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A petite young woman sits in the obstetrician’s office, her four-year-old daughter in her lap. The little girl is restless yet unable to extricate herself from her mother’s arms due to cerebral palsy. Both mother and daughter wear worried expressions, anxiously waiting for the doctor to return with the results of last week’s tests. The young woman, Sandra, is four months pregnant with her second child. Because her daughter, Michaela, was born with physical and developmental problems, Sandra wants to treat her unborn baby with the utmost care and make sure that he or she is not also affected. She is lost in thought when the doctor’s presence suddenly snaps her back to reality. “Sandra,” he begins.
“Yes, doctor?” The worry in Sandra’s voice is palpable, her brown eyes as large as saucers.
“I’m afraid the prognosis for your second child is very grim. It appears that the fetus does not have an esophagus. When the baby is born, it will not be able to feed and will die very quickly. I would strongly advise terminating this pregnancy.”
Sandra is numb. She leaves the office, Michaela in tow, unable to discern anything or anyone around her. She knows that her baby is going to die, but she cannot come to terms with that reality. Somehow, somewhere, however, a thread of hope remains for Sandra. That thread of hope, which she cannot explain, eventually stops her from following her doctor’s orders of ending the life of the child who was doomed to die anyway.
That child – the baby who was doomed to die – was born on February 20, 1986. Her name is Elizabeth Marie Miner, and today she is one of my best friends. She is perfectly healthy, delightfully intelligent, and beautiful – so beautiful, in fact, that she has been a model for several years. Her life was almost cut short before it had a chance to begin, all because of one doctor’s erroneous testing and even more erroneous view that the human child is disposable so long as he or she has not yet been born. Many of my friends were just as close to falling victim to such doctors as Elizabeth was – but unfortunately, not every story ends as happily as hers. Because of this fact – and my many personal experiences with those who almost lost their lives to pregnancy termination – I am a strong opponent of abortion.
Many proponents of abortion will ask, “What would you say to teenage mothers or women unable to support a child?” I firmly believe that adoption is the answer. In addition to my experiences with nearly-aborted babies, I have developed close friendships with many people who are adopted. These men and women could easily have been aborted, but their parents chose to give them a chance at a good life they could not have received with their birth families. So many couples ache for the chance to hold a child in their arms, yet they cannot conceive naturally. For these parents, an adopted baby is the greatest gift they could receive. If the choice of adoption were more widely marketed to mothers unable to support their unborn children, the death toll caused by abortion would be decimated. Since 1973, more than 39 million children have been denied their chance to live outside the womb. We will never know how those children could have lived in adoptive homes, how they could have grown up, or how they could have contributed to society. Through the promotion of adoption, however, we could get the chance to see how scores of valuable children can grow and blossom when given a chance at life.
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