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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Irrevocable Decisions

The use of graphic images of abortion are controversial even within the pro-life community.

Some argue that they turn off people who might otherwise be sympathetic, while others believe people should know the unvarnished facts of what abortion involves.

There may be some validity to both perspectives, but Operation Rescue has a story about sidewalk counselor Jennifer McCoy and the "Truth Truck" which has graphic images of abortion on the side.

Jennifer intercepted a couple from Ohio who were coming out of Tiller’s abortion mill early in the afternoon. She persuaded them to go next door to Choices Medical Clinic, a pro-life center that offers help to pregnant women.

After an ultrasound and visit with the staff physician, the couple was relieved to discover that the anomalies their 33-week pre-born baby was experiencing were correctable with surgery. They had only been given the abortion option.

They told Jennifer that Tiller was charging them $15,000, money that will now be used help raise their new daughter.

When the couple left, they spoke with Jennifer and told them that seeing the graphic images of aborted babies on Operation Rescue’s Truth Truck was the turning point for them. “We just couldn’t do that to our baby,” they said.

The images seem to have reached another person as well:
Later in the afternoon, Jennifer spoke with a young woman who was 12 weeks pregnant. She had also gone over to Choices Medical clinic instead of entering Tiller’s mill. She told Jennifer that she was stunned by the images on the Truth Truck and knew she could not go through with the abortion. Jennifer exchanged contact information with her and the young mother even offered to start taking shifts outside Tiller’s gate.

Both of these incidents represent a life saved, but the first one interests me the most.

The story says this first couple was set to abort their child at 8 months development because they had been told the child had some sort of anomalies. It seems they didn't know these anomalies could be corrected by surgery.

Imagine if (when?) they found out later, after killing their child, that they could have corrected these problems with surgery? Can you imagine their horror and heartache?

But even those children who have more serious problems that can't be corrected with medical treatment are no less human, with no less dignity, and no less of a right to life.

Yes, they will be a greater burden on their parents. But what if a perfectly healthy 10 year old child suffered a serious brain injury and suddenly and irrevocably was left with the mental functioning of a two or three year old? Would it be okay to kill that 10 year old? If not, what is the real difference between killing the 10 year old and the child at 8 months development?

Today LifeSiteNews published a story about a recently published Norwegian study of prenatal detection of trisomy 21 (Down syndrome) which found that 84% of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome in the Norway are aborted.

Let's be honest: no one wants their child to be born with Down syndrome.

But what makes the child with Down syndrome less human, less deserving of life?

Undoubtedly, having a child born with Down syndrome would be heartbreaking. All the hopes and dreams for your child that you built up during the pregnancy would mostly be gone. The parents would also have a lifetime of responsibility to look forward to that they otherwise would not have had.

But many parents of children born with Down syndrome find incredible joy in and from these children.

But both joy and responsibility aside, I can't escape the fact of their human dignity. What justifies killing a person simply because they aren't as fully functional as most people?

I remember when my wife and I were pregnant with our two children. Both times, our doctor offered us tests to check and see in the womb whether our child might have Down syndrome. We declined the test both times because as we told our doctor, knowing the results of the test wouldn't change anything. Aborting the child would not even be a remote option; we were committed to care for our children regardless of the condition in which they were born.

What's more, in addition to the story above of an incomplete diagnosis, there are many stories of completely wrong diagnoses, such as this one:
Based on the hospital's diagnosis, Ndoye agreed to terminate her pregnancy, and was given a shot of methotrexate, a drug that would kill the embryo. When Ndoye returned later in the day for a follow-up shot, the doctors informed her that the first diagnosis had been a mistake, and that her pregnancy was, in fact, healthy.

Life is far too valuable, and the decision to end it is far too irrevocable, for human beings to play around with.

It is far safer and far more healthy to respect the value and dignity of all human life, and leave the transition to death up to God.


3 comments:

Terry Family said...

Your article has language errors -

First, the correct name is Down syndrome. Capital "D" lowercase "s" and no apostrophe. There is NO such thing as a person with "Downs" -- it's a very common mistake.


Second, words can and do create barriers. Never describe a person as a "Down syndrome child" - he/she is a "child with Down syndrome." It could be equated to describing a person this way - that's my cancerous grandmother - you wouldn't say that would you? No, of course not!! You'd use proper English and say my grandmother has cancer. Why? Because it's not WHO she is - just a part of her.

Bob Ellis said...

Thanks for the information, Terry Family. I made the suggested corrections.

Anonymous said...

I am sickened to know that 84% of babies who are diagnosed in the womb to have Down syndrome are aborted....that absolutely makes me want to throw up.

I have a 17-year-old son with Down syndrome, and he is absolutely one of the best things that has ever happened to me. Yes, I'm (now) a single Mom, and yes, it has not been an easy road, to say the least. But as with any kids -- if you go into having children thinking that's it's always going to be an easy road, then you just should NOT have kids, as no kids are easy all the time -- that is totally unrealistic.

But my son is an absolute joy and the light of my life! Once it was determined, however, after a blood test, that my odds were quite great of being pregnant with a child who might have Down syndrome, I did opt to have amniocentesis -- but not because abortion might be an option -- it never was in my book -- but only because if I needed specialists there at the time of birth to give him the care he might need, I wanted to ensure we were ready.

I will also say that the horrible photos of aborted fetuses IS NOT THE WAY TO GO, folks. Once, when I was with my daughter in San Francisco and we were on a trolley car, someone on the side of the street in downtown San Francisco was holding up a huge photo of an aborted baby -- apparently trying to scare everyone around them. Well, let me tell you that they did a superb job -- because my 12-year-old daughter saw it and started sobbing! She could not be consoled! I was livid beyond words at that person! THAT IS NOT THE RIGHT TACTIC!!!!!!

 
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