and minds and souls of all SC justices into Your hands. Place the seed of Your desire to protect and ensure life from conception to birth. Let that seed take deep root within them we pray… amen.

    Herb Johnston
    December 9, 2021

    What really gets me is the notion that somehow ..equal justice- indicates we have to listen to ungodly legislators, ungodly justices- as though satanic insanity deserves equal time being heard

December 9, 2021

Lord, I thank you for this eloquent article. May you use this witness to change the hearts and minds of America to fight for the change of our abortion laws. Please help the mothers of aborted babies find your forgiveness and become advocates to stop abortion. I pray that even Justice Sotomayor will have an awakening about the fetuses you saw before they were even formed.

I ask you crush Satan’s hold on this abortion industry and give our nation new insight to ask forgiveness for these 60 million people we have not recognized as human beings whom you had planned and knitted together in their mothers’ wombs.

Help our nation return to the Word. Please guide families to teach their children so that they will know you & love your wisdom long before adolescence. Empower Christians with love and wisdom to lead our nation and form our laws. Please convict Americans and forgive us for allowing abortions. Especially bless these courageous people who have persevered & fought for life without ceasing. Reward them with an outpouring of your Holy Spirit in our nation. Thank you, Lord! In Jesus’ name I pray. Psalm 139: 13-16

Blanca Holland
December 9, 2021

Praying for the unborn baby in the womb at all stages deemed to be aborted because of inconvenient time and physical imperfections: that they will be heard by the voice of wisdom: May Horton (The elephant in the room of justice for all) hear that smallest voice of the whoville population: the unborn. Judging like KING Solomon: for LIFE abundantly:

Janet Klumb
December 9, 2021

Wow! Best argument for personhood I’ve ever heard and I have worked in prolife for many years. Thank you.

Tiffany Matthews
December 9, 2021

Eagerly looking forward to the day when my [and others’] personhood testimony will be accepted in the pro-life community as proving that these babies have their own preferences, their own thoughts, their own emotions, their own will to live, their own ability to feel pain at LESS than 8 weeks post-conception. They ARE persons from conception.


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