Luke’s gospel records a fascinating interaction between Mary (mother of Jesus) and Elizabeth (mother of John the Baptist):

A few days later Mary hurried to the hill country of Judea, to the town where Zechariah lived. She entered the house and greeted Elizabeth. At the sound of Mary’s greeting, Elizabeth’s child leaped within her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.

Elizabeth gave a glad cry and exclaimed to Mary, “God has blessed you above all women, and your child is blessed. Why am I so honored, that the mother of my Lord should visit me? When I heard your greeting, the baby in my womb jumped for joy. You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what he said.”
-Luke 1:39-45

One of the most controversial topics in the world today is abortion. This passage of Scripture helps me to understand this issue better–it teaches us about the value and sacredness of life. Here we have a conversation between two expecting mothers. John the Baptist “jumped for joy” at the sound of Mary’s voice. I’m not sure exactly what this means. Perhaps in some mysterious way, John knew he was in the Savior’s presence (even though both he and Jesus were both still in the womb).

While I do not completely understand this passage, one thing is clear to me: life begins before birth. John the Baptist was not yet born, but he responded to Mary’s voice. He was not simply a “fetus” or an “invalid tissue blob.”

As we celebrate the Savior’s birth, let’s remember the value of human life—both born and unborn.