A Visual Apologetic for Life

In the Womb

When Michelangelo carved the beauty of the human form in marble, he knew that true art is “but a shadow of the divine perfection.” As true art shadows God, so too, the beauty and complexity of the human form is an unrivaled masterpiece that proclaims its Creator. A new DVD and accompanying book from National Geographic called In the Womb highlight this masterpiece of life in its earliest stages. Despite National Geographic’s evolutionary language, these images are one of the best visual apologetics for the Creator and for choosing life that we have seen in a long time.

Today, thirty-four years after Roe v. Wade, we can see into the womb with detail that was unimaginable in 1973. Now, 3-D and 4-D scans—scans that literally piece together images to show a baby in motion in the womb—have brought the miracle of life into new focus. In the Womb author, Peter Tallack, calls this new technology the medical equivalent of the Hubble Space Telescope. And the images it zooms in on during the odyssey of pregnancy may change the minds of women contemplating abortion and ordinary men and women who have not reflected deeply on abortion’s horrors.

Statistics tell us that 88 percent of clinical abortions happen before the twelfth week of pregnancy. In the Womb shows us a heart cell jolting to life on day twenty-two, arm buds developing in week four, glassy eyes forming in week six, taste buds, purposeful movement, and separate digits on hands and feet by week eight.

As Tallack writes, “The next four weeks [weeks nine through twelve] will see her kick, turn her feet, and curl her toes. She will bend her arms at the wrist and elbow, form partial fists with her tiny hands, and reach up to cover her face with her hands. Her face, with its sealed-shut eyes, will squint, frown, purse its lips, and open its mouth. She will respond to touch.”

Tallack has vividly portrayed the miracle that, tragically, four out of ten women who discover an unplanned pregnancy will choose to abort.

The book also runs its readers headlong into mysteries still not fully understood by science, such as why the mother’s body does not reject this foreign life growing within her. The author continues, “The immune system always tries to reject foreign material. Indeed, after the baby is born, if a piece of her skin is transplanted to the mother, the mother does reject it. . . .Yet the mother tolerates this entire foreign tissue in her system for nine whole months. Exactly what protects the placenta from rejection by the mother’s immune system is one of the greatest enigmas of modern biology,” concludes Tallack.

If only humans could learn from the body’s own life-protection reflex. Perhaps you could help open a mother’s eyes. On this anniversary of Roe v. Wade, maybe you’d consider purchasing a copy of In the Womb, the book or DVD, for your local crisis pregnancy center. If pictures are worth a thousand words, perhaps the stunning images of In the Womb will be better than our best-conceived arguments.


From BreakPoint®, January 22, 2007, Copyright 2007, Prison Fellowship Ministries. Reprinted with the permission of Prison Fellowship Ministries. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or distributed without the express written permission of Prison Fellowship Ministries. “BreakPoint®” and “Prison Fellowship Ministries®” are registered trademarks of Prison Fellowship Ministries