Wednesday, July 15, 2015

thoughts on abortion

I wrote this for my Facebook status today in light of the Planned Parenthood news and decided to post it here as well.

I'm just going say something that has long bothered Shane and I about the whole topic of abortion. When I was 22 weeks pregnant with Kate, we went in for yet another ultrasound which ended up being our fifth and final one. For 45 minutes straight, the technician explored her baby heart looking for abnormalities that would help the midwives and doctors involved know if she had Down Syndrome. They found nothing amiss this time, but a completely whole and perfectly functioning baby heart.
Before the ultrasound was finished, the technician asked me if I would like to see the rest of my baby. Yes, please. So I was given a final look at her little arms, legs and face until we met her face-to-face in a warm hospital room three weeks before Christmas.
After the ultrasound was completed, the results were sent to a pediatric cardiac doctor who was only a few rooms away. Minutes later, that doctor and two others met with us in a tiny room to tell us that they couldn't confirm DS and gave us three options to consider.
One was further genetic counseling which would involve an amniocentesis, the second was to do nothing and continue the pregnancy as normal and the third option was to abort her. The abortion, we were told, would have to take place within 2.5 weeks under Canadian law, or we could cross the border, they said, if we took longer.
We told them we were only interested in the second option and left the hospital. To have doctors who were so diligent in their care of our baby's health also be so diligent to help us kill our baby girl forever imprinted on our minds the divided or schizophrenic mind of these doctors who could care for the unborn as long as the mother wanted the baby, but would be so willing so kill the unborn if the mother no longer wanted the baby. It all hinged on what the mother thought of the baby. If it was wanted, it was a baby to be celebrated, if it was unwanted it was a fetus to get rid of. Of course, as it has been pointed out, a fetus is just another name for a young one, an offspring.
We have always understood that those who wish for women to be able to continue to kill their unborn babies are those who insist on holding at least two inconsistent ideas in their mind. 1) Babies are not babies unless the mother says they are and  2) Science is everything unless you are talking about the formation of babies.
Nobody is saying that every mother can be a mother to her birthed baby. Life is hard, sometimes you have to get help.
By the time Kate was 48 hours old, she had been transferred by ambulance through snow-packed roads to the children's hospital where she was to spend the next three weeks of her life drinking milk, gaining weight and getting strong enough to nurse and drink milk from a bottle. She spent most of those three weeks in a crib room with three other infants who all had very serious and heart-breaking medical conditions.
One of them was a baby boy flown in from Baffin Island who had many reasons to need hospital care. He was already in the foster care system and the nurses and doctors gave him the same wonderful care Kate was receiving. He was smiling and drinking his milk and in the best place he could possibly be.
For those who think that abortion is the best answer for some mothers and their babies, they are wrong. There are many families who are willing to take these babies in and be the parents that the mother could not be. We have several families in our small circle of friends and acquaintances here in Ontario who currently have such babies and children in their care. We also have friends who have gone out of their way to adopt special needs babies. I am humbled by those friends.
Abortion does not just kill a baby, it kills a part of us. It closes down our minds and hearts to what else could be done to help. It is not easy to care for an unwell baby. It is not easy to watch a baby need medical help. It is not easy to see a baby die in spite of a doctor's expert care.
But that is this life and no one can shield us from any and all suffering. I write this from a mother's heart who was asked to be part of an abortion protest in the eighth grade along with classmates. I continue to protest for many reasons, one of which is because I've been in that room and have looked in the face of doctors who thought they were helping. Killing the unborn never helps.


  1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and perspective here, Heather. I think the part that struck me the most was the fact that these same doctors who had been so diligent to help you care for Kate would also throw themselves behind aborting her? Ugh.

  2. Heather, I have books to say - but my most intimate testament is my own sweet husband, born to a very young and, by the world's standards, under-equipped mother. The world would not have bet on Jason. There were life-style pregnancy complications, that have yielded learning hurdles for Jason. If there had been a jury set up to vote on his viability as a productive man, I fear he would not have made it. But here he is: an M. Eng, a godly father and a gentle husband. By God's grace - Ad Majored Dei Gloria. Had he not been born I would not have the only man I have ever loved to be my co-labourer here on earth. Killing the unborn never helps.


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