Peyton Manning Was Born With a Cleft Lip, Tragically Some Babies With Cleft Lips are Aborted

National   |   Emily Derois   |   Feb 7, 2016   |   4:10PM   |   Washington, DC

Today parents are sometimes pressured to abort simply because their unborn child has a cleft lip, a correctable condition. Physicians categorize it as a disability. Yet a surprising number of successful individuals were born with cleft lips. Among them is Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning.

Manning’s success story shows that his cleft lip did not hinder him at all. Because his parents chose life, Manning was able to grow and pursue his dreams in football. This week, he and his team will play in the biggest American sports game of the year — the 2016 Super Bowl. Manning is not only well known as a successful quarterback, but also as a faithful Christian, husband and father.

Many babies born with this condition aren’t given the chance Manning’s parents gave him. Instead, they are aborted or left to die. According to a 2013 article in The Telegraph, “More than 10 times as many abortions take place for cleft lip than are recorded in the Department Health statistics.” Because even a child with a cleft lip is viewed as less than perfect in our society, physicians often suggest abortion.

One startling case occurred in 1997 when the Petersons welcomed a son into the world. Aidan Peterson was born with a cleft lip, and doctors told his parents to abandon him at the hospital. In a previous article, LifeNews reported about the Petersons’ experience:

The hospital pediatrician called my husband into the nursery and advised us to sign Aidan over to the hospital. He told us that we were still young, we could still have other children, and that these kids (kids with cleft lip and palate) tend to have neurological problems, he would require many surgeries that could bankrupt us, and that if we were foolish enough to ignore medical advice and take our baby home he would end right back at the hospital as a “failure to thrive.”



The hospital’s solution was to give Aidan pain medication and wait for him to die of starvation and dehydration. Despite the hospital’s insistence, Aidan’s parents chose life and took their baby home with them. They found special bottles that allowed their son to eat.

When he was 18, Aidan wrote:

For any and all parents who are stuck in the same or similar situation that my parents were, listen up. Your kid is worth it, be he or she mentally or physically disabled. And as my mom said, if your kid has only one day to live, spend it loving your child.

Put yourself in your kid’s shoes. You have one day to live, no two ways about it. Which is better: to spend that day with your loving parents, or to starve to death while uncaring doctors simply pass you by, not caring at all for your plight? Answer that question, and then make a decision on your kid’s life.

Stories such as Aidan’s and Manning’s ought to encourage parents who have children with disabilities. Their stories prove that disabilities do not define a person or hinder them from achieving success. Rather than allow these difficulties to mark the end of a child’s story, families should embrace the gift of their son or daughter’s life.