Pro life – art and technology
Being pro life is completely compatible with my being an artist. How could I hold any other view? Therefore, it delighted me to learn about this invention that combined art and technology, which enhances the pro life cause.
In the past, it was possible to consider the fetus as simply a blob of tissue. If your pregnancy inconvenienced you, or happened when you had other priorities, then you simply got rid of ‘it’. However, I never knew of a woman who treated abortion lightly. In the privacy of their deepest, unvoiced thoughts they were usually distraught about making the choice to abort.
Who can deny that another life, besides the life of the mother, hangs in the balance? Distancing ourselves from acknowledging this new life is apparent in the changing of our speech. The unborn baby is called a ‘fetus’, those who oppose the callous termination of a pregnancy are called ‘anti- abortion activists’, and the ‘right’ of a woman to ‘choose’ is touted as compassionate and God-given. But is it really?
Growing evidence for the fiercely independent, new life uncovered by science is forcing us to examine afresh the pro life stance.
The unborn child has a beating heart in as few as 18 days from conception, brain waves are detected in as early as 6 weeks, pain can be felt in as little as 9 weeks.
Most abortions take place around about 9-10 weeks. At that time the unborn baby will make a tight fist, if his palm is stroked. He will curl his fingers around an object that makes contact with his palm. This is no blob is tissue, but a little person with a God–given destiny.
These are well known facts for anyone who would care to investigate the pro life position. But facts don’t speak to us as stridently as something visual. Art and technology, when combined, create a tangible experience for the pregnant mother in the invention designed by Dr.Jorge Roberto Lopes Dos Santos, a Brazilian designer.
His invention gives form to the ghostly images of an ultra sound. Plaster models in the round are developed using 3-D printing technology called rapid prototyping. Data from MRI and ultrasound scans are converted into scaled models that the mother can hold and run her hands over. Seeing and feeling the reality of this unborn life speaks far more to her than vitriolic arguments.
When mothers fully grasp the scale and reality of their unborn children, can they be anything other than pro life? Apparently a blind mother has signed up to try this new technology. I can only imagine the intensity of her response, running her sensitive fingers over the form of her baby and recreating in her mind’s eye the beauty of the precious gift within her womb!
What was once hidden from human view, is now revealed for all to see. Amazingly, all this new insight has fallen upon a generation that seems too stubborn to acknowledge that the destiny of this human life was never in our hands to begin with. It is not a mother’s 'choice' because she is not the creator of the life within her.
In the art world, provenance is an important criterion for establishing a credibility of a work of art. No one but the artist holds the right to alter, or in any way tamper with the masterpiece. The museum that houses the artwork, does not enjoy the liberty of ‘choice’ to destroy that which was created by another. Why should it be any different for a mother? Who can claim provenance for the miracle of an evolving work of art,(the unborn baby), other than God?
The following Biblical verses detail our divine provenance, incredibly written thousands of years ago - long before the technology described above!
Ps139:13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.
Ps139:14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
Ps139:15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.(NIV)
As for me, I had a wonderful time affirming my pro life sentiments with a commission to paint little Audrey (pictured above). At 18 months she is a vivacious, curious little girl. The young couple that commissioned the watercolor portrait adopted her and Ethan, her older brother. I painted Ethan four years ago when he was about the same age.
As an artist, every time I struggle over a portrait, I am reminded of how precise each face is, by design. Even the smallest detail if misaligned, will hinder me from capturing her likeness. At 14 weeks from conception, long before Audrey captivated her adopted parents, her fingerprints were formed - completely unique from any other on this planet.
Who are we to question the existence of this energetic bundle of life? How dare we contemplate denying her the right to play or pick flowers?