Friday, July 14, 2006

A beautiful and sensitive essay on why parents had their daughter killed for MAYBE being imperfect

No, really. It is just that bad. Read it for yourself.

DISCLAIMER: I have great sympathy for parents who find themselves with an unexpected child at a rough time, or a child who may have "birth defects," though neither has ever happened to us. We had our last child when I was about 43; we knew that the statistical chances for "issues" mount with each year, so we discussed it. It was a fairly short discussion. If God wanted us to have a child with issues, the odds were 100% that we would; if He didn't, they would be 100% that we wouldn't. Either way, you just do not kill a child for being imperfect. So when we were offered the opportunity for testing, we asked for clarification as to the intent, and declined.

So I sympathize with parents in that state. I also sympathize with parents who have difficult children (-- although, of course, all mine were perfectly-behaved angels from their first breath on, just as surely as I've always been a perfect father).

I do not, however, sympathize with the decision to kill such children, nor with the rationalizations with which such decisions are whitewashed. So, having said that....

COMMENT: I have often remarked that I have never yet read a pro-abort who can make a coherent, rational, factual, moral case for killing children because they are imperfect or inconvenient, or because they have a bad parent.

This essay brings the total up to zero.

It offers some of the most excruciating... well, I hesitate to elevate it to the level of calling it "thinking." I suppose "rationalizing" would be better, though the element "rational" isn't merited. The woman is explaining why it was a good thing for her and her husband to contract the killing of their daughter because she might be a little imperfect.

It starts out like this:
A tear creeps down my cheek when she says it's a girl. I don't know why that makes me cry.
Um... because you're about to kill her, and you still have some shred of conscience? Just a guess.
I'd really rather not know. She assumes that like most expectant parents we want to know.

But as its turning out, we aren't like most expectant parents.

Well no, thank God, that's true. You're actually going to get your daughter killed. Most expectant parents don't do that.

And I can probably tell you why you don't want to know her sex, Ma'am: because of this pesky imago Dei thing, killers have always found it easier to dehumanize their victims. Ask racist lynchers. Ask Nazi guards. It's really not new. You're part of a time-honored tradition amongs oppressors with blood on their hands.

The rest of the essay is no more uplifting. Take this absolute beauty. It's a real window to the couple's thinking:

In many ways my 45-year-old husband and I could be perfect parents. We're professionals, with university degrees, own our own house, it's even paid off (we're financially careful yuppies). We're also fit -- we do Ironman events, marathons, play golf, travel and help support my parents.
Well, heck, whose definition of "perfect parents" doesn't that fit? They've got careers, money, physical fitness -- and hobbies! My gosh, what else is there to being a "perfect parent"?

Well, there is that pesky little you-don't-kill-your-kids-for-being-imperfect bone that got left out of their heads. Some people might think that that is an important attribute.

But, hey! Ironman! How cool is that?

So these "perfect parents" were initially happy to find that they were expecting. But then they learned that a "dreaded extra chromosome -- a triple X -- has robbed us of a healthy baby." Little Brittany might not be an honor student, so she must die. My understanding is that this is not even necessarily the case. But the fact that it might be the case, in this perfect mother's view (Ironman!), demands a death-warrant.

She still is working hard to quiet her conscience. Listen to this: "Isn't it more cruel to bring a child burdened with so many disadvantages into the world?" Well, I don't know. Why not ask your daughter? Oh, wait....

Here's the same thing that comes up with every such line of thought: if this is a rationale for killing an unborn person, it is equally a rationale for killing a born. If a less-than-100% quality of life is a death-sentence one side of the cervix, it equally is such for the other. A few inches don't make that much of a difference, not rationally.

And the mom's concerned about "disadvantages"? How many "disadvantaged" children have gone far in life, due largely to the commitment and undying love of committed parents? Seems to me right now that this poor girl has only one real, big, insurmountable "disadvantage": a selfish, immature, morally-clueless mother. And while it may be a condemning "disadvantage," it isn't the child on whom the guilt falls.

But she cried about it, we read; so that means she's a decent person. Her religious, pro-life mother would forgive her... she thinks. But she's not going to tell her and find out. Hmm; maybe Mom wouldn't be so sanguine about her granddaughter being killed after all....

The lady does have regrets and blame, though.

But not for herself!

No, here's who she's really mad at:
Why can't we just go to the nearest hospital? I hate the sanctimonious people who have made this more difficult than it has to be. No one begrudges couples thwarting God's plan by spending tens of thousands of dollars on fertility drugs, in vitro treatments, donor eggs, sperm, and surrogate mothers -- they get sympathy. But if you don't want to keep a seriously flawed baby, you bundle your pain in guilt and shame.
Wow. Where to start? It's just awful that people stand between her baby and its killer. It's just awful that they make the killing inconvenient.

But note what she says: "...if you don't want to keep a seriously flawed baby...."


Yes, Ma'am. That's right. She was a baby. But because she wasn't perfect (like you and Mr. Ironman), she had to die.

The final words of the essay:

His work sends flowers to me: his wife who had a miscarriage.

That's what we tell our friends and parents as well.

It was the right decision. It was the right decision. It was the right decision. It was the right decision.

But... let's just lie to Mom, Dad, and our friends, 'kay?

But it was the right decision. Just keep saying that. It was the right decision.

When we sin, we all have basically two options: forgiveness, or not. If you're saying it's not a sin, it can't be forgiven. Only sins can be forgiven, and they can only be forgiven through and because of Jesus Christ (Acts 13:38-39).

Rationalization kills. In this case, it is killing more than one.


Jim said...

That is just plain sick!

How long will God's anger be withheld on a nation that support this evil.

Yep, not even remorse. Just a sick self justification and transfer of blame to a "sanctimonious" society that prohibits the "natural" elimination of an unwanted "fetus".

What is next, putting the little two year old terrors to sleep for being too much work?

Sick, sick, sick!

Kim said...

The fact that this woman considered herself a candidate for being a good parent simply due to their finances, physical condition, education, etc. reveals the sick way she regards parenthood. Obviously, parenthood was more about what it could for them than anything.

The fact that she feels it necessary to lie about what happened indicates that it doesn't matter how justified one feels about it, the shame is there.

DJP said...

What is next, putting the little two year old terrors to sleep for being too much work?

Jim, I have never yet heard a rational explanation as to why your scenario is to be rejected, but the lady's is to be accepted.

Even So... said...

Would You Consider Abortion in These Four Situations?

1. There is a preacher and wife who are very, very poor. They already have 14 kids. Now she finds out she is pregnant with her 15th. They are living in tremendous poverty. Considering their poverty and the excessive world population, would you consider recommending abortion?

2. The father is sick with sniffles, and the mother has TB. They have 4 children. The first is blind, and the second is dead. The third is deaf and the fourth has TB. The mother finds she is pregnant again. Given the extreme situation, would you recommend abortion?

3. A man raped a 13-year-old girl and she got pregnant. If you were her parents, would you consider recommending abortion?

4. A teenage girl is pregnant. She is not married. Her fiancé is not the father of the baby, and he is very upset. Would you recommend an abortion?

If you have answered, “yes” to any of these situations:

In the first case you would have killed John Wesley.

In the second case, you would have killed Beethoven.

In the third case you would have killed Ethel Waters, the great gospel singer.

In the fourth case you would have recommended the murder of Jesus Christ.

This is yet another reason why I sign my posts...

Even So... (come, Lord Jesus)

Jim said...

Even so, I think I read that book somewhere else before.

Daniel, I meant sleep in the "permanent" sense.

I think next on the slippery slope is the euthanizing of the elderly, and the killing of small children that are not wanted or chronically sick. Just look to the Netherlands for that.

Even So... said...

Jim, yeah I think its Jack Chick, actually.

Saying you could be a perfect parent based on your "status, success, and strength" in life, and then saying you couldn't be equipped to handle a "deficient" baby: IRONY in the extreme...

4given said...

I have heard so many horrid stories like this... and then I hear of the stories where the parents, after being told their child would not be compatible with this life (really... that is what they were told), decided not to abort and either the child was normal or the child was such an overwhelming blessing to the family even though they were not considered "normal".

candyinsierras said...

That article is the most pathetic narcissistic article I have ever read on abortion. Something "unbearable" in her womb? Oh, and the term "evacuate"!?! Not quite Down's Syndrome but close? To think that they might have a child who isn't an athlete like them. I dread the day they might really become parents. I dread the perfection that child must live up to.

Modern Day Magi said...

dont people adopt anymore?

abortion is vile and wrong and a tragedy at least on par if not far greater in magnitude than the hollocaust.

I am male.

My view on abortion and the murder of children also makes me a sexist biggot.

In our world of relativistic morals and truths, the only truth we are asked to apologise for is Jesus, what a shame.


DJP said...

You're right, of course; and I always feel, writing on abortion, that what I write won't have as much impact as what a woman might write. Now, that's absolute nonsese, rationally -- as if truth is gender-specific; as if, for instance, only women can condemn rape.

But in terms of bypassing at least one pro-abort dodge, I always appreciate when a woman writes plainly and passionately on the subject, as the ladies have in this comment thread and as Freeman Hunt did in an essay I linked to previously.

Robert said...

This kind of thing ALWAYS makes me sad and angry at the same time.

Since she MIGHT not be a star athlete, they had to KILL HER?!?!?

My wife had two miscarriages out of five pregnancies. I could never regard the two very small children we buried (one boy and one girl) as "masses of tissue".

No Fluff Required said...

I can't see head is on fire. If it weren't for you responding to each part of this story with such satisfactorily employed truth....I do believe I would have burst into such a tyrade of mother-bear-adrenaline as to scare my own children into hiding. I'm so messed up, I'm not even going to spell check.

I'm sick of people wrapping dead children in beautiful party packages!

petunia said...

the first thing that came to mind when i read this was "And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed." John 3:19,20 May God have mercy on that couple's souls - i didn't deserve it either! miz enigma

DJP said...

Amen, amen and amen -- me neither.

contratimes said...

This is another one of those pro-abortion op-eds I don't believe is a real-life scenario. It is an anonymous hypothetical dressed in real-life language in order to evoke certain responses from readers. The anonymity is used politically to intimate how vile pro-lifers actually (allegedly) are; for those who seek "medical help" re: problem pregnancies live in fear of being harassed or harmed. I feel the same regarding the op-ed criticized by Freeman Hunt.

What is disturbing in this op-ed is the author's motivation. The reality is that this "couple" does not want to spare the child any suffering; they want to spare themselves from watching the suffering of their child; and from suffering in love as they strive to raise a difficult child in some semblance of wholeness. There is no way we can predict whether a child with Down's Syndrome suffers; most Down's Syndrome children I know are remarkably happy. So the suffering is not the child's, but the parents'; and even that is not predictable.

There is a Down's Syndrome boy I know. His name is Willy. He spent much of his time in the Alt Room in the local junior high. Many of the other kids in that program were from deeply troubled homes; Willy's parents are gifted professionals and loving, positive folks. While in that room, Willy fell in love -- brotherly love -- with a tough, hard-hearted thuggish boy who was flunking out of school. But Willy's unfailing love of this bully -- his daily and constant affirmation of a kid destined for sorrow -- utterly transformed that thug: joy and grace became part of his soul. In Willy he found something he had never known as a child, or from his own parents: he found unconditional love. And he found someone to love in return.

This is no BS story I share, but a very real story about letting nature -- and nature's God -- surprise us, even in the midst of difficulty. Aborting a child on the basis that his or her life will be meaningless is foolish; I was once transformed by films of a breathing baby -- with a perfect little face and hands and feet -- who was born with no brain. Her life, brief as it was, helped me. And the man who served me at Target last night, a man who was clearly mutilated by some sort of birth defect (a horrific one), nonetheless was the very presence of God for me on aisle 30C of the kitchenware section.

We do nothing wonderful if we do not give the living a chance to live. Let us let them decide if life is worth living. I know that there are really, really profoundly disabled children that seem utterly useless; but appearances are often illusory and they are always superficial.



Chris Anderson said...


I linked to this story at my place, as well. Terrible. This comment from a godly mother is worth a read. Quite a contrast.

The original letter is a tragic demonstration of so many aspects of II Timothy 3:1-5.

DJP said...

Thanks Chris; you're on my daily stops, and I saw and read her response. Very moving and appropos. And I love the picture to which she links.

Michelle Pendergrass said...

I think that a majority of parents who have lost their babies to natural death would much rather have an imperfect baby than a dead one.

I know a few moms who birthed their precious babies only to lose them just hours or days later, and every single one of them CHERISHES the time with their babies. Whether it was minutes or a month, they hold on to that memory with love. And not one of them wishes they'd have killed their babies off beforehand.

Sometimes the most beautiful love comes from the deepest pains we have experienced.

While it hurts that there are parents that would abort their babies for imperfections, I remember that in Old Testament days, parents placed their children on the burning alter of Molech and watched them burn alive.

I am probably more likely to stand and weep "at Jerusalem" as Jesus did for "they know not" what they're doing. I'd like to see us become a nation on our knees before God more than I want to read how anngry someone else is that this is happening.

Luther said that you can't legislate morality. We shouldn't be fighting this battle with beaurocratic red tape and laws, we should be fighting it on our knees with prayer.