A Massachusetts woman defended aborting her nearly full-term unborn baby in an interview with New York Magazine this month.
Kate, of Massachusetts, said she was 29 years old and seven months pregnant when she learned that her unborn daughter had two serious brain abnormalities, Dandy-Walker malformation and agenesis of the corpus callosum. Neither condition is typically fatal, but health problems can range from mild to severe.
Rather than provide medical care to her daughter, as would happen with any infant born at her stage, Kate chose to fly to Colorado and spend $25,000 for a late-term abortion. She was 35 weeks pregnant, almost full-term, according to the report.
Kate said she initially struggled with the decision to abort her daughter.
“I had not decided in my head because I just had not processed anything yet,” she remembered. “But I did know for sure that I didn’t want my doctors knowing that I was considering abortion, because I was worried about what they’d think of me and how they might take it out on me. So I was keeping it very close to the chest that I was scared.”
She said one of her Massachusetts doctors told her they might be able to do an abortion, but they weren’t sure because her pregnancy was so far along. Kate said she wavered until the doctor told her how severe her daughter’s condition could be.
“I remember saying, ‘What can a baby like mine do? Does she just sleep all the time?’” she said. “The doctor winced when I said that, and he responded, ‘Babies like yours are generally not comfortable enough to sleep.’ That’s when I knew for sure.”
She said she considered other options, including parenting and adoption, but ultimately decided that ending her daughter’s life was best.
“It’s very easy to talk about the compassion for my child, which I absolutely had and was a huge driving factor in this decision,” Kate said. “It’s harder to talk about what I deserve, in terms of quality of life. But that also matters, and I have come to greater comfort talking about that, too. No one really wants to hear that.”
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She tried to justify the decision by arguing that her daughter’s medical care would have put them millions of dollars in debt.
“So people say, ‘You had to pay $25,000,’ and that was more than we can afford, more than we had. But then when people are forced, from lack of funds, to carry to term, then what happens? Millions of dollars,” she said.
Kate claimed that pro-lifers hurt her and other women because they believe every baby deserves a chance at life.
“And the truth is that nobody cares,” she said. “Everyone just cares about being able to remain morally superior in their mind. The politicians don’t care. They care about power. They don’t care about babies! They just care about staying in office.”
But pro-lifers do care about babies, and families have other options than violently killing an unborn baby in an abortion. In that vulnerable, emotional time, what many parents like Kate fail to see is that their unborn child deserves the same treatment as a child who is born. Parents would never think of killing a 2-year-old who is suffering from a life-threatening illness. Why should a baby in the womb be treated any differently?
Many parents do reject abortion for babies with disabilities. Irish mother Cliona Johnson chose life for her son John Paul after he was diagnosed with anencephaly, a fatal disability. The tiny baby boy lived for just 17 minutes, but his parents knew that his life was worth living, no matter how long.
“When we shift culture so that we have choice at the expense of life, we have it the wrong way around,” Johnson said.
Born or unborn, children suffering from disabilities deserve to receive medical treatment, pain management and compassionate care. Thankfully, a growing number of communities are offering programs to help babies with disabilities and even fatal conditions. Perinatal hospice programs give families a life-affirming alternative to abortion during one of the most painful times in their lives. Most important of all, these programs treat babies in the womb just like any other child, working to alleviate their suffering and honoring them with the compassion and respect that they deserve.