Melissa Payne—pregnant with her second child—was traveling with her family when her water broke. Her baby girl was just under nineteen weeks old—far too young to survive outside the womb.
But God was preparing to work a miracle in the Payne family.
Doctors told Melissa that she would have to deliver the baby within the next three days—which certainly meant the little girl would die. Even if they continued the pregnancy, a specialist gave the baby only a five percent chance of survival. And, Melissa was told, even if the baby did survive, she would be so handicapped that she would be a tremendous burden on the family.
But Melissa and her husband, Kevin, refused to give up on their daughter. They found an obstetrician who was willing to help them complete the pregnancy, if such a thing were possible. But even this doctor didn't offer much hope.
As Melissa told LifeSiteNews, “Every day I was on bed rest I would feel her kicking and moving, and at the same time I would go to the doctor and they'd just frown and nod.”
Friends from church bathed Melissa and her baby in prayer for seven weeks. And then came an emergency Cesarean. Graceanne Payne arrived in the outside world at just 26 weeks gestation. She weighed one pound, twelve ounces.
Graceanne was kept on oxygen ventilation for six weeks, and spent a total of ninety-seven days in the neonatal intensive care unit. And then, her parents joyfully took her home.
Now you may be wondering: What about all those dire predictions that Graceanne would be born with a big batch of handicaps and be a burden on her family?
Well, Graceanne, who is now over a year old, is perfectly normal. Her mother says she has met all of her age-adjusted developmental milestones.
I wanted to tell Graceanne’s story today—the 42nd anniversary of the infamous Roe v. Wade decision—for an important reason. Neonatal specialists keep pushing back the age of survival for babies born sooner than they should be. Many babies now survive premature births.
Other babies survive, not premature births, but efforts to abort them. I was shocked to find out recently that some 44,000 people have survived attempts to kill them through abortion—enough to populate a small city. You can read their stories on their website—The Abortion Survivors Network. One survivor, Ana Rosa Rodriguez had her arm torn off by an abortionist in 1991; she’s now a healthy teenager (except for that missing arm).
Another survivor, Gianna Jesson, now aged 37, suffers from abortion-induced cerebral palsy. When she prepared to testify before Congress in 1996, then-Congresswoman Patricia Schroeder objected. And that’s hardly surprising. As one blogger put it, “When an aborted fetus limps up to the podium and reads her prepared comments, that’s good news for fetuses, but bad news for somebody who gets campaign support from the abortion establishment.”
Former fetuses like Graceanne and Gianna are our witnesses. They are our truth tellers. They have names and faces, friends and hobbies. And today, they’re looking abortion supporters in the face and exposing their lies: That the unborn child is nothing but a blob of tissue, and has no value.
Friends, I encourage you to do something on this terrible anniversary: Pray, march, speak out, donate time and money to a pregnancy care center. And take a moment to rejoice: Those former fetuses are speaking truth to power-—loudly and clearly.
BreakPoint is a Christian worldview ministry that seeks to build and resource a movement of Christians committed to living and defending Christian worldview in all areas of life. Begun by Chuck Colson in 1991 as a daily radio broadcast, BreakPoint provides a Christian perspective on today’s news and trends via radio, interactive media, and print. Today BreakPoint commentaries, co-hosted by Eric Metaxas and John Stonestreet, air daily on more than 1,200 outlets with an estimated weekly listening audience of eight million people. Feel free to contact us at BreakPoint.org where you can read and search answers to common questions.
Eric Metaxas is a co-host of BreakPoint Radio and a best-selling author whose biographies, children's books, and popular apologetics have been translated into more than a dozen languages.
Publication date: January 22, 2015