I was five months pregnant as I sat in the darkened ultrasound room sobbing from the news I had just received.
With concerns already of my child acquiring muscular dystrophy, I was completely shocked when the doctor informed me that the child I was carrying was found to have hydrocephalus, or fluid on the brain.
He informed me that it was his opinion that a child who is anticipated to have multiple disabilities and some very overwhelming odds to overcome for any semblance of a "normal" life would be nearly impossible. He recommended the immediate termination of my pregnancy and for me to expect a call to schedule the procedure within the next two days.
I was completely shattered. It was hard to fathom what had taken place and to make sense of any of it.
The only thing I knew was that the child I carried was going to be brought into this world, and will be given every chance to beat the odds, to experience life. It was my responsibility to allow her that opportunity.
I understand that this position of my child's unborn life is viewed extrinsically.
I however share a more intrinsic view. My child, even unborn, is a person of their own. Because her life itself is life, growing and developing, albeit within my body, but still her very own.
My doctor's value on my child was quite clearly the opposite, which pushed me to seek a second opinion.
The neurosurgeon that followed understood my desires to foster the pregnancy. My daughter was born at 35 weeks via C-section, and she was shunted for her hydrocephalus at 18-hours-old. The rest was left to the hands of fate.
Adara did beat the odds. The surgery for the shunt left no brain damage, nor has their been any complications. At 1 years old, she was genetically tested for muscular dystrophy which did come back positive, however she currently shows no symptoms whatsoever.
So, by all accounts, my daughter is every bit a "normal". She is happy, sweet, smart and very typical 12 year old girl into music and Xbox. When I think back on everything that happened that day in the ultrasound room, I think about everything my child and I would have never experienced if I had agreed to terminate my pregnancy.
Pro-Life or Pro-Choice?
It was simply my own gut feelings and experiences while confronted with such an overwhelming situation. Feelings I believe I wouldn't have previously appreciated, had I not been confronted with a choice to make about the termination of a pregnancy. I agree that it is our responsibility as potential parents or people in general, to protect those who are fragile, powerless, defenseless and those that cannot do for themselves, no matter the parameters, be it the young or old, disabled, weak or dependent and protect them from the more powerful others and deliberate harm.
Why isn't a fetal life considered a young life? Its the beginning of the human condition, so why only defend and protect it only after exiting the womb?
The only point I will concede to the pro-choice view is that yes, conception and life are a biological process. However, the biological process should be viewed without such extreme condemnation. A "biological parasite" leaching a potential mothers bodily resource. It is not a pleasant or welcoming view towards any of us human granted the privilege to roam this world. In this view, one can gather if fetuses are the parasite, than the population of the world is an epidemic out of control. This of course is not the view of mankind and its habitation of this planet that is widely adapted.
I do feel there is necessary reason for abortion such as pregnancy from rape or extreme health hazards with potential for death, but I do not feel abortion should be indulged in any way as an alternative contraception, illuminating foreseen burden, unwanted disability, financial strain, unwillingness to accept the responsibility of a child, or to achieve sexual freedoms. An abortion shouldn't have the equivalent it does today as a simple procedure like getting your teeth cleaned.
To value life should mean the value of all life. If one can't, then we should assume life is random entirely. And as a way to cope with this randomness, justifying its worth by grasping at control of it, its the power of the giving and taking of life that then is the only value gained, not life itself.
This post originally appeared of The Mobility Resource