Ever had a prenatal ultrasound? Ever had a false diagnosis based on that ultrasound? In the course of nine pregnancies, I sure have. Doctors have told me the baby’s development was weeks behind gestational age; that there was a life-threatening hematoma forming; that the baby’s organs were forming improperly.
In my case, I had good doctors who ordered follow-up ultrasounds, and we were all glad to see that nothing was wrong.
Many women aren’t so lucky. Here’s something that happens all the time:
[UK mom Sarah] Hagan says that, after a 24-week ultrasound scan of her unborn baby, doctors told her that her son Aaron was “brain dead,” had just one eye and no chance of survival. The mother of two says physicians advised her to take an abortion drug, even though the mifepristone abortion pill is only authorized to be used to destroy the life of an unborn baby much earlier in pregnancy. When the abortion drug didn’t work, another doctor informed Hagan her baby needed to be delivered immediately and she gave birth to Aaron, who was born at 1lb 7oz with both eyes and healthy other than the fact that he was born prematurely — which has left him with chronic lung problems he wouldn’t have had otherwise.
They told her to abort based on ONE ULTRASOUND. They didn’t even bother to do a follow-up ultrasound, or ask for a second opinion. The only defects he was born with were the direct result, according to his mother, of his premature birth, which was caused by the unsuccessful abortion attempt. Here is Hagan with her baby boy:
Hagan is right to sue. If her story is accurate, her doctors were wildly, grossly irresponsible to counsel abortion and to administer the abortion drug. It’s just too damn easy for them to say, “Ehh, something looks off here. Better get rid of this one and try again later.” They’re afraid they’re going to be sued for “wrongful birth” if they miss diagnosing some problem, and the parents are angry that they got saddled with an imperfect child.
It’s unfortunate doctors have to take legal pressures into consideration when they counsel patients, but at least there should be pressure from both sides, not just pressure to “be safe” and counsel abortion.
There are two ways to combat this horrible trend. One is to make it harder for doctors to blithely counsel abortion when, even for people with the most utilitarian view of pregnancy, it’s simply not warranted.
Two is to give women a reason to fight back when a doctor is pressuring her to abort. Here’s where you guys come in.
Anyone want to start a blog or website called? I’m picturing something very simple: people submit their brief descriptions of why their doctors told them they ought to abort, and then post a picture of the child they decided to give birth to. Here’s what they said; here’s how it turned out.
I’ve been lucky. No doctor ever had the nerve to suggest abortion to me; and if they did, I’d have the support of my husband, my family, and of course my faith. But so many women do not. So many women are carrying babies that they love and want to protect, but they are surrounded by people who tell them it’s stupid, it’s irresponsible, it’s actually wrong to give birth to a baby who might have a defect of some kind.
I want to show pictures of babies who were supposed to be imperfect, and turned out not to be . . . and I want to show pictures of babies who were supposed to be imperfect, and are imperfect — but they are still loved and cherished. It could also include pictures of developmentally normal babies who were in danger of abortion simply because their mothers weren’t married, or were teenagers — but their moms decided not to bear and raise them anyway, or give them to another family.
I think the site should include a page of resources, such as benotafraid.net, for women looking for support in carrying a baby in difficult circumstances. The idea is not to make arguments or supply all the information. The idea is just to show the world that doctors say “abort” all the time, and that so many women are glad they did not listen. Stories, pictures, and links for more information.
So, what do you think? Or if there’s another name that would get more traffic, go for it! We want something that a sad and desperate woman is likely to enter into a search engine.
UPDATE – A reader who is a web developer has volunteered to design and host the site! Still needed is someone to sort through submissions (I assume there will be spam and hate mail entries).