By Dave Andrusko
After all this time, I still have to remind myself that writers (and certainly those not working for a newspaper) don’t write headlines. That’s why “My view: Parental pains, birth defects and abortion” can be so neutral when W. Brett Branham’s analysis and conclusions are so hugely life-affirming.
I saw the op-ed in the Deseret News but it was a reprint from Naples Daily News. Wherever it started, the piece ended in just the right spot.
Mr. Branham tells the nerve-wracking story of how blood work done on his wife, Samantha, led their doctor to conclude that there was a heightened risk that their third child would have spina bifida. More tests, the doctor suggested.
Being a couple of faith,
“We spent the weekend in prayer. What was once unbelievable helped us to be more believing. We put our trust in God and tried to remember that all things are in his hands, regardless of the outcome.”
When they went for those additional tests, Branham wrote,
“We met with a genetic specialist who did everything in her power to use words I had never heard of before. Illnesses, deformities and abnormalities: she laid out all the possibilities.”
Sensing that she had thoroughly succeeded in instilling despair, the specialist attempted “to speak peace to a couple of troubled parents.” Have an ultrasound, she counseled, and then they could “find out if our baby suffered from any abnormalities,” Branham recalls. And then she said
“But if you do not like what you see, you can always get an abortion.”
I cannot possibly do justice to the eloquent (and angry) response that utterly callous remarks stirred in Branham.
What Branham does so well is two-fold. First, whether the baby is perfectly “normal” or suspected of being “imperfect,” counseling an abortion is terrible advice. He writes
“Killing an unborn child does not kill any pain that we may, will or can experience in the process of procreation. Droves of women and men feel the bitter emptiness of abortion for the babies that will never be able to sleep in their lonely arms.”
Abortion proponents offer no explanation about the “mental and physical anguish” that is part and parcel of taking an unborn baby’s life.
Second, where does it all end? Seriously. Branham asks
“As a civilized society, how do we allow abortions to occur according to personal taste anyway, let alone at all? If you do not like what you see, you can just abort it. Got a girl but you want a boy? Just abort it. Having a baby will change your lifestyle? Just abort it. Not ready to be a father? Tell her to abort it. Your baby is not big enough? Your baby will not have blue eyes? Your baby has physical deformities? No need to worry. If you do not like what you see, you can abort it.”
But if we were to look at this from the life-affirming side, there is almost no end to what we are learning about the once near-invisible unborn child. It is just utterly amazing that we can amass all we have about the baby’s remarkable journey to birth but be so double-minded that we allow babies capable of experiencing excruciating pain to die a ghastly death by abortion.
Congratulations to Brett and Samantha Branham for realizing, as he wrote, “Regardless of size, shape or differences, each unborn child is one of a kind.”