Archive for May, 2014

Abortion for Fetal Anomaly: The Compassionate Choice for Mother and Baby?

Thursday, May 29th, 2014


Registered Nurse Lynn Smith presents an excellent overview on some key issues to consider when couples are counseled to abort their unborn child with a fetal anomaly:

In considering the H 4223, the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, people need to know that abortion is not a life saving, pain sparing medical procedure in the case of fetal anomaly.

At a February conference, OB-GYN doctor, Byron Calhoun, presented a strong case for perinatal hospice instead of termination of pregnancy for fetal anomaly.  Not only is perinatal hospice safer for a woman and her family emotionally, but it is safer physically, for the mother.

There are 6-10,000 lethal fetal anomalies in the U.S. every year.  Traditional treatment for  lethal anomalies is termination of pregnancy, and the reasons for such treatment are not necessarily based on sound medical rationale, but on emotion:  obstetric providers’ well intentioned desire to spare the mother and the family a distressing experience, their need to “do something,” and their discomfort with bereaved patients.  On the physiological level, a prudent doctor is motivated to avoid maternal complications of pregnancy and childbirth, and fear of increased maternal mortality.

The doctors’ desire to be in control, and prevent suffering, is understandable, however research reveals that termination does not necessarily prevent maternal complications, mortality, or suffering but, in fact, pregnancy termination increases the risk of physical harm and prolongs suffering.  Grief after termination of a pregnancy is just as intense as after a spontaneous pregnancy loss, however, grief after termination for anomalies demonstrates prolonged consequences.  A study in the Netherlands of women with termination for anomalies reviewed psychological outcomes at monthly intervals. At 4 months 46% of women had pathological levels of post-traumatic stress symptoms.  At 16 months, 21% still had symptoms.  Grief after termination is intense and persistent, as shown in another Netherlands study.  Evaluated 2-7 years post termination, 2.6% had pathological grief and 17% had post traumatic stress.

Another study, on the other hand, shows grief with first trimester spontaneous pregnancy loss is equal to that of live birth.  In the first six months of the study, there was increased depression, anxiety and somatization with the loss group, but after one year there was no difference with the live birth group.

Dr. Calhoun notes that in comparing a 1994 study to the 1998 CDC report, maternal mortality for induced abortion at 16-20 weeks is about the same as for non termination.  However, the CDC itself acknowledges within its own reports that induced abortion morbidity and mortality are underreported.  Therefore, it can be deduced that carrying a pregnancy to term, is the safer choice.

A well designed perinatal hospice program provides the kinder alternative of assisting the mother to carry her baby to term.  Kinder to the mother, in that she was not a proactive agent in the demise of her child, and kinder to the child, allowing it to live comfortably what time it has within the womb.  A 2002 analysis found that 20% of patients will continue the pregnancy no matter what the diagnosis.  Two studies show that 75-85% of patients choose perinatal hospice when presented with the idea.  The patients were all positive about hospice care and the opportunity to spend time with their infants, which, after delivery, lived from a few minutes to a few days.

Someone once said that you do not eliminate suffering by eliminating those who suffer.  Abortion is not healthcare.  Anyone who has been involved in an abortion decision, for whatever reason, if they are truly honest with their self, knows that abortion is cruel, ugly, and a desperate choice.

In so many circumstances in our society, from abortion to euthanasia, to assisted suicide, we need to recognize that killing is not compassion.   The word “compassion” comes from the words that mean “together” and “to suffer.”  Compassion is coming alongside those who suffer and living with them through their suffering.  To suggest that death is the solution for life’s problems is to abandon them to despair.  Is there a soul to our society?  How do we measure our humanity?  The answer is by the degree to which we care for those humans who are suffering:  the weak and vulnerable, the unwanted and imperfect, the dying.

Yours truly,

Lynn Smith, R.N.



Collateral Damage: An Attorney Traumatized by Abortion Case

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014


Sheila Harper founder/director at Saveone has an important blog on her meeting with an attorney  intimately involved in an abortion case in his distant past.  This powerful account reveals the true nature of abortion loss as a traumatic experience with powerful feelings many years after the event…not just for the father trying to prevent the abortion but for others like this attorney intimately involved in the events leading up to the unborn child’s death.  Here’s an excerpt from Sheila’s article:

I recently had the privilege of speaking at the Wisconsin Right to Life annual conference…After my talk that evening I had many come over to my booth and ask me to sign their newly bought books. There was one man in particular who I want to tell you about. He didn’t buy a book, didn’t ask me to sign anything, didn’t tell me I did a good job, nothing. He simply wanted to tell me a story. His tale goes like this…

In 1975 he was a really good attorney by his own admission. He rarely lost any case he defended. One day a man called the attorney’s office and said his wife had left him. He didn’t want a divorce and especially not now because his wife had just told him she was pregnant…and getting an abortion.  Read the rest here.


Boxer Floyd Mayweather Powerless to Defend the Life of His Unborn Twins

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

Floyd Mayweather

TraumaA traumatic event is an experience that causes physical, emotional, psychological distress, or harm. It is an event (such as rape, sudden accidental death, natural disaster etc.) that is perceived and experienced as a threat to one’s safety or to the stability of one’s world.

How horribly ironic that one of the greatest Professional Boxers in the world is powerless after Roe V Wade to defend the life of his unborn children.  Read the tragic experience of Boxer Floyd Mayweather and his former fiance, Shantel Christine Jackson…and the traumatic anger, pain and relationship implosion of a father who lost his twin children to abortion.

When couples are engaged to be married and learn of an unplanned pregnancy, there can be a great temptation to abort the child.   Parents can face economic fears, professional or educational commitments, embarrassment to face the truth with family and future in-laws…or something as tragic as not wanting an unplanned pregnancy to interfere with  the perfect wedding.

Couples sadly are ill prepared for the after effects of abortion.  It attacks the very heart of marital intimacy.  Communication and trust are often shattered by the painful, confusing and conflicted feelings which follow the procedure.  Couples may surge ahead and suppress these feelings in the busy preparations for marriage…but they will catch up with them in time.  We have learned from so many women and men after abortion that this procedure was a key  factor in their marital dysfunction and divorce.

For other couples, the relational destruction is immediate.  This is especially toxic when one of the partners, like Floyd Mayweather is given no say in the decision to end the life of their unborn children.