Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Model Is Worth a Thousand Words

Kathryn Judson, a fellow Chestertonian and pro-life activist, is encouraging us all to be more frequent and creative in our use of fetal models. Sure, we know that these teaching tools can be very effective for kids and even for some teenagers who have been misled into thinking that a preborn child is merely a clump of tissue or a mass of undifferentiated, unrecognizable cells.

But Kathryn is on a mission (and an excellent one too) to remind us that fetal models carry a powerful message to those who we mistakenly assume have already "got it."

Here's a case in point from Ladies for Life.

I took a fetal model (boy, 11-12 weeks along) to a women’s Bible study class this week. One of the ladies, a nurse, held it in her hand for a while, lost in thought.

“I held a baby this age in my hand,” she finally said. The mother had miscarried, and this nurse and the mother gently held the baby’s body, marveling together over the fingers and toes, and how “complete” the baby was. “We could tell it was a little girl,” the nurse added, as if she hadn’t expected that to be apparent in a baby that young.

Amazed at what she was seeing, the nurse took the child around to show other nurses. “We were all so amazed,” she said, “at how complete she was.”

The nurse was smiling as she said this, and every time she said the word “complete” there was an amazed, joyous, emphasis on the word. It had been a wonderful discovery, I

OK, I’ll admit it – the first time I read this, in which Scott Klusendorf claims that a lot of people tend to think of babies being constructed instead of developing, my reaction was something along the lines of ‘yeah, right.’

But since then, this nurse is not the only person I’ve talked to who had some kind of awakening when she finally saw what a preborn really looks like, and realized that the baby was ‘all there’.

This is a nurse, ladies. Presumably she’s had more training in the stages of human development than most of us. But it took having a “complete” baby in her hand before the truth sank in.

We have a lot of work to do.

If you'd like to see more stories, Kathryn has a few from their decision to stock fetal models in their gas station/bookstore. Cool, huh? And she's collecting more.

I'll add here that the sidewalk counselors of Vital Signs Ministries have used fetal models for many, many years. And I've also taken elaborate sets of fetal models with me when I travel, leaving them to carry on a teaching ministry that goes way beyond language. So we couldn't agree more with Kathryn.

Fetal models open minds. And hearts. And thus, save lives.

Among the places you can purchase fetal models (by the set or small plastic versions you can use in personal conversations) are right here on this page of the Heritage House online catalog.