Wrongful motherhood

March 12, 2007 09:00 AM

Commentary by Judie Brown

The recent news reports about Jennifer Raper, the 45-year-old mother of a two-year-old child who prior to her birth was targeted for death by abortion, shocked a great many people. But it saddened me beyond words. Here we have a woman who, two and a half years ago, sought the “services” of an abortionist to eliminate her child, the fruit of her womb.

Now, two years after the child’s birth, Raper is suing a Planned Parenthood abortionist for her failed act of terror, alleging that the physician botched the act and subsequently rendered Raper, who wanted to abort her baby for financial reasons, the mother of a living child rather than a dead one. And now this mother is livid, suing because nobody told her that she was still pregnant during the weeks after she paid to end her baby’s life.


Several things about this story force me to confront the mentality that 34 years of decriminalized abortion has engendered in far too many men and women. I have to believe that when Raper first found out she was with child, she did not think of herself as the mother of a baby whose life depended on her. No; she probably just thought she was burdened with an inconvenient problem that she knew exactly how to solve.


Being a mother never entered her mind.


Perhaps she believed, as do so many women in today’s society, that a woman who becomes pregnant is actually suffering from a condition that requires treatment. Perhaps, as Raper has admitted, her quandary was compounded by the state of her finances, which would be negatively impacted if she chose life for her “fetus.” Or perhaps she was simply ill prepared for the motherhood she stumbled into when she became pregnant in the first place. Who knows?


Being a mother never entered her mind.


Raper’s case is described as a wrongful birth, which begs the question ? what is wrong with giving birth to a baby? Obviously, the answer is a great deal. Since America has become a nation convinced that throwaway dishes, microwave dinners and fast-track job placements are all the accepted way, it seems pregnancy now belongs in the same category. You can toss out the product with nary a second thought. With the speed it takes to nuke a bag of popcorn, you can be freed from the experience of bearing a baby you do not want, cannot afford or simply will not accept.


Being a mother never enters a woman’s mind when she’s in this condition.


The condition, of course, is denial, but the result of this specific variety of denial is the death ? murder to be exact ? of an innocent human being whose survival is less important than a paycheck.


For me at least, it’s so hard to imagine that there really are men and women all around us who have never contemplated the beauty of parenthood, the incredible dignity of being a mother, or the great joy of knowing that you are carrying a baby who is closer to you during those nine months than anyone ever will be in your whole life. The special relationship that a mother has with her preborn child is beyond words; or at least it should be.


Not so with mothers like Raper.


We do not know whether her case will make it to trial; we do not know whether a jury will award her a sizable amount of money for giving birth to a little girl she did not want. We do not know if she realizes that her little girl is now the reason she may receive a very large sum of money ? money to compensate her for the trials of raising her daughter.

Being a mother has evidently still not entered her mind.

The irony of her daughter’s birth date ? December 7, 2004 ? did not escape me either. For it was on that very date, 63 years earlier, that Japanese attackers perpetrated a tragic air assault on our military base at Pearl Harbor. Thousands died during that tragic event, and World War II began in earnest. But with all the suffering that war wrought on the world, it cannot compare to the suffering America is experiencing now as the culture blithely kills more than 3,500 innocent babies every single day.

I feel a great sorrow for Raper and her ilk. It must be awful to cast your eyes on your beautiful daughter, who at two must be so much fun to be around, and only see what you might be able to gain by suing the doctors and the facility that erred in their “duty,” rendering you the mother of a living child instead of a dead one. Lord, how this woman must need our prayers, for surely her thought processes have been bludgeoned by her desire not to be a mother.

America continues its dance with death, enabling the Rapers among us to sue for wrongful birth as all the while abortionists ply their trade under cover of law and Planned Parenthood and its ilk deceive, deny and debilitate women young and old. It seems, however, that we have a crisis much larger than anyone is willing to admit. We live among people who see children as problems, pregnancy as an illness almost worse than cancer and selfless love as a joke.


How can this continue without a tragic outcome for humankind? I do not know the answer to that question. But it does occur to me that we have moved from those few in the early 1970s who scoffed at the idea that a pregnant woman was a mother to a point in our history where it is seemingly a civil offense to be the mother of an accidentally living child.

Raper’s case is really not about wrongful birth at all; it’s about wrongful motherhood.


Release issued: 12 Mar 07
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