Life is precious.

Every human life. After all, a person’s a person, no matter how small.

At 18 days, the baby’s heart begins to beat.

At 21 days, it pumps its own blood with its own blood type through its own circulatory system.

At 28 days, its eyes, ears, and respiratory system begin to form.

At 42 days, brain waves can be recorded and reflexes are present.

At 7 weeks, you might see an image of your baby sucking its thumb.

At 8 weeks, all body systems are present.

At 9 weeks, before most women show (or maybe even know) that they are pregnant, the baby can squint, swallow, move its tongue, and make a fist.

At 11 weeks, the baby has fingernails and makes spontaneous breathing movements.

At 15 weeks, the baby has an adult’s taste buds.

At 16 weeks, the genital organs are clearly differentiated, and the baby can grasp with its hands, swim, kick, turn, and do somersaults not even felt yet by the mother.

At 17 weeks, the baby can dream.

At 18 weeks, the vocal chords work, and the baby can cry.

At 20 weeks (the time of your ultrasound), the baby has hair on its head, weighs a pound, and is a foot long. The child can recognize its mother’s voice.

At 24 weeks, well more than half of all babies in this country survive premature birth, and the number goes up exponentially every week thereafter.

And these children do not have a right to life?

Are bigger people more deserving of protection than smaller people? Does your 3-year-old have more rights than 3-month-old because she can talk? Does a teenager have more rights than a 4-year-old because he can drive? Do your rights as a human person change when you’re in your car, in your home, in a suit, in your bathrobe, or underwater? Does your environment change what sort of rights you have as a person? Why should those inches down the birth canal change the rights that child has as a human person? “Well, the baby is completely dependent upon the mother.” Does the person who relies on daily insulin injections to live have less of a right to do so? What about the person who has to go multiple times a week for dialysis, or they will die? Do they have less of a right to live? What if you have to take pills every morning to keep your cholesterol down so that you don’t die a premature death? Do you, because you are dependent upon those, have less of a right to live?

Every human life is precious. Unborn life is precious. Children with special needs are precious. Aging parents are precious—even when they don’t remember because they’re suffering dementia, they’re still made in the image of God. Children or parents who are non-verbal, those in a wheelchair, and those who are completely dependent upon you or doctors are precious. All of life matters to God. If we have our eyes open, we can see this in even the most surprising places in the Bible, like in the lex talionis of the Mosaic law. You see it in imago Dei. You see it in the incarnation where God entered the world as a helpless babe.

Defend, honor, and give thanks for life—yours, your children’s, and your parents’. May we all pray, work, and labor—no matter what political party we’re a part of or who we voted for—so that every human life is protected, prized, and considered precious.