I cannot remember a time when I did not know my story, but as I got older God started to really do something in my heart that compelled me into action.
Can you imagine finding out at a young age that three doctors wanted you dead? It is hard to wrap my mind around the fact that anyone would have wanted me dead, but even harder for me because they were doctors! They were in a position of power to insist and pressure that my life be ended. My story taught me that doctors have great power not only for tremendous good but also for tremendous evil, and some doctors see only some lives as valuable and do not believe in fighting for all life.
At 14 years old, God impressed upon my heart to write to the six doctors involved in my journey. I wrote to three of the doctors thanking them for honoring my parents’ pleas to fight for my life. Out of a deep forgiveness and passion, I wrote the other three other doctors who told my parents to abort me. I told them I forgave them and about the gospel message and that this amazing Savior, Jesus, loves them passionately and longs for them to use their power for good and not for evil.
As I stared at the face of one of the doctors online who wanted me to be gone, I cried because he was lost and believed that the intentional killing of an unborn child could ever be a “solution” for parents of a sick child.
To this day it baffles me that we have come to a place in our society where people in positions of medical power would ever think that destroying lives would ever be a course of action for an innocent life whose only crime is location and health status.
At my mom’s 22-week ultrasound the tech saw something wrong, so she notified the doctor. The doctor came in, frantically telling my mom that she needed to have an abortion because I would die and my mom would die and that I must have some chromosomal abnormality not compatible with life as my mom was missing half of her amniotic fluid. My mom said that she would never abort, and that she loved me. My parents (this time with my dad) would come back at 24 weeks and the same scenario happened but this time all of the amniotic fluid was gone. This same doctor told them (yet again) that they needed to abort me because I had a chromosomal abnormality that was not compatible with life. When my parents refused this, they were sent to speak with yet another doctor in the practice. My parents told me that this doctor calmly (which made this conversation even more chillingly disturbing the casual way ending my life was insisted upon) told them that they must have an abortion because their child would have no “quality of life.” My mom said, “Our child will have quality of life because this baby will know the unconditional love of God.” The doctor went on to say, “Well, you will have many other children.” My mom said, “Even if we have 100 other children, we want this child. This child is valuable.” The conversation went on for about 20 minutes when my dad said, “We will not abort, so what will you do to help us?” The doctor said, “In all of my years of practice no one in your position has ever “not” aborted, so all I can say is to go home and wait for your baby to die and you will come back and deliver a stillborn child.” My parents went home heart-broken, not only that these doctors so devalued my life and had written me off, but with the thought that other parents are made to believe they must have an abortion. My parents were not giving up on fighting for my life but they did not know what that looked like.
When my parents called my grammy, she said these words that would change everything, “If there is a heartbeat then there is hope.” God used my grammy’s words to give them hope through Jesus. My dad talked to an ob/gyn at church who knew my situation. And she knew my mom’s primary ob/gyn and would call him. When she did, she could not even imagine the doctor’s sickening response. The doctor told her that the only test he would do for my parents was an autopsy. This doctor at the church then got us into the hands of two doctors at another hospital who said they would honor my parents’ wishes to fight for my life.
While my mom and I were in the care of these new doctors, they saw BOTH of us as their valuable patients. They put my mom on bed rest in the hospital and took me via C-section at the first day of my 26th week. The doctors said that they didn’t know if I would be born alive, and that it would be like getting a pit out of a peach due to lack of amniotic fluid and if I was born alive that I would be too sick to make any noise. The kind doctor that delivered me said I was born squawking. I was born at 26 weeks 1 lb. 2oz.
I was in the NICU 5 1/2 months and I thank God that my parents never backed down on fighting for me! They didn’t know if I would live, but they embraced each day and gave it all up to God!
God has used my story to open my eyes to the reality that we live in a world that devalues and dehumanizes some life and that even within the medical field, and even within the pro-life community, “some” life, like mine, is deemed an “exception.” My story has compelled me to be a voice not only in a world that strips people of their humanity, but also within the pro life community to share that babies with “fetal anomalies, chromosomal abnormalities, conceived in rape or incest, destroyed embryo children from IVF” are human beings authored by God with just as much intrinsic value as any other child. When we start classifying human beings into categories of who is valuable and who is not does that make us any different than those in our history who dehumanized different people groups?
Throughout every generation, a people group has been dehumanized and stripped of their personhood. Isn’t it about time that we learned from our horrific human history and see our humanity through God’s lens that ALL life is equally valuable and that we are all persons, healthy or sick, no matter how conceived, made in the image of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ. Our mental state towards a person does not change their/our humanity. Society does NOT define our value. God does. If we could grasp that truth, no life would ever be marginalized, deemed disposable and dehumanized. We must must have laws in place that protect ALL life from fertilization to natural death because man in his humanity, as we have seen historically, wants to redefine what God has already defined. Our laws must protect ALL PERSONS and recognize the inherent dignity of all life.
All life is valuable! Society sees ability as what gives “value” yet they never recognize that ALL life is innately valuable because we are ALL created by God.