Working in parish ministries of catechesis, my Sisters and I often encounter laity who are walking (it seems) on a tightrope of faith, risking the fall into a waiting social climate that is unforgiving. Often, we are at the receiving end of the stories as we work to encourage others in their journey of faith, and many times find no words of consolation to give, but only to stand with them in their struggle or pain. Sr Jenny recently received a heartbreaking letter from “Francis”, who shares a recent experience of a friend, and a request for prayer (reprinted here with permission):
My friends, last night someone close to me who works in a labor and delivery unit informed me she had to dress and clean a dying survivor of an abortion. The patient was told by her doctors that her unborn child would have a low survival rate and took the doctor’s recommendation to abort her child. The child was then given a poison while in the womb and was expected to be a still born. However when the child was delivered the baby was found to be still alive but dying. My friend was then asked to take the now born dying baby to have the baby’s foot prints taken, cleaned, and dressed as his little heart grew weaker and the baby gasped for air. While the child was dying she was also told to prepare both a birth and death certificate. Finally once completed, she then proceeded to pray over the dying child as the baby’s soul departed this world.
First please pray for the poor soul that was murdered and left to die (after birth) last night. Please pray for my friend who is now traumatized from having to witness and be involved in this act last night. Please pray for the mother that she come to repent for her actions but also find consolation from the void she now has. Please pray for the doctors and medical staff that recommended and performed this mortal sin. Finally please pay for me as well so that my wife and I will have the strength to comfort our dear friend.
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There are many unanswered questions that rise up in my mind, and make me realize how much work is yet to be done for the protection of the unborn.
Is it possible that hospitals are still performing abortions today? The letter suggests as much. Was the mother counselled as to other options? We don’t know. Did the mother experience trauma, when she learned her child was not dead but dying? The baby was pretty far along for it to be a live birth after given lethal doses of ‘poison’ (perhaps saline injection, often used with babies more than 16 weeks old). Would the baby have survived if allowed to grow a little more in her mother’s womb? The birth and death certificate. The child was left to die with no medical assistance, other than to be cleaned and foot-printed, perhaps held by the assistant until death took her.
Who is to blame? The doctor? The consenting mother? The assistant helping in delivery that day? A society that has lessened the life of this little soul for reasons we don’t know?
Let us pray for all those involved in this case of abortion, and for all the others affected each day by abortion in our country and in the world. May our Lord open hearts to the truth of this terrible sin against life, and give us courage to continue to win the fight in protecting these little ones.
This little soul wasn’t even given a chance, but was written off before she had wings to even try. Let us remind us of the miracle of life taking place in the womb, and pray for the day when a little girl will not be aborted and left to die.