One of the many, many problems with calling abortion a moral good is that many women now feel pressured into aborting their unborn babies.
Crystal Ortiz, 27, of New Jersey, is one of them.
In 2017, while pregnant with her first child, she learned that her unborn daughter had spina bifida, the Daily Mail reports. Ortiz said doctors urged her to have an abortion several times, but she refused.
Now, her daughter, Riley, is a smiling, happy toddler who walks with a walker. Her story, shared by her family on social media, has brought hope to many other moms and babies across the world.
“I found out about Riley when I was 20 weeks pregnant,” Ortiz said. “My husband and I had a conversation beforehand that whatever the outcome was, we would fight for our baby and parent to the best of our abilities.”
Like many other couples in their circumstances, Ortiz and her husband did end up having to challenge medical professions who refused to recognize their daughter’s worth.
During one appointment, a specialist told them that their daughter would be brain dead or have severe mental delays, and they should abort her, Ortiz said.
“’Her lesion tells me that she also will be fully paralyzed or paralyzed from hips down. You guys are young and can try again. I advise you abort,’” she remembered him saying.
“The list went on and on about the negative things our sweet girl was going to be born with. He then proceeded to say, ‘If you would like to keep “it” then we need to immediately do an amniocentesis test right now to see what other defects your child will be born with,’” Ortiz said.
In tears, she said she yelled at the specialist and told him to leave the room.
The family said there were other times when people pressured them to consider abortion, too. Some came from internet comments as Ortiz documented her family’s journey online.
“One comment when I was pregnant was that I was selfish to not abort her and to want to bring her into this world to live a horrible life,” she said.
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This eugenic attitude is promoted by major news outlets and abortion activists, as well as a number of medical professionals; but the Ortiz family knew that killing their daughter because of her disabilities was wrong.
Riley was born in July 2017, according to the report. She is paralyzed from her ankles down, and has undergone multiple surgeries in the past two years. Right now, she is learning to walk with a walker.
Her parents said her story has impacted so many people who are going through similar struggles. Through sharing their journey online, the family said they have heard from others as far away as South Africa, the Philippines and Iran.
“In sharing Riley’s story mothers found me, and that’s when I knew I needed to continue to share Riley’s story to give other families that same hope and faith I was once looking for,” her mother said.
“She’s instilled a beautiful sense of hope in families who didn’t think they could ever feel hopeful. The comment hurt me, but it also pushed me, pushed me to prove the world wrong,” Ortiz continued.
She said she is so thankful for an “army of people with faith” who surrounded them with prayers.
Ortiz told other families: “Don’t give up, I promise it gets easier. The love that these little warriors show us is worth every tear and doubt. Also don’t listen to anyone else’s opinion.”
The Ortiz family’s story is an important reminder that every human life is precious and valuable, from the moment of conception. And disabilities, poverty or other difficult circumstances do not change that child’s worth.