An ancient saying tells us, “Where there’s life, there’s hope.” The truth of that statement was demonstrated
powerfully by an experience that two of our medical advisors at Priests for Life
recently related to us.
Dr. Matthew Harrison had a visit
from a 20-year old woman named Ashley. She was seven weeks pregnant, but she
feared for the life of her baby – not because there was anything wrong with the
pregnancy, but because, two days earlier, she had taken RU-486 at an abortion
mill. Now, she had changed her mind about having the abortion and wanted to see
if the baby could be saved!
The RU-486 process requires
taking the drug itself (called mifiprex) at the abortion mill, and then taking a
second drug (called cytotec or misoprostol) three days later on one’s own.
Ashley had taken the mifiprex, but had not yet taken the cytotec. Now in a small
percentage of cases, the RU-486 will not kill the baby by itself. It’s normal
function, however, is to starve the unborn child by interfering with the working
of progesterone. The RU-486 goes to the cells that receive the progesterone and
block them, so that the real progesterone cannot do its work. This would be
analogous to putting a counterfeit key into a keyhole so that it fits but cannot
turn the lock to open the door. Meanwhile, the real key cannot go in. The
cytotec, then, will induce contractions so that a dead baby is delivered.
Dr. Harrison had not faced such a
situation before. Ashley told him that her boyfriend had pushed for the
abortion. But after she took the RU-486, Ashley thought to herself, “O My God,
what have I done?” She told her mother what had happened, and her mom called a
local pregnancy center. The center then referred her to Dr. Harrison.
The doctor excused himself, went
into another room, and prayed. He consulted a number of medical resources, and
decided to give Ashley a progesterone treatment. With an extra dose of
progesterone, he thought, maybe the effects of the counterfeit progesterone
could be overcome. It was worth a try. This was not, however, without its risks,
about which he clearly informed Ashley. He told her, first of all, that this
effort might not work, and her baby might die anyway. He also told her that this
effort might prolong the death process, or might bring additional complications
to her or her child, or might even kill her. Ashley was courageous, and signed
the consent form saying, “Whatever happens is in God’s hands – I just pray that
my baby will be OK.”
She took the shot, and she began
bleeding that weekend. But then the bleeding stopped, and with continued
progesterone treatment by Dr. Harrison, the pregnancy continued normally. Dr.
Daniel L. Holland, who is Dr. Harrison’s partner, delivered a healthy baby girl
named Kaylie – a survivor of an attempted RU-486 abortion!
It’s easy to think it’s “too
late!” But where there’s life, there’s hope!