Profiles in Courage: Moms Rejecting Abortion When Their Lives Were at Risk

National   |   Brad Mattes   |   Jan 14, 2014   |   5:24PM   |   Washington, DC

There’s one exception that many are willing to make for abortion—when the mother’s life is at risk. But still, it’s a controversial subject.

What’s it like to live through such a situation? A mother’s love for her child is a unique, sacred and sacrificial love. I can’t imagine how it feels when circumstances threaten that bond. Yet against all odds, some mothers have placed the value of the life of their unborn baby above even their own.

Michelle Kingsfield was a successful news reporter, happily pregnant with her second child. As her pregnancy progressed, she discovered there were lumps on her neck that were rapidly growing. Michelle had previously been told the lumps were not cancerous, however at 12 weeks into her pregnancy, tests revealed that was not the case. She was diagnosed with stage four non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Her doctor stressed the severity of her situation, “You’re going to need chemotherapy and I don’t know what it means for your baby.” Heart-broken, Michelle held her stomach as she cried for her baby. She felt the diagnosis was a death sentence. While Michelle did not believe in abortion, she admits that she did briefly consider it. But she decided it was worth the risk to continue the pregnancy while enduring chemo. Michelle proceeded with a positive mental attitude, determined that both she and her baby would survive. She endured six rounds of chemotherapy over the next six months and then was blessed to deliver a healthy baby boy named Robert. One month later, she was declared cancer free.

Clint and Jessica Council were the proud parents to son, Aiden, when they found out they were expecting their second child. Their happiness experienced an excruciating blow when Jessica was diagnosed with a rare and severe form of throat cancer. Her doctors recommended an aggressive chemotherapy regimen, but told her she would lose the baby. It didn’t take long for Jessica to tell them no. “That baby came first,” says her mother, Kathy Rogers. Abortion was never a thought for Jessica and Clint. Sadly, the cancer took its toll and three months later, Jessica slipped into a coma. The doctors then delivered her baby born at 25 weeks, a little girl they named Jessie, in honor of her mother. Clint was in the delivery room and welcomed his daughter with the knowledge that his wife was gone. “The price I paid for her was very dear,” Clint says. But his faith remains. He says, “I want to live a testimony of God’s grace.” As the family continues to cope, baby Jessie remains a comforting reminder of Jessica’s selfless sacrifice.

In honor of Sanctity of Life Sunday (January 19, 2014), the stories of Michelle and Jessica will be featured on our special half-hour radio program called A Labor of Love. I encourage you to check with your local Christian radio station for airing times. You can also listen to the full program on our website. You’ll want to hear firsthand the inspiring and touching stories of how these families faced tragedy with faith and hope.

If you know of someone facing an unexpected diagnosis, the death of a loved one, a lingering illness or other adversity, it can be hard to know what to do or say to show your love and support. As a part of this special, we’re pleased to offer a new resource called Help for Those in Pain. It contains practical suggestions, scripture references and encouragement to help you reach out to others during difficult times. It’s our prayer that you can be a light in the darkness, revealing the value of each and every life. Note: Bradley Mattes is the executive director of Life Issues Institute, a national pro-life educational group. Mattes is a veteran of the pro-life cause, with over 33 years of educational, political and humanitarian experience.