Two Very Different Responses to Grief

baby-in-heavenTwo recent articles, initiated by the discussion of late-term abortion during the Presidential campaign, talked about preborn children who passed away too early. These stories brought up some poignant memories for my wife and me.

The first article, on the pro-abortion website, was written by a woman whose baby’s heart stopped beating during her pregnancy—a painful experience for a mother look forward to the birth of her child. Unfortunately, the author somehow thinks her experience justifies legalizing abortion on demand, using the tired line that politicians should leave the doctoring to doctors.

Let me say, I feel nothing but grief for the author.  As some may remember from a previous post, my wife and I lost a child at 12 week’s gestation.  We had the experience the author describes of going in for a regular checkup and the doctor not finding a heartbeat.  I remember pacing outside the ultrasound room (they wouldn’t let me in because it was an “emergency ultrasound”).  I remember crying into the phone telling my boss why I wouldn’t be in and breaking the horrible news to my father.

While our experience was similar to that of the author, our response has been different. Rather than use our heartbreak to justify the legalization of abortion for any reason, as the author did, our grief is a constant reminder of the life that was.

Our response is more like the author of the second article I read, posted on titled “In Defending Abortion, Hillary Clinton Denies the Life of My Miscarried Child”.  In that article, the author talks about her child “Ethan” who she also lost around 12 week’s gestation. In the article the author says she just wants to ask Hillary Clinton one question about Clinton’s radical support of late-term abortion: “At what point did your daughter’s life start to matter?”

There is no explanation for why the same horrific experience affects people so differently. Why does one person consider a life a “clump of cells” while others call that same person what it is—a miracle of life?  What I do know is that what my wife and these two women experienced is no justification for abortion on demand.  There is no way to explain, or even to know, why these three lives ended, but there is no comparison between their experience and the act of an abortionist knowingly and willingly ending the life of a woman’s child.

I would not wish our experience on our worst enemy…and I imagine the authors of these two articles feel the same way.  I can only hope that the authors find the peace they need, and that the article author eventually realizes that her grief is confirmation that her lost child was a human being and deserves to be cherished, as do all lives.

Mom Rejects Abortion after Seeing Friend’s Facebook Post

Just a short note today. It’s a reminder about when we feel ineffective or discouraged as advocates for life.

Today, I read about a woman who posted a pro-life photo and article on her Facebook page. It was a simple post, but it made all the difference to someone who saw it.Unborn baby picture

After posting the photo, she received this note from a woman who was considering having an abortion:

“So, not really sure how I know you exactly or why we’re Facebook friends, just know that your 12 week old image and article had a profound effect on me and my current situation. Thank you… Just know that your post has changed my outlook. Thanks, girl, for more than you know.”

Because of that simple post, the woman chose life for her baby. You can read the full story here.

I just wanted to encourage you, readers, to keep doing what you’re doing. You may be doing something simple like posting a photo to Facebook or something mundane like folding newsletters for a pro-life organization.

Just remember, even the little things can make a big difference for life.

After Miscarriage, Mom Reflects on Baby’s Unnoticed Life

Every now and then, someone asks me, “If life begins at the moment of fertilization, why do we celebrate birthdays, not conception days?”

Birthdays mark a special point when we celebrate new life. But, some people use birthdays to conclude that we don’t value life before that

It’s really an unobservant conclusion if you think about it. Just picture the bubbling joy of a young married couple who discovers they are pregnant for the first time. Or the sorrow of a couple who loses their baby in a miscarriage.

Recently a woman from northeastern Pa. shared her story with me — her personal response to the birthday question.

When she discovered she was pregnant with her second child, she was anxious to share the good news with everyone. She didn’t want to wait the recommended three months before telling people about the new baby.

Then she and her husband received bad news. The ultrasound tech couldn’t find their baby’s heartbeat. Their baby had died.

Months later, she reflected on her miscarriage:

The hardest thing about following the three-month rule, about not sharing news of a baby, is allowing the baby to go unnoticed. Unremembered.

I don’t feel I need need others’ sympathy, but I do want people to know about the Little One. I need them to know that we are no longer a family of three, even though only three toothbrushes are near the sink, three coats hang by the door and three heads lay on their pillows at night. One of us is not here.

My life is forever different.

It looks the same to most. There are no visible signs of change.

But my life is changed. And not merely changed back to what it was before I knew I was pregnant.

It changed once when we discovered the Baby was alive. It changed again when we discovered My Little One was gone. (Read more here.)

Her’s is a sad but beautiful answer. Her little boy or girl never had a birthday, yet he or she was loved and mourned. Her baby and every baby are valuable human beings from the very first moment of life.

Responding to ‘Isn’t God the greatest abortionist?’ and other difficult questions

Every pro-life advocate faces difficult questions from time to time. Some are philosophical, others bizarre.

Strange was what came to my mind when an angry caller confronted me with this: “God causes pregnant women to miscarry, so isn’t God the greatest abortionist?”

It threw me off guard. I had never heard the pro-abortion side make that case before, and I didn’t know how to respond. However, the caller wasn’t interested in listening, and went on with the questions before I could give much of an answer.

The question, perhaps, is more common than I realized, because just a few days later I read an article responding to the very topic.

Scott Klusendorf from Life Training Institute boils down the question to this: “Does it follow that because nature (or God) kills people we may deliberately do so?”

Klusendorf takes the argument beyond the womb, and the true implications of the question becomes clear. If it’s ok to kill a baby inside the womb “because God does,” is it also ok to kill an impoverished infant in a third world country or an older resident in a nursing home? They have greater risks of dying. Does an act of nature such as a hurricane or tsunami that kills dozens of people justify the deliberate killing of a human being?

It is important to prepare for these arguments — but not just to learn to recite the pro-life response. We need to think and truly discern the heart of the question. Then, the next time an unexpected question comes up, we will be better prepared.

Choosing hope: Two women take different paths with risky pregnancies


This week, I read two stories about different women whose unborn babies were most likely to die before birth.

A Miami, Florida, couple almost lost their baby girl in the womb. Doctors found a tennis ball-sized tumor growing on the unborn infant’s mouth, and said she probably wouldn’t survive birth.

The second story came from a heartbreaking blog post from a woman who found out her pregnancy would likely result in miscarriage. Her baby’s heart beat was slow, and it wasn’t growing. After remembering the pain of an earlier miscarriage, she contemplated an abortion.

The Miami couple continued to hope and sought another doctor. They found a surgeon who operated on the baby in utero and removed the tumor – a procedure that was the first of its kind. The child was born several months later, healthy and strong. Read more about it here:

The blogger’s story ended differently. She decided to have an abortion, concluding that there was no good choice in her situation. Read about it here:

But I believe she did have a better choice than abortion. She even mentioned it in her blog when she writes:  “I want the doctors to be wrong. I want to have one of those miracles where everything turns out to be okay and I am relieved to find that I haven’t actually lost everything.”

There is no hope in an abortion, a termination. When someone chooses to have an abortion, they erase the chance for a miracle, in these cases for the birth of a child. Hope doesn’t guarantee rosy endings, but it leaves the future open to possibility.

The Miami couple put their hope on the line when they took a chance on a brand new medical procedure. Their hope resulted in something wonderful – a healthy baby girl.