No. Choosing life is the ultimate victory
By Nancy Valko
Editor’s note. My family and I will be on our vacation through August 27. I will occasionally add new items but for the most part we will repost “the best of the best” — the stories our readers have told us they especially liked.
Editor’s note. This was written January 30, eight days after the “Reproductive Health Act” was signed into law in New York.
As a nurse and a mother myself, it was awful to read about the newest and most radical abortion law voted in and just signed by New York governor Andrew Cuomo. The vote on this law was even met with a standing ovation in the New York legislature.
This bill would not only legalize abortions UP TO BIRTH but also revokes the requirement for medical care that must be provided afterwards if the baby survives an abortion attempt. Now, Rhode Island is considering the same thing.
The “right to abortion” is a central tenet of the “Women’s Rights” movement and most mainstream media complies by constantly insisting that women want and need abortion. Planned Parenthood and even Oprah Winfrey promote women to “Shout Your Abortion” to show that abortion is empowering and even necessary to women’s success.
But is this true?
“EMPOWERING WOMEN AND DEFENDING LIFE: AN INSEPARABLE CALL TO ACTION”
This is the title of a powerful article by a woman who started working at a crisis pregnancy center after she had received help there in the past when she was pregnant and money was tight.
As the anonymous author writes in FemCatholic:
“What I hadn’t realized was that, in situations of unplanned, crisis, or unwanted pregnancies, the staff set out not only to save the life of an unborn child or give women access to free pregnancy tests and resources (as important as those things are); the counselors want to give women hope, confidence, and the ability to look within and see their own strength. In short, they want to empower every woman they encounter.
My interviewer described to me the approach that counselors took in that initial appointment. She stressed that the goal of the appointment is never to convince the woman one way or another. Instead, counselors provide each woman with information regarding all options, and work to help her realize that she has the strength to do hard things, to be courageous in the face of this difficult situation, and to assure her that there are people ready to love and support her. If the woman chooses to she can continue meeting with a counselor regularly throughout her pregnancy for support, resources, and caring community.” (All emphasis in original)
The author also writes about her other experiences:
“I have worked at two different maternity homes, and have seen firsthand the freedom that women experience when they discover and engage their strength, gifts, passions, and sheer willpower. It is incredible to watch these empowered women getting and staying sober or clean, finishing or going back to school, applying for jobs, dreaming about their futures with hope rather than despair. Women are capable of amazing things! I honestly believe one of our greatest feminine gifts is the ability to carry on in the face of even seemingly impossible situations.” (All emphasis in original)
Her message is both simple and profound:
“How can we, women who are passionate about empowering other women, begin to change the conversation, to advance true liberation for women in unplanned pregnancies?”
WHAT ABOUT THE “WORST CASE” SCENARIO WHEN THE UNBORN BABY IS DOOMED TO DIE?
In the latest Gallup poll on abortion, 67% of the people polled approve abortion “When the child would be born with a life-threatening illness”. (Of course, sometimes that diagnosis proves to be wrong.)
But is abortion really the best answer for these distressed parents?
The answer is no, according to a recent article in The Public Discourse titled “Do Women Regret Giving Birth When the Baby is Doomed to Die?,” by Professor Christopher Kaczor of Loyola Marymount University.
Professor Kaczor cites a 2018 article from the Journal of Clinical Ethics titled “‘I Would Do It All Over Again’: Cherishing Time and the Absence of Regret in Continuing a Pregnancy after a Life-Limiting Diagnosis“that found:
“Absence of regret was articulated in 97.5 percent of participants. Parents valued the baby as a part of their family and had opportunities to love, hold, meet, and cherish their child. Participants treasured the time together before and after the birth. Although emotionally difficult, parents articulated an empowering, transformative experience that lingers over time.” (Emphasis added)
He also cites another study titled “We want what’s best for our baby: Prenatal Parenting of Babies with Lethal Conditions” from the Journal of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health that found:
“After the birth, and at the time of the baby’s death, parents expressed thankfulness that they were able to spend as much time with their baby as possible.”
In contrast, Professor Kaczor cites a meta-analysis (a statistical analysis that combines the results of multiple scientific studies) in a Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic and Neonatal Nursing titled “The Travesty of Choosing after Positive Prenatal Diagnosis” as well as another study to state that:
“Couples experienced selective termination as traumatic, regardless of the prenatal test revealing the fetal impairment or stage in pregnancy in which the termination occurred.”
Professor Kaczor concludes from this:
“Women who receive a lethal fetal diagnosis deserve our compassion and support. Fortunately, organizations such as Caring to Term and Perinatal Hospice & Palliative Care provide information and support for these tremendously difficult situations. Unfortunately, doctors sometimes pressure women into getting abortions and do not share with them the information that is necessary to make an informed choice. Those who receive a lethal diagnosis deserve to know the truth that 97.5 percent of women who continue pregnancies when the baby is doomed to die have no regrets about doing so—and that abortion does not have similar outcomes. Numerous studies have come to the same conclusion: giving life rather than aborting is likely to lead to greater psychological benefit for women whose baby is doomed to die.
Many years ago with my last child, I had abortion recommended to me by two different doctors but not because the baby had an adverse prenatal diagnosis. In my case, abortion was suggested because, due to my first husband’s severe psychosis, I would most likely wind up supporting my children alone.
The doctors’ prediction about my husband’s prognosis proved to be correct. But I was outraged that these doctors could even think about encouraging an abortion and adding more trauma to a difficult situation. And I was also outraged that they thought I was too powerless to raise 3 children on my own. I wasn’t.
Because of that experience, I now know the power of the simple phrase “I am here for you” and I have said it myself to other mothers, especially ones who were given an adverse prenatal diagnosis.
I know that choosing life is the ultimate victory!
Editor’s note. This appeared on Nancy’s blog and is reposted with permission.