Thursday, October 16, 2008

"Life or Health of the Mother"

Two stories:

Shortly after I came to this church, I met a young woman. She was one of our confirmation guides. She was married and had a young child. At almost the same time that year, she discovered she was pregnant and that she had cancer. She got the best opinions from her doctors, and then made the difficult decision to delay her treatment until after her baby was born. She and her husband knew that they were taking a risk, but they decided it was worth it. She was able to begin treatment shortly afterwards, and her family is still doing well today. They are so grateful for their two healthy children.

A few years ago, I learned a story from a friend. A woman who has at least two children learns that she is pregnant, and shortly afterwards, learns that she has cancer. After discussing her options with her physician, she decides to delay her treatment until after her baby is born. She knows that there are risks, but she is adamantly pro-life. Unfortunately, in her case, her cancer advances rapidly and she dies when her baby is young, leaving her husband a widower with three small children.

Both of these women chose life. I respect their choices. They risked their lives for the sake of their babies.

But, nobody told them they had to risk their lives. They got to choose.

12 comments:

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

Good post, Diane. It points out the evil of making too sweeping a judgment.

ROBERTA said...

excellent view of what choice looks like. thank you!

Jan said...

Choices. Yes. It took me into my adulthood to realize I really had choices!

Lauralew said...

Excellent. What you are talking about is the dignity of the individual woman. Taking away choice is to denigrate and infantize.

Diane said...

Laura, that's true. I'm also saying that I think there is some ambiguity on "life or Health". These are both cases where it was not certain that the woman would die if she had an abortion. But the risk was there.

Chorus said...

Great post, Diane.

"PS" (a.k.a. purple) said...

Thanks for the two stories. Much to celebrate and much to ponder.

Border Explorer said...

Oh Diane, you are so good.

mompriest said...

yup. they got to choose....

Barbara B. said...

good post -- hearing about real people (instead of abstract concepts) is so important!

FranIAm said...

Amen sister- this post says more in a few paragraphs than a lot of the rhetoric from either side of this debate.

Thank you so much.

Rev SS said...

Point so well made! Thank you.