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Who will remember unborn children?
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Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
It’s been said that confession is good for the soul. I suppose that is true, because to confess or verbalize one’s sins does sometimes release one’s guilt. But in truth, as someone pointed out to me, “It’s easy to forgive, but so hard to forget.”

My story is not one I’ve hidden. I’ve spoken several times about it. It’s not an easy subject to broach, to tell, or to hear. It’s not that I’m especially guilty about it. Like a war story it’s a part of your life that is vivid in your memory. It is hard to forget and so at three in the morning, I sit at a typewriter writing my story.

As a young man of 18, I trained at Delta College to be an Electron Microscope Tech. A long title for someone who prepares and studies biological tissue on an Electron Microscope. I worked at a university in California in 1974 right after Roe Vs. Wade was decided. My job was to go to a hospital where abortions were being done and pick up the aborted children (fetus) after the procedure was finished. I would then do a basic autopsy on these aborted children (fetus.)
The professor I was working for also was working on a special research project at the time. He called it, “The comparative growth at the Human Heart.” I would have to find the heart of these children and place them in a chemical fixative. These children (fetus) were from ten to sixteen weeks old.

At the time, it was just a job to me. Like with any “yucky” job, after a while you just accept what you do as “Normal”. Until one day I opened the container that contained a fetus. I took out the cheesecloth sock that contained the aborted child. I cut it open and proceeded to search for the heart in the still-warm tissue inside. I searched through the placenta. A “Therapeutic Suction Abortion” literally tears these children apart. So at times it could be a difficult task to find a heart the size of one’s little fingernail. I would then have to find a foot, because by measuring a “fetus’s” foot, you could come up with the approximate age of each child. It would also have to be done quickly before the tissue deteriorated. I did this job for about six months before I found something that has stuck with me for all these years.

It’s funny how the human memory works. We can retain the oddest things or our happiest moments. Or mental pictures of things we can never forget. This is one of those moments I don’t cherish to remember but I must to make people understand that abortion is not just the termination of an unwanted pregnancy but the taking of a life as the debate continues. And each side stands on their high ground and throws volleys at each other. Unlike most of those in that debate, I would like to just state that “I have been there and I have done that.” I have seen the result of abortion and no one or no-thing will ever change my mind that we take the life of unborn children.

I don’t mean to stir up guilt in anyone who has had this procedure because what they have done in their past is done. And we must move on and learn from our mistakes. And abortion is a mistake. A fetus is a child.

That became clear to me after those six months past. I looked down at the tissue before me. And there “looking” back at me was the face of a child. And this is the memory that to this day stands out. This face of this unborn child. It had all the features of my face. A mouth, a tongue, closed eyes. A mask of an unborn child.

And so, Pro-choice advocates, take your high ground and argue your facts. I will stand on the high ground with this child. I will argue for him! Abortion is about life. His life.

And so, I will remember this child and this face. And nothing will make me forget him. But my question to you is, “Who will remember the millions of unborn children and their faces?” Will you?
David C. Smith
June 17, 2009