In 2013, Irish parliamentarians passed a law that allowed abortion in cases where a woman’s life is threatened or if she is suicidal. However, many women with “unsafe” pregnancies choose life for their children.
Life Zone, a pro-life news source in Ireland, shares Audrey’s remarkable decision to choose life for her unborn baby after finding out she had stage four cancer.
The lump was getting bigger and new lumps were forming on my neck. I’ll never forget when the doctors said ‘we think its cancer’ and then the tests showed I had Hodgkin’s Lymphoma stage four. It had spread to my lungs, liver, and spleen.
I had to undergo surgery while pregnant at six months. As with any surgery or chemotherapy, the doctors told me there would be risks to my baby and to me. However, the literature showed convincingly that almost no baby was ever harmed by going through the chemotherapy they had planned for me.
I also read that a leading researcher had just published a major study in the Lancet showing that pregnant women with cancer can be treated safely, without harming their unborn child.
This was before abortion was made legal here in Ireland, before that tragic law was passed, and so everyone at Our Lady of Lourdes was going to do everything they could to save me and my little baby. There was hope for the two of us.
I went through chemotherapy for three cycles while pregnant, and then I had surgery. When Joseph was born, there wasn’t a trace of chemo in his body.
It was amazing. Three months later I got the all clear.
I know that in most other countries in the world they would have advised me to abort my baby and I am so grateful I lived in a country where medical professionals did everything they could for my baby and for me.
Sadly the abortion law was passed last year. But the truth is that women like me were always able to get treatment for cancer in pregnancy in Ireland. Legalising abortion didn’t improve anything for mothers like me or for our babies. We need excellence in healthcare, not abortion.
Although some believe that a cancer diagnosis and pregnancy are incompatible, Audrey’s story shares with women that they can choose life for their baby despite their circumstances.
In fact, according to a CNN News story, these days it is rare for a doctor to counsel a cancer patient to have an abortion because now more than ever, women can conquer cancer and have healthy children.
Dr. Elyce Cardonick, a maternal-fetal medicine specialist at Cooper University Hospital in New Jersey said, “Thirty years ago, there was almost no information on how children with prenatal exposure to chemotherapy turned out. Today we know that it’s relatively safe after the first trimester.”