Choosing Life and Defying Late-Term Abortion
“You just hit the jackpot.”
These were the encouraging words spoken to Oakley and Scott Peterson, shortly after their son Welles was born with Down Syndrome. The diagnosis was a surprise to the family, but they were immediately encouraged by friends who also had children with Down Syndrome that despite challenges, Welles would forever change their world for the better.
>>>> WATCH a brief video about their touching and beautiful story here.
October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month, and while much progress has been made in bringing awareness to the challenges and blessings of Down Syndrome, there is still much work ahead.
Just this week, a discussion about late-term abortion in the final presidential debate led to many media outlets publishing related stories. But unfortunately at least a dozen journalists published articles dismissing the idea that late-term abortions happen, or calling them “rare.”
The truth is that while most abortions do occur in the first trimester, late term abortions are not rare. The Guttmacher Institute (originally founded as the research arm of Planned Parenthood) reports that 1.3% of abortions every year are performed after 21 weeks, which is about 13,780 a year, hardly rare. Several stories this week are about women who chose late-term abortion after a poor prenatal diagnosis. While some acknowledged it as a heart-wrenching decision, others didn’t seem to think twice.
However, there is another option. Many women and families who have faced an adverse prenatal diagnosis have chosen life. And research even shows that it is psychologically easier on women to carry babies who have received a difficult (even fatal) diagnosis to term rather than choose the path of abortion.
Not all the stories have ended the same; in fact, many times the diagnosis is wrong! But the common thread is one of love and life that goes far beyond and touches many lives.
Below are some of the stories our Facebook followers shared with us. Furthermore, at the 2015 March for Life, with our theme of Every Life is a Gift, we shared many more stories and resources. If you or someone you know is facing an adverse prenatal diagnosis, please check out the resources we have compiled HERE.
(All have given permission to the March for Life to publish.)
My doctors suggested I abort my son & “try again” simply because of inconclusive test results and a concerning 20-week scan. They announced he had a high likelihood of Down syndrome, were concerned about his heart, his spine, and the possibility of spina bifida. The words I could muster in my shock were “that is not even a part of our thought process. Please tell me what you can do to help my son. Will any other follow-up help to determine what medical care he needs?” I refused an amnio, there was no reason to risk his health and life over quelling (or confirming fears). A follow-up blood test and cardiac ultrasound showed all was well. I’m thankful to say my son was born without a single one of the problems they alleged he “very likely” had! He’s a beautiful, smart, healthy, thriving 16 mo old now. BUT I can say with conviction that it wouldn’t have matter what medical problems he had; I would love him with every ounce of my being and never would’ve considered for a moment killing him to appease this ridiculous notion that somehow taking your own child’s life barbarically spares anyone pain. That’s the ultimate twisting of facts and lie. Always and above all else, every life matters from the moment that little baby is created and across our life spans!
My water broke at 21 weeks. There was a very high risk of infection for me and the baby. You may classify this as a “Health/life of the mother” reason to consider abortion. After I was checked into the hospital before the doctor left my room he asked, “I think I know the answer, but just to make sure, you don’t want to deliver that baby now do you?” I was surprised that it was even a question, and of course said no. I was put on IV antibiotics and was on hospitalized bed rest for 6 weeks. Our baby was born via c-section at 27 weeks gestation. After an 111 day stay in the NICU, a lot of time back at the hospital and doctors office, I’m pleased to say our little boy is almost two years old. He is doing remarkably well considering all he’s been through.
I was told at 20 weeks that something was abnormal and rescheduled for another scan at 22 weeks which is when I was told my second son presented as having a neural tube defect, the specialist declared his condition was ‘incompatible with life’. I was urged to terminate and promptly rather aggressively declined, along with further testing that was invasive and could have induced preterm birth. It wouldn’t have mattered anyway if he indeed had what they claimed nothing could be done anyway. I opted for a prepared O.R. with an incubator and extra nurse for my planned c-section. On September 16th, 2010 my beautiful, perfect, COMPLETELY HEALTHY son was born! Doctors are not always right and it wouldn’t have mattered either way, my son was and is loved and deserved a chance at life. My first son, whose testing all came back perfect was a hellish pregnancy and he is Autistic, boy did the doctors get everything wrong with my kids! My boys are blessings and I can’t say it enough, thank God I didn’t listen and followed my own convictions!
At 16 weeks I was told there was something wrong with my baby, and if I wanted to ‘do something about it’ I had better hurry. In my shock, I questioned what I could do, and it didn’t occur to me until I was driving home what my Dr meant. I wonder how many of his other moms were like me, confused about what they could do, but scared enough to say ‘ok let’s do something then’. My son was born 16 weeks premature, was in the NICU for the first 3 months. of his life, and unfortunately does have a physical disability. BUT he is now 11 years old, on the A/B honor roll, in GT classes, and is the absolute love of my life. If I could only see that Dr now, show him what a blessing my son is, maybe he would change how fast he offers termination to his other moms…