We Said We Oppose Abortion, But Doctors Said My Son Had Half a Heart and We Should Abort

National   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Nov 6, 2015   |   7:27PM   |   Washington, DC

Can a day go by without hearing another family’s story of how doctors encouraged them to abort their “imperfect” unborn child?

Lisa Smiley, writing for Live Action News, shares an all-too-common story of how doctors pushed her and her husband to abort their oldest son. Smiley was 23 and overjoyed to be pregnant for the first time. But during her 20-week ultrasound, doctors told her  there was a problem:

The perinatologist and specialists rushed in to explain that our baby boy had a form of Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome—essentially, his heart was only half developed, and likely had other defects. They warned us that this was usually a cause for abortion. We were stunned.

While I was crying and devastated to hear this, they took my husband to another room and explained to him the gravity of our decision. We had already told them we are against abortion, no matter how serious our son’s condition was, yet they were not satisfied and thought we were being idealistic.

They told him: “You have your whole lives to live, you don’t need to burden yourselves with a lifetime of pain and suffering. Think of your wife and your family. One day, you will bury your son. Statistically, it is inevitable. Is that the kind of life you want to live?”

The Smileys persisted in their refusals to kill their unborn son who, in the doctors’ eyes, was “imperfect.”

Their son, Ezekiel, or Zeke, was placed on life support right after he was born. At just one week old, he had open heart surgery. Two more followed.

His mother continued:

While the doctors warned that kids like this are usually developmentally slow, Zeke was a lively boy and very intelligent. He loved to make jokes and play with Daddy.

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He hit all the childhood milestones despite these obstacles. He is a miracle child who has proven doctors wrong over and over again.

But on March 27, 2014, tragedy struck the family when Zeke went into cardiac arrest and became completely paralyzed and mute, his mother wrote.

Again, doctors encouraged the family to end their son’s life – this time by euthanasia. Again, they refused.

Instead, the family took the boy home where he has been receiving daily therapy and encouragement. After a year-and-a-half, he is learning to eat, walk, and talk again, his mother said.

“While our throwaway culture may come to other conclusions, my experience with Zeke has made me more pro-life than ever before,” Smiley wrote. “I have experienced firsthand the humanity of ‘imperfect’ children—in my own child.”

It’s stories like the Smileys that will help open our culture’s eyes to the truth that every child’s life is valuable.