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Monday, 31 May 2010

My Web Wanderings (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

What To Say To Someone Who Has Had An Abortion?

One of my oldest friends defriended me on Facebook.


Because I support the Paper Baby Campaign.

First she sent me a message saying:
"Have you actually spoke to women who have had to make the devastating decision to interrupt a pregnancy to save a terminally ill baby for further suffering. Well I guess not? This campaign is absolutely shocking. I hope you are enjoying being at home with your healthy child, judging other women who have had to make a heartbreaking decision."
Obviously it takes time to give a proper response to something like that but I replied with the following:

Dear Xxx,

I will write a longer reply later but I wanted to write a brief reply so that you know I am not ignoring you. From what you wrote I can only assume that the scenario you described is your own. If that is the case, I feel sadness that you were placed in a position where you felt that this was your only option and I pray that God will heal the scars of the associated trauma you must have endured.

I do not judge anyone - I leave that to God and I know that abortion frequently harms the mothers physically and or mentally too. Only 1% of abortions in the UK are performed because of a risk that the child would be handicapped - the remaining almost 200 000 are for social reasons.

I will write you a more detailed reply within the next week.


Unfortunately it seems I know absolutely nothing and what I said would have made no difference at all. I received a reply and was defriended and blocked. Since I have been given no opportunity to reply I am going to post the final message here along with my own responses. (NB Obviously if I had been able to reply directly to my friend I would have taken more time to word things nicely than I have here and have avoided being antagonistic at all.)

I am not going to go on anymore. You have no understanding of the depth of this issue or any idea of the range of outcomes of prognosis of such babies.

Oh. So I haven't spent countless hours reading about abortion, the methods used and the reasons for abortions. I haven't read the Bible where God the creator tells us that human life is sacred and should not be destroyed. I haven't read the stories of people who chose not to abort even when their child would not survive. I haven't read about children who were born with nothing wrong with them even though they weren't even supposed to reach full term.

I am not talking about babies with a "risk of handicap" I am talking about conditions such as Tripolody or anacephely [sic] (no brain) (there are many others) where the chance of your baby being born alive are zero.

When I spoke of the "risk" of "handicap" I was referring to ground E of the Abortion Act 1967 which allows for abortion on grounds of the baby having "such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped".

I didn't know what "Tripolody" is and Google brings up very few results. I did find this though:
So the name of what the defect was Tripolody .. Very rare they say every woman has a one percent chance of that happing in every pregnancy.. They said how it happened is 2 sperm got into one egg and it didn't split properly.. Which now kinda makes since considering now that I know my progesterone has been so low.. Progesterone is what helps with the development of that process.. Anyways They gave me three choices...1) have an abortion 2) get induced and have him early or 0 I can Die.... So needless to say I was beside myself.. I chose to get induced because I don't believe in abortion for my self, and I knew he would never even take a breath and I didn't want to die eiether... He was born (stillborn) on March 20th, 2003 61/2 inch.. long and 3 ounces.... To me he was perfect, he didn't seem to have anything wrong with him.... He was Beautiful.... Anyways let me change the subject for a moment cause I could gom on and on about my Jacob...
Anencephaly on the other hand I have heard of. Last year I followed the blog of a mother of a baby with anencephaly. Baby Faith lived outside of the womb for three months.
"I named her Faith Hope. I cherished every moment of the pregnancy and even had a baby shower! I savoured every kick and turn she made inside my growing belly. For five months we hoped and prayed. Then to everyone's surprise, I was blessed with 3 months and 4 days with Faith before she went to Heaven. She was the sweetest little girl... so beautiful and so full of life. I feel so privileged to be her mother.

I created this blog 10 weeks before my daughter was born. The posts are very personal, emotional, brutally honest, and at times ungraceful... but it is my hope that by sharing our story, God will be glorified for all He has done for us. I also hope that this blog will reach other moms out there who are facing the same prenatal diagnosis that I did.

The doctors said that Faith's condition (anencephaly) was "incompatible with life," that she would likely not survive for more than a few seconds or minutes after birth, and that she would never achieve consciousness. They didn't understand how she was thriving for all those weeks... how she was smiling, cooing, crying, eating, breathing on her own, avoiding infection, and responding to her surroundings.

"For man this is impossible; with God all things are possible.
The Story of Baby Faith Hope is one I recommend everyone read.

Certainly a child with anencephaly isn't going to live a long life outside the womb even if they make it that far but to say they have zero chance of being born alive is inaccurate. Whilst I appreciate that Doctors have to be careful of raising false hopes in desperate parents, it sounds like there is some amount of misinformation regarding prognosis which then has an influence on the decision to abort. Whilst I believe abortion is wrong anyway, it makes it even worse when people are choosing to do it on the basis of false information.

Choosing to abort on the basis that the baby will die anyway is essentially euthanasia of the unborn. I believe all human life both born and unborn should be protected and therefore cannot support the euthanasia of anyone regardless of whether they are already born.

The first message mentioned abortion as a means to "save a terminally ill baby from further suffering". I recently read "Human Sentience Before Birth" (A Report by the Commission of Inquiry into Fetal Sentience). The general consensus seems to be that around 12-25 weeks gestation the unborn baby can start to feel pain to some degree. However this is with regard to an outside stimulus being introduced. Can a disability cause pain and suffering to an unborn child? Clearly once they are born this is likely but before birth it is not something I would wish to make a judgement on. However, just as those who have already been born can be given palliative care, so the same care should be extended to the unborn rather than euthanizing them.

The trauma to the mother is immense. And the trauma is not through the interuption of pregnancy but through the loss of a child. With such grave sitations there is no good outcome and there is no right answer. Carrying a child that will die at any point in the womb is absoultely traumatic for the mother also. I know women who have done both -some who have waited for the baby to die and some who have interrupted pregnancy. All have the same outcome -terrible grief and loss for the families.

Yes it is traumatic and the loss of a child is never easy. Abortion does not make that loss any easier. But there are right answers. They are in God's word. (But just because I believe myself to be right on this issue does not mean I think I am better than anyone else - I am still a sinner. A forgiven sinner but still a sinner.) I literally cannot begin to imagine how it must feel to be in such a situation. I have to fight back tears just trying to imagine being in that place and I would never presume to know how it feels. However, just because it such an emotionally traumatic event does not and cannot justify deliberate ending of human life.

The outcome is never a good one. Carrying a baby who will die with everyone asking when you are due and asking how you are preparing for the birth is devastating. Also carrying such a baby can cause harm to the mother as the baby is not well.

If a "good outcome" is a healthy child then yes, the outcome is never good. Here I will again quote Myah (Baby Faith's Mother) as she has more right to comment and does so far more ably than I can:
I miss my baby so much... It's hard to believe that it's been less than six months since the Lord called Faithy home. It seems like it's been so, so long since I last held her. It is hard, but I am so thankful for the 53 weeks that she spent here on earth. That's right, 53 weeks: 40 weeks in my belly and 13 in my arms. One year and seven days. What a blessing! It went by so fast --too fast. God knows I would do it all over again if I could.
With regard to carrying the baby to term I refer to Myah's post "Carrying to Term".

And your comment about abortions harming the mother with regards to terminations for medical reasons is compeltely inaccurate. The process is the same as the normal risks of delivery.

The comment I made was "I do not judge anyone - I leave that to God and I know that abortion frequently harms the mothers physically and or mentally too." I did not refer specifically to abortions for "medical reasons" but to abortions in general. I was also unaware that having a disabled baby provides protection against the mental and physical harm from abortion that those mothers who abort healthy babies frequently endure. The following is the result of an abortion - I don't think a delivery would have had the same effect:
Another moment brought to you by abortion...

Today at around 3:08 PM in Florida, you would have found me pulled over on the side of the road with my face buried in my hands as I gasped for oxygen and very audibly sobbed, because my very challenging son, who was diagnosed with autism at 8 and who had just had yet another public episode, innocently asked me if I wished I would have aborted him.

I was not prepared for this question. It felt like the whole of my viscera had been pulled through my navel in one neat tug, and I started weeping inconsolably. Not because there was any truth to his statement, but because I killed his brother or sister, my first child, in a second trimester abortion.

I was crying, my startled four-year-old was crying, my son was confused...

This is where we are 12 years later.

Abortion is forever.
This was taken from The S.I.C.L.E. Cell.

Contrast this with the birth story of Gabriel - I know which experience I'd rather have if forced to choose one of them.

I couldn't give a detailed list of facts and figures with regard to the risks but offhand I know that abortion increases risk of breast cancer. A quick google of "post abortion syndrome" should suffice to show that many women suffer psychologically after having one.

I do not want any more replies. I will not be contacting you again.

Yes. Defriending and blocking me on Facebook has made that pretty clear. I could write a letter to you but would there be any point?

As a women this is one of the worst things to be faced with and these kind of campaignes are cruel and insensitve.

I agree that it is probably one of the worst things one can be faced with. As I say, I cannot begin to imagine what it must be like knowing that your unborn child will not survive very long after birth if they even survive that far in the first place. I appreciate that unlike the other 99% of mothers who have abortions the women in this situation are aborting a wanted baby and that they genuinely think they are doing what is best. This does not however remove the fact that abortion is wrong. My conscience does not allow me to sit back and say, "Okay I'll ignore the fact that 200 000 unborn babies are killed every year - the feelings of 2000 mothers per year are far more important than the lives of those babies." I do try to be sensitive to those who may have had abortions but ultimately destruction of human life is more important than hurting somebody's feelings. It is not cruel to oppose abortion or to voice that opposition. It would be cruel and insensitive to show you (or indeed anybody who hasn't consented) pictures of aborted babies or to describe to you some of the methods used in abortions but I do not do that.

And until people are faced with such a situation they never know what they would do.

You are right - I do not know what I would do in that situation. However right and wrong are not defined by what I do. I hope I am never faced with such a situation but even if I were in that situation and chose abortion, that would not make it right. It would illustrate how much of a sinner I am and how much I need God's grace and mercy. But abortion would still be wrong.

My actions do not define right and wrong.

God does.

So the question still remains: What to say to someone who has had an abortion?

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Budget Family Meals

Did you know it is possible to feed a family of four for a month for just £100?

Neither did I.

A friend of mine has been working on a project setting up a menu plan of cheap family recipes which do just that. The main aim is to help people who are in debt to save money in order to get out of debt but the recipes are useful for anyone who is looking for cheap recipes. A lot of research has been done to ensure that the menu plan is still healthy even at such a low budget - read the nutrition page at the site to find out more.

The project is ongoing so if you are interested in testing new recipes, pop on over to the thread at Money Saving Expert.

Monday, 17 May 2010

My Web Wanderings (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Monday, 10 May 2010

My Web Wanderings (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Election Day: Pro Life Candidates

Today is election day. Here in the UK elections happen a lot more quickly than they appear to in the United States. So much so that if you are a lazy blogger you don't get around to blogging about it until election day.

Since the last government allowed creation of "saviour siblings", allowed the creation of animal-human hybrid embryos, expanded embryonic stem cell research, removed the requirement to consider the need for a father in relation to IVF treatment, introduced gay marriage, introduced "Equality" laws which discriminate Christians in favour of people who disagree with them and attempted to apply the Badman report I thought it wise to find out the views of my candidates on these issues.

For me the most critical issue is that of human life. Discrimination against people for their beliefs or restriction of home-education just doesn't fall under the same category as destruction of life. It was also the issue I least expected any candidates to agree with me on.

I contacted five of my six candidates and four replied. (I live in the safest labour seat in the country so the Labour candidate knows she doesn't actually need to do anything to get in.) Three of my candidates are pro life! I actually had a choice of three candidates. And since I know who will win, I don't need to do a tactical vote for a candidate I don't like to stop a worse one from getting in.

Here are some selected quotes from the replies I received:

Candidate A:
Yes, all human life born and unborn should be protected.

Candidate B:
I believe all babies have the right to life. I would be in favour of a reduction in abortion limit. As a practicing doctor I have a history of not taking part in any abortion - so my stance should already be clear.

Candidate C:
I am pro-life and would support a reduction to the current abortion limit (ideally 12 weeks in all but the most serious of cases). I am particularly concerned that abortion is being used as a form of contraception without people fully understanding the full implication of what they are doing, both to the unborn child but also mentally to themselves.

A lot is made of Human Rights, but very little is made of the right to life of the unborn child.

Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide

...I have real sympathy for people and their families in this situation. However, I would be extremely uncomfortable for any relaxation of the law to all assisted suicide in the UK as this could lead to pressure being brought on the old, sick and vulnerable to end their lives.

Candidate D seemed to view the law as a means of "harm reduction" and does not see any need to change the law. But since his party wants to abolish all church schools I wouldn't have voted for him anyway.

I intend to let the candidate I voted for know that I voted for him and also that one of the key reasons was his pro-life stance. I will also write to the new MP once she is elected to express my concern that she will not attend to concerns raised by constituents since she did not reply when she was supposedly campaigning.

If you feel so inclined, please pray that good people will be elected throughout our land and that the new government will improve the law on pro-life issues.

Also, if you are in the UK, please consider writing to the new Prime Minister as part of the Paper Baby Campaign.

Monday, 3 May 2010

My Web Wanderings (weekly)

  • tags: Birth

  • tags: Breastfeeding

    • Just like anti-smoking and back-to-sleep campaigns, medical evidence supports the unambiguous medical recommendation that all mothers breastfeed. Yet, if I strongly recommend breastfeeding and discuss the well-studied health risks of formula with a new mother, I have crossed the line and will be responsible for her guilt should she formula feed. As an aside, doesn’t every psychologist hold to the truth that no one else can make a person feel (fill in the blank) guilty, sad, happy and so on? Aren’t we responsible for our own emotions? More importantly, why is an unambiguous medical truth forbidden or at least restricted when the topic is breastfeeding?
    • Modern formula is appropriate or even ideal in certain circumstances. In cases of adoption, galactosemia, maternal street drug use, and other scenarios formula is a critical and lifesaving medication. But like any medication it should be used only when there is a clear indication. And like every medication there are risks. In fact, formula caries a wide array of very serious, undesirable, risks.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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