In a letter shared by LifeNews.com, a mother of ten – seven of whom she calls “life-limited” because they died before ever leaving the hospital – pleaded with Northern Ireland’s Assembly to vote down a measure that would have permitted the termination of preborn children diagnosed with abnormalities or conceived in “criminal sexual activity.” The mother is currently carrying another baby she says is “in a precarious state” in her womb. She has already carried seven other babies to term, “birthed them with dignity and held them with love as they slipped away.” And all of this in a matter of five and a half years.
Calling abortion-zealous measures to legalize the killing of children like her own “anti-feminist,” the woman asked whether anti-Life legislators cared about women like her. “I can’t ‘abort’ my grief or memories of those exceptionally difficult experiences,” she said. The mother says that women in her position need compassion, not abortion. “I have to endure indescribable pain and suffering… both physical and psychological. I don’t have ‘a choice.’ And I don’t have any support.”
She says that treating women as if they ‘can’t cope’ with difficult pregnancies is insulting. “Women are much stronger than pro-abortion advocates give them credit for,” she says. The woman outlined ways in which, instead of legalizing the murder of innocent babies, legislators could help women and children in difficult circumstances. “We absolutely need to support couples in this devastating position… so put your energies into this. Put time, money, and energy into peri-natal hospice care…”
Irish Pro-Lifers, in fact, have been some of the most outspoken supporters of perinatal hospice care, pointing to the holistic efficacy of helping families through the entire process of the delivery, life, and death of babies destined for brief lives. Many families have shared their gratitude for perinatal hospice, saying that having a life-affirming option that acknowledged their child’s dignity allowed the family to make beautiful and lasting memories with their child and then grieve his or her death in peace – not racked by the guilt of an abortion.
Indeed, abortion “exceptions” are deeply inconsistent with the Pro-Life worldview, which is rooted in the knowledge that all humans are created equal by virtue of simply being members of the same human family. Dignity and legal protection under the law therefore belong to every human by virtue of their humanity. Arguments attempting to justify a preborn child’s termination based on how he was conceived (i.e., rape) or how he is diagnosed in utero (i.e., with an “anomaly,” which can refer to virtually any atypical development in a child) fundamentally thwart this principle and instead erect other measures of worthiness for human Life.
This discrimination endangers the preborn children whose conception or development deviate from the standard patterns, and also endangers every other member of the human family by establishing subjective judgments with no acknowledgment of inherent human dignity. Predictably, this flawed worldview also begets discriminatory judgments against individuals who have already been born, yielding, for example, judicial rulings sanctioning the starvation of disabled children, and even the Texas statute which permits doctors to kill their own hospital patients.
Fortunately, the Assembly voted by a 59-40 margin to reject the anti-Life abortion proposal. According to Ireland’s Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, the legislation would have had a devastating effect on the country. “Although they were presented as allowing abortion only for a limited number of so-called hard cases,” said the group’s development officer, “in reality they were an attack on some of the most vulnerable of children and would have led to widespread abortion… This vote is a clear rejection of the idea that some children are less worthy of the protection of the law.”
In Texas, preborn children diagnosed in utero with a “fetal abnormality” are still subject to torturous dismemberment abortions, even after 20 weeks’ gestation. While House Bill 2, the Pro-Life Omnibus bill of 2013, protects all other babies after 20 weeks, some legislators, like Byron Cook, insisted on allowing the inhumane deaths of disabled children to continue through a loophole in the law. This past legislative session, Pro-Life Heroes attempted to close this deadly loophole. Efforts were stalled on a technicality, but Texas Right to Life will continue to work with strong Pro-Life leaders in the Texas Legislature to ensure that preborn babies who may have a disability are finally protected.