Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Life Report 111: Aborting Dad Viral Video

They ask first that you watch the YouTube video, which they've embedded here. The guy says he and his wife were referred to the abortion clinic by a hospital because their baby had a rare fatal condition -- Josh informs us that the man wrote an article about the experience, and the baby was 16 weeks old, with sirenomelia. This condition, also referred to as "mermaid syndrome", causes the baby's legs to be fused, giving an appearance like a mermaid tail. The child's internal organs are also malformed, almost universally in a way totally incompatible with survival after birth. The man said and he didn't want to put his wife through delivering a stillborn child.

How having the baby pulled out in bloody chunks is supposed to be an improvement on that bewilders me. What the hell have we come to, when we consider torturing a baby to death to be more merciful than just enveloping that baby in love for as long as we can? What the hell is wrong with us as a society?

Of course, the man blames the prolifers for the fact that people "have to come here" -- that there's no place else to get your dying baby killed. Well, no. Because having your dying baby killed is not a medical need. It's something we've abandoned families to, either because we're too lazy or too uncaring to help them through their difficult time. We'd rather just make it seem to go away. Shunt her off to an abortion mill, and everybody else in her life can pretend the baby never happened. But she and her husband get to remember for the rest of their lives that they had their dying baby ripped to shreds as a purported act of love. He blames them for how terrible -- how understandably terrible -- he and his wife feel. It is, he rightly points out, the worst day of their lives. Their baby is about to be put to death gruesomely -- because some doctor told them this would be best. And for the rest of their lives they're going to have to know that they chose dismemberment for the child. Once the shock of the initial diagnosis and the rush to abort wears off, the shock and horror of what they did will still be there. The doctors who referred them won't be there for the pain. The people who facilitated and performed the abortion won't be there for the pain. Just this couple, who will have not one single comforting memory of their child, thanks to our "progressive" attitude of "better to just get it over with" when "it" is a child's life.

We ought not as a society to be putting parents in that situation in the first place. Perinatal hospice referral, not abortion referral, should be the standard of care.

So prejudiced or lazy or uncaring doctors shunted this woman off to an abortion clinic, to have her loved and wanted baby killed by the same man who has trained himself to think of babies like hers as nothing but valueless medical waste.

Now, that said, the prolifers outside needed a better approach. "Ask us about other ways."

I can't judge the prolifers for not being prepared. After all, abortion for an actual diagnosed and verified fatal abnormality is so rare that it's highly unlikely that even the most steadfast prolifer outside a standard abortion mill will ever meet a woman aborting under that circumstance. Just as I was not prepared when the man came out and yelled at me that his wife was having an abortion because she had cancer. Had I been prepared, I could have reached in a bag and said, "Would you like information on chemotherapy regimens that are safe during pregnancy, and oncologists who are comfortable working with pregnant patients?" Instead, I was just struck dumb. With a little preparation, I could have offered to drive out to Hershey Medical Center and do some research. I could (SHOULD) have had the name and number of a prolife ob/gyn who would refer the woman for real care.

But now with the internet, we can all be prepared. We can all know that these situations might occur, and be ready to deal with them. There is awesome training available, from intense sidewalk counseling training, to just being trained to answer, "I'm only here to pray for the women and children. Here's a number to call with any questions."

Watch and listen to the Life Report episode here.

Points raised:

  • Yelling doesn't seem to be very helpful. Even if you're yelling something positive, such as "We want to help you!" all the target will hear is that she is being yelled at. Yelling anything about killing a baby is going to come across as a total attack, and people who are being attacked get defensive. You're not going to convince somebody to change their course by putting them in a position of defending that course. And you're not going to come across as loving and helpful. You'll come across as scary, and the women will flee into the clinic -- which we know is not a safe place. It's a place for taking money, killing the baby, sending the woman home, and never giving her another thought, ever.

  • A more consistently helpful approach is "a personal connection" and "a soft word". Though, of course, abortion facilities are very careful to set up their grounds to prevent this as much as possible. A woman referred to perinatal hospice isn't going to be handing them several hundred dollars in cash money.

  • Actively listen, especially if you're being bulldozed. The person is in a lot of pain, or they'd not be so angry. Make sure you understand what is going on. After all, you have no hope of helping if you don't know what the problem is. Just being ready to come back with slogans is no more helpful than the people inside the abortion facility being ready to treat every woman's problems with a catheter.

  • The women didn't respond well to the man when he kept hammering at them -- threatening to call the cops, turning away with a flippant response. Again, training would prevent this sort of thing from happening.

    Their next episode will deal with specifically that terrible situation.

    Anonymous said...

    Those are excellent points! I have tried to stress to my friends before that regardless of religious preferences, abortion shouldn't be the first option people run to.

    In today's society it's as if people have no other choice. They make it black and white. Life or death, but there are so many different things that can be done.

    I do appreciate the fact that some chemo may be used during pregnancy. I am going to share this blog with my other friends.

    Glad I subbed.

    Unknown said...

    There was a girl with "mermaid syndrome" who wasn't supposed to survive birth and lived to be ten years old. Her name was Shiloh and TLC did a documentary about her when she was eight or nine or so. I think my favorite scene is when she surprises one of her doctors by using a water-filled syringe as a squirt gun. :)

    Katie said...

    Great post Christiana, thanks.