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Even Babies With ‘No Chance Of Survival’ Deserve A Shot At Life

newborn baby held by nurse at hospital
Image Creditengin akyurt/Unsplash

Doctors told me I should abort my baby because that’s what ‘everyone does’ in that situation.


Finding out that my child was going to die was a jarring experience. The doctor saw the problem with our baby and turned off the ultrasound.

“This baby has no chance of survival.” So much for the bedside manner.

I was reminded of him, and my baby, this weekend when my husband and I went on a grocery run before dinner. On the way home, we noticed a note tucked under the windshield wiper. We pulled over to read it. I was shocked, saddened, and angry. Hastily scribbled on the back half of a paper bag, it read:

My baby was born with a broken heart. It was supposed to be survivable but it wasn’t. The few un-sedated hours of his life were full of violence. Needles and chest compressions and bright light and yelling. The first time I held him, it was as he died. The second and final time I held him was when he was frozen in the funeral home. I wish every day that I had chosen to spare him by letting him go at 20 weeks. That would have been the most humane & loving thing I could have done.

Now, my bumper stickers make it clear that I am pro-life, so I suppose it’s fair game for anyone who wishes to leave a note. But this one really got to me.

This woman’s note said she wished she had ended her child’s life at 20 weeks. I imagine this was the point at which she was shown an ultrasound revealing her baby’s heart defect. I say this because my 17-week ultrasound is when I learned my baby had “no chance.”

I was told to come in the next week to have further tests done on the baby to see if his kidneys were functioning enough for him to survive. That day happened to be Good Friday in 1994. And sure enough, his kidneys were not functioning.

It was recommended that I abort my baby because that’s what “everyone does” in that situation. Had I done so, it would have been right around the 20-week mark. But abortion was never an option for me. This was our baby, and we loved him. If God wanted to take him sooner, so be it, but I was not going to take his life. He was his own person. And he did live a few precious minutes outside the womb.

As I read and reread the note, it made less and less sense to me. I don’t think it really matters if you’re pro-life or not to acknowledge what happened to her baby was totally natural. Tragic, yes, but within the course of nature. Her baby was born with difficulties and the doctors heroically tried to save his life. That’s what should happen. It’s not violence. It’s an act to save the life of a person.

Violence would have been to end the baby’s life without giving him that chance. Entering the womb and taking that life and then having to deliver that baby’s dead body parts — that’s the violence. And that’s not what she did. She had a funeral for him. A proper burial. She will be able to visit his grave. She has the memory of giving life to another human being like her mom did for her. She cooperated with God in having that special baby, and she did everything she could to save his life.

It strikes me that this is more proof that there are no coincidences in life. How could she have known the person whose car she left her note on is actually a woman who shared her experience? She now has my prayers for her healing. God bless her for giving her child life and a proper death and burial. That gift is what we should hope for all babies. I pray she will come around and see that her choice was the only one.

Abortion affects everyone today, and there is a lot of healing that needs to happen. We cannot continue to kill our children. This Mother’s Day, let us be a solution to the problem. Let us turn our culture back to life. Let us repent of the sin of abortion and end the justification of it. Then we can begin the long overdue healing process so desperately needed in our society.

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