Just after Christmas, the popular fast news website Yahoo News published the article “What Kind of Mother Is 8 Months Pregnant and Wants an Abortion?” “as an example of one of our best of 2015.” (emphasis added)
In this story, an anonymous woman called “Kate”, a married mother of one daughter, found out at almost 8 months that her unborn second daughter had Dandy-Walker Syndrome, a genetic disorder that can result in mental and physical disabilities. A subsequent test was said to show severe brain abnormalities.
Kate, now an administrator of the website “Ending a Wanted Pregnancy” which includes a Poor Prenatal Diagnosis Index, decided to have an abortion-for her unborn daughter’s sake. Adoption and keeping the baby were mentioned as options but were rejected by Kate without explanation.
As Kate relates her story:
The doctor said, “We expect your baby to have moderate to severe mental retardation; she’s going to have moderate to severe physical disability; she is probably never going to walk or talk; she will possibly never be able to lift her head; she is going to have seizures all of the time… (and) Babies like this one are not generally comfortable enough to sleep.”
In that moment, I had to shift my thinking. I was hoping for special ed, and had been focusing on questions like: How much should you save to know your special-needs daughter will be OK after you die? I was thinking about long-term care and mild to moderate disability. Instead, I had to think about a baby who was probably not going to live very long, and the longer she lived, the more pain she would be in. That realization – that I was more scared of her living than of her dying — is what made the choice for me.
Kate then tells how difficult and expensive ($25,000) it was to find an abortionist to perform such a late abortion. Kate’s doctor eventually found one in Colorado, far from Kate’s home in Boston and Kate endured a four day abortion procedure.
Kate relates the procedure:
The whole first day was counseling and testing to make sure it was safe to do the procedure. They want to make sure you completely understand what is going to happen and that no one is pressuring you into the decision. At the end of the day, I signed all the paperwork, and the doctor injected the baby with a drug that, over a few hours, slowed her heart to still. It was a very, very difficult day. Euthanizing the baby is, obviously, a very hard thing to do. (emphasis added)
On the fourth day, labor was induced and Kate delivered her dead daughter.
Kate’s 2 year old daughter cried when Kate told her that her expected sister was “gone”. Three years after the abortion, Kate says
Now, every six months or so, we talk about it again — her understanding of it evolves as she grows. At this point, she knows the baby died because she was sick in a way the doctors couldn’t fix, because she had holes in her brain, and you need your whole brain to be healthy.
Kate’s story was obviously meant to generate sympathy for a distraught mother and thus show why abortion should continue to be legal. However, the shocking description of the third trimester abortion and the continued effect on the mother and sister undermine the narrative that abortion is the best option in such a difficult situation.
ANOTHER SIDE TO THE LATE-TERM ABORTION DECISION
Personally, I know what it is like to be told that your baby has severe problems and might die. I was told just a short time after my daughter Karen was born that she had an inoperable heart defect and would live just “2 weeks to 2 months.” I know the panic and fear that mothers like Kate must feel but in my case, as in many others, the doctor turned out to be wrong about her terminal diagnosis.
Although my Karen later died of complications from pneumonia before her open heart surgery, I treasure the almost 6 months we had together and I have no regrets.
Today, I also have a wonderful stepdaughter who has Turner’s Syndrome, one of the conditions listed in the Poor Prenatal Diagnosis Index on the “Ending a Wanted Pregnancy” website, and she is now a kind, generous woman who has no mental or physical disabilities.
In both these cases, abortion would have “solved” nothing.
Unfortunately, stories like Kate’s are desperately discouraging to women and families facing a difficult prenatal diagnosis. Tragically, the article also ignores the help and resources available to help such children and their families.
For example, the article does not mention groups like local Birthright centers and the website Prenatal Partners for Life which is “dedicated to providing families, either expecting, or those who have had, a child with special needs or a life limiting condition, the support, information, and encouragement they need to make informed decisions involving their preborn or newborn child’s care.” There are also support and information websites for specific conditions like the Dandy-Walker Alliance , the condition that Kate’s baby had.
And anyone who reads pro-life news sites such as Life News and NRL News Today has read many inspiring stories of hope and even unexpected happiness when a woman chooses life for her baby despite a difficult or even terminal diagnosis.
These and other other websites also contain information about Project Rachel, an organization that helps women, men and even families to heal after abortion.
I am not writing this blog to condemn Kate or other women who have had abortions. My heart goes out to them and I wish I could have had a chance to personally offer help, options, encouragement and information. I consider these women as additional victims of the abortion mentality that has so infected our society.
However, I do have a problem with abortion supporters who use such tragic stories to garner sympathy and support for their political agenda of legal abortion at any time for any reason and paid for by taxpayers as “reproductive health”.
Women and their babies deserve better.