Barely Saved

What would it be like to go to a doctor’s office for a check-up only to be told, “Sorry, the chances that you will overcome your current diagnosis are slim. I highly suggest you euthanize yourself.”

Foolish to think this way? Yes.

Would you get another opinion? Of course.

And yet, one mother experienced a similar situation when she was pregnant with her sixth child. She had German Measles (Rubella) and the doctor’s diagnosis wasn’t pretty. The child was to be born mentally challenged, with a cleft pallet, respiratory problems, blind and deaf. He suggested it would be better if she terminate her pregnancy. 

“Think about your other children and the burden this child would cause (both in time and money),”  he counselled. 

Foolish to think this way? Our society says, “No. It’s very reasonable. After all, she can have other children, right? She had five other children at home to think about.”

Should she get a second opinion? Or a third? Our society would ask, “What for? You’ve heard the outcome. The child has no hope for a normal life.”

The woman is confronted with a serious decision that threatens her conscience. She was taught that life is sacred. Could she simply choose to end the life that had begun in her by God’s grace? Isn’t God aware of the circumstances in His omniscience? 

Many women today are the battle ground between their conscience and public opinion. For 40 years, public opinion has won out, with the conscience numbed by the decision of Roe versus Wade, and the legalization of abortion in the United States. And, over the last 40 years, we have seen 59,477,972 (and counting by the minute) children’s lives terminated in the United States. This severance of life has flowed over the borders of America to the death of how many more children around the world in countries that followed suit in their policies, under the guise of ‘women’s health’? 

Is our society better off since then? The words of Pope Paul VI come back to us as a haunting prophecy. After mentioning how abortion is an illegal (by laws of the Church and man’s conscience) means of regulating children, he lists other unacceptable forms, including sterilization and contraception, and goes on to list the consequences if society does not heed this ‘warning’:

“Responsible men can become more deeply convinced of the truth of the doctrine laid down by the Church on this issue if they reflect on the consequences of methods and plans for artificial birth control. Let them first consider how easily this course of action could open wide the way for marital infidelity and a general lowering of moral standards. Not much experience is needed to be fully aware of human weakness and to understand that human beings—and especially the young, who are so exposed to temptation—need incentives to keep the moral law, and it is an evil thing to make it easy for them to break that law. Another effect that gives cause for alarm is that a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection.

Finally, careful consideration should be given to the danger of this power passing into the hands of those public authorities who care little for the precepts of the moral law. Who will blame a government which in its attempt to resolve the problems affecting an entire country resorts to the same measures as are regarded as lawful by married people in the solution of a particular family difficulty? Who will prevent public authorities from favoring those contraceptive methods which they consider more effective? Should they regard this as necessary, they may even impose their use on everyone. It could well happen, therefore, that when people, either individually or in family or social life, experience the inherent difficulties of the divine law and are determined to avoid them, they may give into the hands of public authorities the power to intervene in the most personal and intimate responsibility of husband and wife.”

Humanae Vitae, Number 17, 1968

I ask again, Has our society become a better place since January 22, 1973? Are we better off with the absence of such a large percentage of the generations under 40 who lost their lives due to legally being slain in the womb of their mothers? 

No, our society is not better. Mother Teresa of Calcutta understood this well in her defense of the unborn:

“We must not be surprised when we hear of murders, killings, of wars, or of hatred…If a mother can kill her own child, what is left but for us to kill each other?”

Have we as a society lost all disregard for life that it is only valued if it doesn’t create burden to us? Where ‘mercy’ is re-defined as putting one to death because their prognosis suggests they cannot have a ‘full life’?  Who will judge? Who determines the fullness of another’s life? Who will protect the smallest, most vulnerable of our society?

And what about the woman in the story above? She did get a second opinion and was told the same. She would be better off aborting her child. She chose, rather, to listen to her conscience and to preserve her trust in God.

That woman is my mother. My life was saved because she didn’t follow the voice of ‘professionals’, but rather to the voice of her motherly heart.

Thank you Mom! 


What can we do to overturn the tide of the closed heart?

1.  Pray and Fast for the end of abortion, and for the change of mentality about life in all its stages, that it is worth protecting. Some suggestions by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.

2.  Use science to understand the truth of the development of the life in the womb. Here are some amazing pictures that may inspire you.

3. Show your support for life by joining one of the many ‘Walks for Life’ around the country. 

4. Know what the battle is about. Read this story about New York Governor Cuomo’s proposal to make late-term abortions unlimited and on demand. Yes, it’s come to this.

5. Pray some more, and ask your friends and family to do the same.

God bless you. 


How Did This All Begin?

Life. Science is helping us to understand and marvel at the intricacies of the unborn child as it develops in the safe harbor of the womb. Eyes are being opened to see the humanity of it, and desire to protect its well being.

Yet, the battle for life of the voiceless of our society continues.

Over at Live-Action News, Cassy Fiano describes a recent episode of Dr. Phil, looking at the desire of one mother, Annette Corriveau, who wants to end the life of her two disabled adult children (hat-tip, Andrew and Christina, blogging at Caffe con Leche).

Corriveau is not, of course, the first parent to think of ending the life of her child outside the womb. Cassy reminds us of the case of Robert Latimer, who took the life of his daughter by leaving her in the cab of his truck and let her die of carbon monoxide poisoning. She was 13 years old and had cerebral palsy.

What stuck me the hardest about the Dr Phil show, beyond how inconceivable it is that a parent would want to kill their child, was the reaction of the audience. When asked by Dr Phil if they agreed with Corriveau and her desire to kill her two children, the large majority of the audience raised their hands.

My first thought when I heard this story was, at what point do we draw the line? If the popular vote to kill two adults just because their mom decides they would be better off, who is safe? What is the measure of value of a person’s life? And who is capable of making that decision?

If our society makes it a regularity to agree with the viewpoint of Corriveau and the audience of Dr. Phil, let us not be surprised to find a growing language siding against Christian principles in the debate, such as:

(Let us not be led astray by the) exaggerated Christian compassion for the weak individual…Christian caritas or charity, and of the Church’s “commandment to attend to the incurably ill person and render him medical aid unto his death.”, instead of tending to the health of the group…“the ill-conceived ‘love of thy neighbor’ has to disappear …. It is the supreme duty of the … state to grant life and livelihood only to the healthy and hereditarily sound portion of the population…” (taken from Ramm, Ätztliche Standeskunde [24], p. 19, quoted from “The Nazi Doctors: Medical Killing and the Psychology of Genocide, pg. 32)

A thread of such thought has been present throughout the history of civilization, and at times grew without any check and balance. This lack of balance led to atrocities against humanity. The natural law has always provided the necessary balance. This balance is lost when life is measured as a commodity, valued only for what it gives back to society, when the innate understanding that killing another human being is suppressed. There is no longer a measure to the fair treatment of peoples. Where does it end?

Another question to ask is, How did this all begin? 

This is the very question asked during the Nuremberg trials by a convicted Nazi doctor. The American judge answered,

“When you first considered there were human beings not worth living.”

(Quote taken from Mercy Killing: History and Medicine, p. 470)

Other posts on this topic:

Here’s one written by Mark Pickup, from the perspective of disabled man.

Be sure to read the reply by Chelsea Zimmerman who blogs at Reflections of a Paralytic

And, a humbling reminder to us, that the choice of a loving parent is never an easy thing to do. Who has the answers?

This is a older column by Chelsea, but gets to the heart of this issue, questioning the value of human suffering.