A recent online article outlined the issue of states making exceptions for abortion if the baby might have an abnormality. States that previously protected the unborn – even with fetal abnormalities – are now being swayed to reconsider that stance.
‘State legislators have caved to the emotional pull of these stories, changing total protections for the unborn to protections for the unborn except. In fact, when Indiana passed their nearly full protections law for the unborn earlier this month, they did so specifically excluding people prenatally diagnosed with a “lethal fetal anomaly” up to 20 weeks gestation. This is especially notable as, prior to the overturn of Roe, Indiana was one of just six states that protected unborn children with any chromosomal abnormality from eugenic abortions.’
This disturbing trend to abort with the potential of the child being born with fetal abnormalities is one with which even “pro-life” proponents sometimes agree. We cannot accept this position as biblically sound or moral. While we understand the depth of trauma and fear an adverse diagnosis may bring the parents, fetal abnormality does NOT change the intrinsic value or right to life of that baby.
Life-limiting fetal anomaly does not make a child less valuable. Families who receive such diagnoses should be met with support, resources and stories of the incredibly positive impact these unborn children have had on families; however, our laws should reflect the truth that human life is precious and that unborn humans should be protected.
Always Remember: Doctors Can be Wrong
When facing this situation on the sidewalk, the first thing to remember to advise women is that doctors are often incorrect. Medical tests can and often ARE inaccurate. Always suggest the parents seek a second opinion.
Reaffirm the Sanctity of Human Life
Even if the diagnosis is correct, parents must be reminded of God’s clear word that human life is sacred. All human beings are made in His image. That is what gives human beings value … not the level of perfection in their health or body. God puts NO exceptions on the commandment “Thou Shall Not Murder” … and neither should we.
The Potential for Suffering Does Not Justify Murder
While the child may struggle or even suffer in life, this is not justification to kill the child. There are many people alive today who have had devastating abnormalities, yet are glad to be alive. Countless testimonies are available online.
Everyone will face struggles and suffering in life; nonetheless, most of us manage to find beauty and purpose and joy despite the struggles. It is often in struggles and suffering that we rely most strongly upon the Lord. It is often in those hard times that people report feeling closest to God
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. – Psalm 34:18
None of Us Know How Long We Will Live
It is true that some diagnoses are incompatible with life. Despite the hardship of delivering a severely disabled baby and perhaps having him live only a short time, taking the child’s life pre-emptively is wrong.
Such action precludes the potential for a miracle. Such action also defies what many testify are some of the sweetest, albeit saddest, moments of their lives. Holding a child who only experiences life very briefly can be a powerful moment. Again, there are many testimonies online of the joy knowing that every second of that child’s short life was spent being cherished and loved. Additionally, the parents are free of the remorse and guilt of killing their own child.
Personal Testimonies of the Joy Children with Disabilities Can Bring
Many people describe their children with disabilities as being wanted, cherished, joyful members of their families. My own nephew with Down Syndrome is one of the kindest and most loving people I have ever known. The world is definitely a better place because he is in it. There are struggles for his family for sure; however, the struggles do not compare with the love they have for this young man. This is true for countless families of children with disabilities.
There Is Help Available
There are many resources in most communities that are geared to helping parents of children with disabilities. Be Not Afraid is a national organization that helps parents who have been given a diagnosis of fetal abnormalities.
This organization is based on the truth that all human life is valuable and abortion should never be considered to deal with the very real issues of fetal abnormalities. It will help with mentors, resources and strategies so that parents feel better equipped to welcome their child to the world.
The case management support is provided from the moment of diagnosis. Help is provided in a variety of ways including the following: birth plan, local resources, education, bereavement, funeral costs and guidance (if child dies), ongoing support and contact for a year following child’s birth.
The Role of the Church
One of the most significant needs parents of special needs children often state is the need for respite, time away when they can relax from the sometimes stressful caretaking. The church should be ready and eager to step in and be a true source of help. The LoveLife mentorship program can be a lifesaver for these families. They can often feel isolated and alone, and sometimes wonder where God is in the midst of their struggles. God should be RIGHT there, in the church surrounding these families by being the tangible hands and feet of Jesus.
Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. – Galatians 6:2