Any time a child is diagnosed with some type of malady, the news is heartbreaking for the entire family.
Today, however, many in the medical community are convincing vulnerable, heartbroken parents that the best thing they can do for their child is to kill him or her – if the child is still in the womb, that is.
A Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area woman recently told NPR that she chose to have an abortion at nearly 22 weeks of pregnancy after learning that her unborn baby, her second child, had severe clubbed feet and hands.
During her 20 week ultrasound appointment, doctors also told Kelsey Williams, 30, that her unborn baby could not move as a result of the genetic anomaly, and may never be able to swallow, according to the report.
Devastated, Williams said she and her husband chose abortion because they did not want their child to suffer.
“It wasn’t until I got home that afternoon that it sort of came over me in waves. When we came home, to the home that was supposed to be for the four of us then … it was a gut feeling,” she said. “Even though it was a hard decision, it was the right decision for our baby and for our family. We didn’t want to bring that baby into this world to only know pain and suffering.”
She had the abortion at 21 weeks and six days of pregnancy, according to the report.
Recently, Williams has been sharing her story to urge lawmakers in Pennsylvania to oppose a ban on abortions after 20 weeks, when strong scientific evidence indicates babies in the womb can feel pain. The 20-week mark also usually is when doctors are able to diagnose problems in the unborn child.
For this reason, Williams said later-term abortions should remain legal in Pennsylvania. She told NPR that parents alone should be the ones to decide whether to have an abortion, especially when the unborn child has been diagnosed with anomalies.
“I think of women who could be getting their diagnosis right now,” Williams said. “Their legislators are talking about them as if they’re not real or voting against having their stories be heard. It’s unthinkable.”
But the pro-life legislators who introduced the bill are concerned about women – including women in the womb. They point to evidence that babies are surviving outside the womb before 24 weeks, the current abortion limit in Pennsylvania.
They also point out that doctors’ diagnoses can be wrong. State Rep. Kathy Rapp, a lead sponsor of the bill, said she has heard many stories of babies who were diagnosed with abnormalities who survived and thrived because their mothers chose life.
“We hear personal stories (of people who have) been told by the doctor that ‘Your child has an abnormality, your child’s not going to live,’” Rapp told NPR. “They have the child, and the child is perfectly fine.”
Even if a child in the womb has an illness or disability, the child deserves the same right to life as a born child. American laws do not allow parents to decide whether to have a born child killed because of a poor diagnosis and concerns about suffering. Why should it be different for babies prior to birth?
Instead of recommending abortion, the medical community and society as a whole should be supporting babies in the womb and their parents by providing the best health care and pain management, support and resources available — and not pushing for the most vulnerable members of society to be killed.