By Judie Brown
Abortion has become synonymous with many things in our morally devastated culture, but a Missouri woman’s assertion that she had her preborn baby aborted to save her from pain because she learned that her pregnancy will have complications shocked even me!
While some would argue that pregnancy can be a problem, or inconvenient, or unwelcome, I must point out that we are talking about a baby, not a condition that can be cured by surgery or with a pill!
So when I read the story of Robin Utz, an expectant mother who was devastated when doctors told her that her 21-week-old preborn daughter was suffering from a “100 percent fatal disease,” I was saddened. The condition, bilateral multicystic dysplastic kidney disease, is always fatal. According to the disease definition, “It is considered a lethal entity, and most pregnancies are terminated. When born, such infants . . . generally die shortly after birth.”
Utz, whose website Defending Grace is dedicated to her abortion story, writes that she wanted to have her baby until this disease was discovered. At that point she and her husband “made the excruciating decision to terminate the pregnancy at 21 weeks and five days—nearly six months.” Utz believes that aborting her child was the “least painful and most humane thing we could do for her.” She writes that “we did all we could to take on the physical and emotional suffering ourselves.” Though she states that the umbilical cord was cut prior to the abortion so that the baby’s heart would stop beating, we will never know if the baby suffered. We do know that babies feel pain during a surgical abortion, however. And we pray that Baby Grace was spared from such pain.
Utz’s website is designed to reach out to others who believe that sometimes abortion falls into the definition of a “gray area,” but her article in the Washington Post reveals something quite different. Utz complains that, because of a Missouri state law, her insurance did not cover the cost of aborting her daughter. She writes that getting the abortion can be costly since Planned Parenthood does not offer abortion when the health of the baby is the reason for the abortion. In addition, she complains that, had she waited two days longer for her abortion, she would have had to go out of state for it.
In other words, Utz is using the very sad abortion-death of her daughter to sound the alarm and warn readers that the act of abortion must be protected by law. Sadly, she does not recognize that her preborn daughter was worth every ounce of suffering she and her husband might experience simply because they loved her unconditionally and looked forward to seeing her, if only briefly.
This article chills my soul because it conveys a message that, for some people, the availability of abortion is paramount to anything, or anyone, else. What this says about our culture is something so unsettling that I find it difficult to write about without sounding harsh and cruel.
Grace was a human being—a person who had human rights equal to those of you and me and everyone else, including her parents. She had a soul. And her tiny life was entrusted to her parents by God. It is the parents’ job to keep their baby safe until He calls her home. Though it may be difficult to understand, we must never lose trust in God and put our will before His.
In times of extreme emotional suffering such as the Utz family experienced, we know there are other loving options. Grace could have been born with her parents close at hand at a perinatal hospice like Alexandra’s House which, coincidentally, happens to be located in Missouri—the very state where Mr. and Mrs. Utz reside. Losing a baby at any age is always tragic, but “Alexandra’s House helps bring a pregnancy and the life of an unborn baby with lethal and sub-lethal anomalies to its natural end, lovingly accepting anyone into its care who needs it.”
At Alexandra’s House, Grace and her parents might have experienced something quite different and may have felt a sense of closure and peace if Grace had died a natural death. We will never know.
Pray for the Utz family, and pray for our culture. We look forward to the day when every preborn child is welcome, no matter what her life expectancy.
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