“What Kind of Mother is 8 Months Pregnant and Wants an Abortion?”

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.

CONCLUSION

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.

IF I KNEW MY DAUGHTER HAD DOWN SYNDROME…

IF I KNEW MY DAUGHTER HAD DOWN SYNDROME….
September 6, 2015
Recently I read a Yahoo news article titled  “If I Knew My Daughter Had Down Syndrome, I Would Have Aborted Her – All Women Should Have That Right”  that broke my heart.
Beautiful pictures of this mom and her daughter accompanied her harsh words:

“Ohio is poised to become the second state in this country to ban abortion because of a fetal diagnosis of Down syndrome this fall. As a pro-choice woman who has a 7-year-old daughter with Down syndrome, I find this absolutely appalling.”
“This is an issue that hits close to home for me: If I had had a prenatal diagnosis, I would have obtained an abortion. Today, I am beyond grateful that I didn’t. But I cannot ever in any circumstances imagine insisting others not have that right.”

Here is what I wrote back in the comments section of this article:

I am an RN whose third child Karen was born in 1982 with both Down Syndrome and a heart defect. I was given a “choice” of whether or not to allow a surgery even though there was an up to 90% chance of success. I was outraged because that “choice” would not have been offered if my daughter did not have Down Syndrome. I knew then that I had to fight this medical discrimination not only for my daughter but for other children with disabilities.
Years later, a nice woman asked that, if I knew my daughter had Down Syndrome before birth, would I have chosen abortion. Instead of talking about how people with Down Syndrome were defying old, pessimistic predictions or how there was actually a waiting list of prospective adoptive parents for children with Down Syndrome, I asked the woman if she knew how abortions were done.
She said no so I asked her if she wanted to know. When she consented, I simply and clinically described how first, second and third trimester abortions were done. The woman responded with horror and said “You couldn’t do that to your child!”
That is exactly the point. It is not about what challenges a child may have but rather about deliberately killing an innocent child at any stage of life.
I would like to reassure the mom in this article that, while her feelings are understandable, she has apparently been a great mother to her daughter and should be proud of herself.
I would also like to encourage her to let go of any guilt over what she might have done, celebrate her beautiful daughter and please don’t discourage other mothers from choosing life for their child. Nancy V.

THE TRAGEDY OF SO-CALLED “THERAPUETIC ABORTION FOR FETAL DEFECT”

A friend of mine I will call “Mary” (not her real name) had an ultrasound of her unborn baby at 5 months that appeared to show anencephaly.  Anencephaly is a serious birth defect in which a baby is born without parts of the brain and skull. Most babies born with this condition die soon after birth.

However, Mary was also told that this pregnancy would kill her and, in a panic, she quickly endured 28 hours of hard labor with a prostaglandin-induced abortion before her baby was delivered. She never saw her baby.

Mary tried hard to put the tragedy behind her and decided to tell most of her friends that she had a miscarriage rather than an abortion. However, as she confided later, she half-expected to be somehow punished when she later had a son and it took several months after his birth before she could truly believe that her new son was healthy. But every Christmas she also secretly hung an ornament for her dead first child.

What Mary didn’t know was that her obstetrician apparently lied to her. First of all, she was not in any special physical danger from her pregnancy.

I later ran into an old friend who happened to be the doctor (not Mary’s obstetrician) who read her ultrasound. Since he also knew I was a friend of Mary’s, he asked how she was doing. He turned white and had to sit down when I told him about the abortion. It turns out that not only was Mary healthy but the ultrasound suggested only  the possibility of anencephaly. Such initial testing is too often wrong and should not be used as a definitive diagnosis.

I felt Mary had a right to know all this but she rebuffed my offer to tell her what I learned. However, five years later, she called and  said that although she didn’t want a lecture, she had a question that continued to haunt her: What did the hospital do with her baby’s body?

Abortion claims many victims because there is an enormous difference between dying and being killed no matter what the reason.

Pope Speaks on Forgiveness, Excommunication and Abortion; Confusion Ensues

POPE SPEAKS ON FORGIVENESS, EXCOMMUNICATION AND ABORTION, CONFUSION ENSUES

By Nancy Valko, RN ALNC

September 2, 2015

A recent Reuters news article  “Pope to allow all priests to forgive abortion during Holy Year, stated that

In Church teaching, abortion is such a grave sin that those who procure or perform it incur an automatic excommunication. Usually only designated clergy and missionaries can formally forgive abortions.

That was news to many of us like Carol who wrote in a comment on the article:

Catholic priests have forgiven abortion for years! The Catholic church has always been concerned for the souls of women who have abortions! There are many Catholic programs for counseling and healing women who have had abortions. Check out Rachel’s Vineyard, one of many. This is just not news.

However, to many in the public and even some devout Catholics, the article seemed to show that Pope Francis and possibly the Catholic Church were softening on the issue of abortion.

THE TRUTH ABOUT FORGIVENESS, EXCOMMUNICATION AND ABORTION

As Cardinal Chaput of Philadelphia explains simply in an article “Chaput Praises Pope’s Abortion Stance“:

“For many years now, parish priests have been given permission to absolve the sin of abortion here in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia,” Chaput said in the statement. “But the practice has not been common in various other regions of the world.” (emphasis added)

Chaput added: “This action in no way diminishes the moral gravity of abortion. What it does do is make access to sacramental forgiveness easier for anyone who seeks it with a truly penitent heart.”

Questions and concerns about excommunication are addressed on pages 67-69 of Project Rachel Ministry: A Post-Abortion Resource Manual for Priests and Project Rachel Ministry Leaders. Here is an excerpt:

It is commonly thought that the Church excommunicates all Catholics who have procured a successful abortion. However, probably in a great many cases, mitigating or extenuating circumstances prevent the individual from incurring  the censure of excommunication. The tragedy of abortion triggers distinct and separate questions regarding the personal responsibility of one who has procured a successful abortion: has a sin been committed? If so, was the commission of that sin such that it also resulted in the incurring of a penalty?

“JANE’S” STORY

Years ago when I was in home health, I was assigned to “Jane” (not her real name),  an elderly woman  who was dying of  heart disease. The doctor said he was amazed that Jane had lived this long in an assisted living apartment. The home health agency told me that this woman was a very difficult patient who had fired every nurse who saw her. I was told that I was a last resort to try to help her. I could only hope that I would be equal to the challenge.
Sure enough, on my first appointment, Jane was very critical and negative. She seemed immune to positive comments and encouragement.  I recognized that Jane was very troubled and I tried to find out more about her. I discovered that Jane was a widow with few if any friends and a daughter in California who could only visit occasionally.  Jane raged daily against the limitations that her disease caused and the the medical establishment in general.
However, after several visits, Jane slowly softened and even showed a glimmer of a sense of humor. I liked her spirit.

Part of my duties was to measure her swollen abdomen and legs to determine if the diuretic (water pill) was working as intended to lessen the workload on her heart.
Then one day as I was measuring her abdomen, she commented that she looked 9 months pregnant and uncharacteristically started sobbing. She told me that she had had an abortion over 60 years ago before she was married and lost who she assumed was a son. Now she felt God was punishing her by making her look pregnant. Out of shame, Jane had told no one-not even her late husband-about the abortion.
She admitted that she was afraid of dying because she knew she would then have to go to hell because she had committed the “unforgivable sin” of abortion. I was stunned.
I reassured her that there was no such thing as an “unforgivable sin” and that God is all-merciful. I also told her about Project Rachel, how I could help her contact them, and that she deserved the peace of forgiveness from God and especially from herself.

Slowly, her outlook changed and even though she never called Project Rachel (she insisted that our talks and contacting a priest were enough), her spirits lifted. She died peacefully a few days later.
Postscript: I was later told by a priest that he was reluctant to preach about abortion because he realized that some in his parish probably had had an abortion and he didn’t want to cause them more pain and drive them away from church.
I told him Jane’s story and said that if he did not discuss abortion, he was depriving his parish of understanding the damage abortion causes, the help of groups like Project Rachel and the mercy of God’s forgiveness.

I know Jane would be pleased.