Add my voice to the millions who condemn New York’s leaders’ decision to permit an abortion of a child in the third trimester when a woman’s life or health (undefined) are at risk. It takes a lot to shock this nation, but nationwide reaction indicates our eastern state succeeded.
Ironically New York abolished the death penalty in 2007. Convicts there sit on death row until their lives end naturally. Meanwhile, their tiny fellow New Yorkers, the ones who come into existence through someone else’s choice, can be snuffed out until the day they are born. In New York, murderers are safer than infants.
Sometimes you have to trust your gut when it tells you something isn’t right. This is one of those times. Legislators can issue statements and statistics and all the information they want, but they cannot convince anyone possessing a shred of decency that it’s alright to chemically dissolve or tear from limb to limb or decapitate a living child whose only need is more time.
I met one of those children. He was born at 21 weeks. He had wriggled around so much inside that his umbilical cord wrapped around him and his oxygen supply eventually stopped. My gynecologist delivered the sad news, and I underwent the process to deliver. My husband clung to my hand as I traveled to hell and back to bring our tiny boy into the world. Strangely, it was worth it because I got to meet him. I didn’t know how perfectly formed a 21-week child is. He was all there, right down to his tiny fingernails and hair. In my weak arms, he looked like a sleeping child. He was perfect in every way except for the lack of a heartbeat — and time.
At that moment, life became more precious, more fragile. I had felt him inside, wriggling around, stretching, kicking every now and then. He was alive. And then he was dead. Which is how abortion works. Except that someone outside of the little one’s world makes that horrific decision for him or her. I can’t comprehend how that isn’t murder.
Abortion actually is a pro-choice matter. We make choices long before conception. We choose to use wisdom — or we don’t. We choose to avoid pregnancy — or we don’t. We choose to believe in accepting consequences of our actions — or we don’t. We choose to value life — or we don’t. But when a child is created, the choice has already been made, one that now involves three people instead of two. And the third person — an innocent, non-voting person — is at the mercy of the other two who created him. The supposed love that created him becomes a tainted counterfeit when the choice is made to exterminate his “inconvenient” life.
I feel strongly about this. Our family is jinxed in the reproductive department. Nearly all of my nine grandchildren are on earth today thanks to science. I’ve watched daughters and sons go through unimaginable anguish to attain the privilege of bearing children. They’ve sacrificed unbelievable amounts of time, effort, and money to bring children into their homes, including the adoption route. In our world, the idea of killing a child in the womb is incomprehensible.
I abhor New York’s decision. I’ve abhorred abortion ever since it became legal. I’m old enough to remember the passage of Roe v. Wade in 1973. That moment defined this nation, and since then, the more than 50 million babies aborted in the United States chillingly define us.
Have I no pity for the exceptions of a mother’s health jeopardized, or rape, or incest? Of course I do. But that 1.5 percent of all abortions should be exceptions, not an excuse for casual death.
Hats off to two Utah legislators who head into this week’s legislative session with bills created to protect Utah’s unborn infants. Rep. Cheryl Acton sponsors a bill that would restrict a ban on abortion after 15 weeks. Rep. Karianne Lisonbee is re-introducing a bill to ban abortions on unborn children diagnosed with Down syndrome. Both are promised opposition from such entities as Planned Parenthood. No surprise there. But both women are resolute in their objective to steer Utah far away from the likes of New York.
These two brave women have my hearty support. If you believe in their work, add yours and let them know. Help them keep New York’s plague from spreading to Utah.
D. Louise Brown lives in Layton. She writes a biweekly column for the Standard-Examiner.