A Baby No One WantedBy: Allison Shoup
Over and over I have heard the arguments on why abortion should be legal. Even those who do not count themselves in the 'women's rights' category often agree that in tragic cases a woman has the right to dispose of her unborn baby. Among the most popular of these 'justified' reasons for abortion are rape, the potential handicap of a child, and the financial burden that the child will bring. Each time I hear these arguments, I cringe. But, instead of merely telling them the blanket statement that "all life is important," I share with them the following true story and allow them to make their decision about whether a life should be taken because of another's mistake.
An older couple lived a long, hard life. Raising a daughter with a severe mental handicap brought both joys and trials. God helped them through it all, but this was just one more trial these elderly people had to bear. As they sat in the doctor's office, their worst nightmare came true; their daughter was pregnant.
To make matters worse, the baby's father didn't want anything to do with the baby. He was a Native American, living on a reservation. Alcohol had enslaved him, and he was too numb to care. He just wanted the woman to have an abortion and get rid of the child altogether. After all, the mother was so severely handicapped that she didn't even know she was pregnant, and her parents were too old to raise the baby. He cared only about his addiction—alcohol.
The parents were fully aware of this. They also were concerned that the child could end up with the same mental disability as their daughter. They could not bear to have the unborn child live a life like their daughter's. They also knew that there were few to no families willing to adopt a child who had or could develop a cognitive disability. Over and over, these things weighed on their minds.
Time passed. It had been a very long nine months, but God's grace sustained them through it. Despite all the odds, they knew that abortion was murder. They couldn't live knowing that they had taken an innocent life. They decided to place the baby for adoption and prayed that a loving couple would be willing to accept what could be a less-than-normal child.
Being Christians, they requested that the child be put in a Christian home, and they knew that the caseworker would do her best to find a great family for their precious baby girl. Little did they know what was happening only miles from where the baby was born.
There was a young couple named Tim and Betty who had been married for 13 years but were unable to have children. They wanted children so badly that they applied for adoption. As they waited, they just couldn't understand why people would have abortions while knowing that there were couples out there that wanted children. It was so cruel, so unjust. They were about to give up and settle with the idea of never having children, but soon that all changed.
Tim loved running local road races that supported charities, and Betty always cheered him on as he raced to the finish. July 22, 1985, was no different. That day Tim was running the Toury Mott Run, a race to raise money for Hurley Hospital's Children's Center. As Tim crossed the finish line right in front of the hospital, he walked over to Betty. He knew that she had been very discouraged about not being able to have a baby. It had been two years since they had applied for adoption, yet they still hadn't heard anything. So he pulled her aside, pointed up to the hospital window and said, "You never know. Our baby might be up there right now."
Amazingly, he was right. The woman had given birth early that morning, and by that time the child was in the baby care unit. Fourteen months later, Tim and Betty brought that baby girl home to stay.
That little baby that could have been aborted—that little baby whose birth father had taken advantage of her mentally handicapped birth mother; that little baby whose mother thought she was a doll; that baby whose grandparents were too old to be able to take care of her; that little baby whom everyone thought could have had a severe handicap; that little baby whom God had given life. That little baby, who is alive and healthy, is the author of this article.
Let me ask you, "Was my life not worth saving? Should I have died merely because of all of these tragedies that led up to my birth?" Absolutely not. Just because a child may have a handicap or disability does not mean his or her life is worth less than anyone else's. According to the United States Declaration of Independence, "All men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness." These rights rang through our country until January 22, 1973. In the case, Roe vs. Wade, the Supreme Court legalized abortion—stripping innocent children of the very first right mentioned in the Declaration of Independence. It was a ruling that allowed a saline solution to be injected into the baby for the purpose of burning it to death, and it paved the way for doctors to stick a tube in the child's head and vacuum out its tiny brain. And all this is done because two adults don't want to have to deal with the inconvenience of having a child. Nevertheless, what about that child? Why should the baby have to pay with his or her life?
Many times I have heard pro-abortionists argue that abortion is the expression of a woman's rights—to ban abortion would be to take away her rights. What about that baby girl that she is carrying inside of her? What happened to that little woman's rights? What about the little boy who never had the chance to grow up and make something of his life? Why should one person's rights be sacrificed because they are an 'inconvenience' to another?
If a couple feels that they cannot provide the life that their baby deserves, abortion is never the answer. Just like my parents, many couples want to have a child and would provide a wonderful home for that baby. Instead of selfishly killing another human life, why not do the most sacrificial act and give that innocent child the chance of a wonderful life that he or she deserves?
Many women have faced a tragic pregnancy. Perhaps they were raped and wish to get rid of the painful memories altogether. Sometimes women are afraid that their child will be abnormal and do not want to bring a less-than-perfect child into this brutal society. Many people are afraid that they will not be able to financially support a child. Thus, thousands of innocent children are murdered each year under the umbrella of 'freedom of choice.' However, it is time that we teach these adults that all life is equally important. Just because a couple may not want the child does not mean that child should be denied the right to 'life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.'
Allison Shoup lives in Michigan and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org