People who think it’s acceptable to kill babies often try convincing those of us who don’t think it’s okay to kill babies that sometimes there’s a good reason to kill a baby. One such talking reason is “the baby would’ve suffered and died eventually, so we killed it first.” Usually, these reasons are described in lengthier, more thoughtful pieces like this New York Times OpEd, but the gist is the same: our baby was diagnosed with X, we didn’t want it to suffer, so we snuffed it. But don’t call us bad people. Evidence: “I had a late-term abortion. I am not a monster.” The OpEd is written by a post-abortive woman who wanted to keep her baby, but discovered later in the pregnancy the baby had severe problems. Obviously she killed it but isn’t keen on your persnickety nature of passing judgment.
There was a small empty space where brain matter should have developed in our child’s frontal lobe. She also had agenesis of the corpus callosum, which meant that the middle structure joining left and right hemispheres hadn’t grown properly. And there was a third abnormality, a “rough” area of gray matter.
Up to this point, the mother considered herself pro-life, but after her baby girl was diagnosed with various mental problems, suddenly she found herself eyeing wire hangers with fascination. That’s a sick joke, she didn’t actually take a wire from her closet to stick it up her uterus. Calm down, it’s not like she’s a monster or anything. She did the humane, civilized thing of having an abortionist kill the child for her.
She then posed the question to all of us pro-lifers who still think it’s wrong to snuff a baby, even if that baby’s brain has problems.
If you identify as “pro-life,” what does that phrase mean to you? I know that in advocacy circles, it means, essentially, “anti-abortion.” But what does life mean to you — the life that you are “for”? Does it mean breathing on your own? Does it mean having a heartbeat? What are the markers of a life of quality, of purpose, of meaning? If your brain was not functioning following a traumatic car accident, would you want your body artificially sustained indefinitely? What is the threshold of experience for you to want to continue living?
Simple, really. Pro-life means it’s wrong to kill a baby. That’s it. It’s wrong to kill a baby because it’s wrong to kill a person, even if that person is suffering. Related: Dutch Doctor Forcibly ‘Euthanized’ Elderly Patient. But it Gets Worse.
As to her attempt to bury her crime under philosophical quandaries:
- Not having a heartbeat usually means someone is already dead. Fetal heartbeats are detected as early as three weeks after conception, but the human person in development is still a person deserving of life.
- Markers of a life of quality is a separate topic and should be left for each individual person to decide for themselves.
A simple analogy:
If a mass shooter entered hospice care and double-tapped every patient, he would be charged with multiple counts of murder. If he pleaded not guilty, saying, “I was just ending their pain and suffering, as their ‘markers of a life of quality’ were lacking” he would still be imprisoned for murder, and society would forever brand him a murderer. There’s a simple reason for that: killing someone, even if they’re sick, disabled or suffering, is still killing them.
You do not get to decide whether or not someone else’s quality of life determines their right to live.
Let’s put it another way. Say this woman’s child falls down the stairs, breaks multiple bones, and suffers brain damage. Is it okay for her to smother her child with a pillow to end his suffering because she didn’t think his “threshold of experience” was tolerable? Related: Alfie Evans Dies After UK Court Ordered Him Off Life Support.
Of course not. Killing the disabled, the weak, the sick, that’s something Nazis condoned. But it isn’t how we treat each other in the world of the living. How Satan deals with souls in Hell, methinks he watches Planned Parenthood and takes copious notes.
My husband and I chose to end our child’s life. Many imagine this as an impossible decision to make, one that would take hours of deliberation. I will be honest with you. You may not want to hear this, but the decision was obvious to us. Our child would not be given a life of pain and suffering. Instead, we would take her pain on as our own.
How big of you.
I already know what pro-choice people will say in response: “Well, what would you do if you found out your child had X disease and X deformity?” It’s simple: give birth to the child and care for it as long as you can. There is a beauty in caring for children with special needs, in getting to know the baby. Holding her, looking into her face, breathing her in. Showering her with love for as long as she has to live. Will it be tragic to lose a child? Yes, of course. The suffering would be tremendous. But not all suffering is without value.
Not a single one of us gets to decide when someone else’s pain or suffering is too much for them, to be solved with an execution. Even if that person is hidden away by abdominal tissue, seen only via ultrasound, and cannot speak for themselves.
People who dispatch their children to supposedly spare said children of suffering are just as monstrous as mothers who drown their children in bathtubs.