During her 24-week pregnancy scan, Sarah Hagan says medics told her the child would have “no hope of survival”.
The Sunderland mum went through the agony of taking tablets to abort her unborn son, only to be then told doctors were going to try and deliver her baby.
Sarah, 38, of Farringdon, said: “It breaks my heart every day when I look at my son and think how I almost got rid of him.”
From the Sunderland Echo.
They said her baby’s brain had not formed properly, that he was “brain dead,” and would be born with only one eye, and she must have an abortion. She took the abortion tablets, but the baby survived, so they had to deliver him (very, very early). I hope you click through and look at the picture of that cute little “one-eyed brain-dead” baby.
Abortion is a horrible thing, destroying a precious life, shedding innocent blood. But our society sees it as simply removing unwanted tissue, so medical professionals recommend it casually, even when there is not enough evidence to prove their assertions.
These situations are very, very difficult. Many babies do die in the womb. But no one should be quick to believe a doctor who recommends an abortion. Too many of them don’t place the value on that tiny life that they should.
Every child is a miracle, but wee Aaron is a double-miracle (and very, very cute!) — he survived doctors who were careless about life and recommended his death.
(Is anyone surprised that the BBC website hasn’t covered this? They often ignore stories that might challenge people to think rightly on morality. If a story can be used to portray abortion restrictions as bad, it gets banner headlines, but if it would challenge people to think twice about getting an abortion, it doesn’t see the light of day.)
Doctors give the best medical advice they can. They don’t offer difficult views lightly. If a doctor says that a baby has very little hope of survival, or a very high chance of being severely disabled, that’s something a parent needs to be aware of. Doctors can be wrong. Babies can be born perfectly fine, despite the worst prognoses. But often they’re not. This is a tragic story, and if it’s medical malpractice, then action needs to be taken.
This doesn’t change the fact that there are very severely deformed babies who will die before they come to term, or who will die shortly after birth. In these situations, abortion is absolutely appropriate and necessary if the mother wants it.
Doctors can be wrong, on this we agree. People take the lives of babies on the word of doctors who can be wrong.
Look at what you’ve said. “If a doctor says that a baby has very little hope of survival, or a very high chance of being severely disabled, that’s something a parent needs to be aware of.”
So a parent may want to kill a child based on the word of doctors (who may be wrong) that there is “very little hope” (not certainty, just “very little hope”) of survival or a “very high chance” (not certainty) of severe disability.
Even if the doctor is right, and there is “very little hope” of survival, should we kill an innocent child, if there is any hope? And the doctor may be wrong…..
Even if the doctor is right, and there is a “very high chance” of severe disability, should we kill an innocent child because of a very high chance? And the doctor may be wrong.
Should we kill an innocent child even if it is a certainty that there is severe disability? Are we the kind of society that kills our severely disabled? Yes, I guess so. That kills those who have a very high chance of severe disability? I guess so. That kills those who may (if the doctor is right) have a very high chance of severe disability (even though we know doctors can be wrong)? Yes, I guess so.
I know there are terrible situations. I stand by what I said — “no one should be quick to believe a doctor who recommends an abortion. Too many of them don’t place the value on that tiny life that they should.”
I’m not in a hurry to trust everything a doctor says about anything. The very best make mistakes — and not all are the very best. And when a doctor starts talking death (in any circumstance), I’m going to want more than just his considered opinion.
When I get a prescription, it tells me that there’s a one in a thousand chance of this side effect, and a one in a million chance of that one. Do these abortions come with the same disclaimer — there’s one chance in a hundred, or a thousand, or whatever it is, that your baby is actually fine, and that you’ll be killing a healthy baby?
bodycrimes said “…… In these situations, abortion is absolutely appropriate and necessary if the mother wants it.”
Of course you are correct, in those situations the murder of a baby is totally “appropriate and necessary” if you discount the 6th commandment from God who holds your breath in His hands and who you will stand before on the day of judgement.
Exodus 20:13 “You shall not murder.
Great post by the way Brother Jon, thanks.
Thanks, Dale. I was going to respond to that last paragraph in a second reply.
Why must we be quick to despair, and to kill? Despair doesn’t always bring killing, but it just about always brings something very bad.
Oh, what self righteous nonsense. My medico partner described the horror of women who badly wanted their children, only to discover the foetus had no brain stem. Look up anencephaly. Look up mermaid syndrome. Go on. I dare you. Look at pictures. Then feel free to tell a woman she should carry a deformed baby to term for the joy of watching it die shortly after. Or have to be scraped out of her womb anyway because it’s already dead. Or to have it struggle on for months, in a neonatal unit, never free of intubation and pain.
And you people think you presume to speak for God.
Please review the comment policy before commenting again.
One would hope that if the doctors think these conditions are present, they would warn the mother of that possibility, so they could be prepared.
Fact: doctors get it wrong. The equipment they have is very, very good, we know that, but it isn’t THAT good. You talk to me about anencephaly and mermaid syndrome. I will talk to you about little Aaron.
You are advocating that when the doctors don’t get it right, little Aaron and those like him should die.
There is tremendous pain for mothers whose children have these conditions. I do not minimise that. You should not minimise the pain of mothers whose children die unnecessarily because the doctors got it wrong. Or perhaps you think Sarah Hagan is the only mother to ever abort a baby after a false diagnosis, and hers just happened to survive? That’s not credible.
You are correct that I should respect your comments policy. You are right that discourse should be civil. But I ask that in return my intentions are not distorted. I have not, and would never, minimise the pain of mothers whose children die unnecessarily. That’s horrendous. As are all catastrophic medical errors.
But just because one surgeon amputated the wrong leg does not mean that all sufferers of life-threatening leg conditions should therefore be denied surgery.
I don’t know of any way of asking this that will not sound aggressive, but I will ask it anyway: Do you believe that a woman whose baby has been diagnosed with anencephaly must carry the child to term? What if the ultrasound is independently reviewed? What if two doctors confirm the baby has anencephaly?
My comment disappeared, so I’ll try again. Apologies if it appears twice.
You are right that I should respect your comments policy and remain civil. I completely agree. In return, I would ask that I am not portrayed as having thoughts and motives that I do not, in fact, hold. I reject the idea that I am minimising the pain of mothers who are victims of medical malpractice and who lose wanted babies because of that. It’s horrendous and I can’t imagine anybody thinking otherwise. Some would uncharitably suggest that such accusations are an underhand way of smearing an opponent in an argument.
But to the argument itself. Just because there are incompetent surgeons who have amputated the wrong leg doesn’t mean that life-saving amputations should be banned for everybody.
I have no way of asking this question without sounding aggressive, but I’ll go ahead anyway: do you believe that a woman whose baby has anencephaly (or similar conditions) must carry the baby to term? Even if she has had two separate opinions and the diagnosis is not in doubt? Even if she cannot bear the thought of two or three more months of carrying a baby that will either die inside her and potentially cause complications, or which will die upon birth?
In other words, are there no medical circumstances concerning the foetus where a woman should be allowed access to abortion?
Hello, bodycrimes, and thank you for the tone of your response. It is not aggressive to question, even challenging questions. Both of your comments were in my moderation queue when I came back to this. I decided to let both stand since there were some differences.
I wouldn’t suggest that your thoughts or motives were minimising anything, for I couldn’t possibly know them. I felt that your advocacy of abortion given these diagnoses (which can be wrong) did minimise that. But certainly, there is nothing in what you’ve written that suggests such was your intent.
My wife and I lost two children, but we’ve never faced the kind of diagnosis you describe. It is always easier to say, “I would do thus and so,” when you are not in the situation then it is to actually do “thus and so” when faced with it. Nevertheless, my wife and I have a very strong conviction that the child is still a child, that life is to be protected, and that ultimately it is best in God’s hands, not ours. I am not persuaded that it is always possible for doctors to make an ironclad diagnosis when a child is in the uterus (sometimes they even miss a twin!). But even if it were possible, and we knew, I cannot believe we would kill a child. We would leave it to the Lord.
And that is what I would counsel any Christian couple who asked my advice in the situation.
But mistakes are made. And that changes the picture entirely, because sometimes, even rarely, the child is viable even when the experts are sure it isn’t. And that takes it into a completely different realm.
Jesus said, ‘Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’ I’m willing to face a lot of heartache and difficulty for the chance to save a life. I know it means pain and suffering for parents to go through a pregnancy, but on the chance of saving a life, any life but especially my child’s, yes, I’d face that. Even if the chance were very, very small.
It appears you are viewing this as primarily a political question, and that you think the killing of babies is justified in some cases. I don’t see how someone whose heart is with the Lord’s in this matter could do that. The Scriptures say the Lord is gracious, and full of compassion. They also say He rewards those who diligently seek Him. If you want help in learning how you can be forgiven of every sin you’ve ever done, and made new in Christ, please let me know here or through my contact page.
Losing wanted babies is terrible. Anybody with any humanity knows that.
I’m not sure what you mean about me viewing this as a political question, so I can’t answer that.
Medical mistakes happen. Medical malpractice happens. There is no such thing as certainty in medicine. But there are some deformities that are very clear and can be seen on ultrasound – organs growing outside the body are one, as is a failure to develop a brain stem. This is, of course, a very extreme circumstance and doesn’t represent most abortions. Even in countries where abortion is illegal altogether or illegal after a certain point, hospitals will generally see these circumstances as purely medical and will remove the foetus/baby on those grounds.
To be honest, of all the pro life arguments I’ve come across, this is the most extreme – that women should be forced to carry very sick, non-viable babies to term for no real reason other than ideology. Or they should stand back and watch as their dying babies are intubated in high technology neonatal wards, when there is no chance of those babies going home.
Having said that, I will leave your page alone. I am very sorry for your losses.
“Losing wanted babies is terrible. Anybody with any humanity knows that.”
So is killing unwanted babies.
“I’m not sure what you mean about me viewing this as a political question, so I can’t answer that.”
Well, for one thing you keep talking about forcing people to do things, when I was talking about what I would do as a Christian and what I would counsel Christians to do. I have little expectation that abortion law will become drastically different in this country, though I do hope medical advances mean they will eventually reduce the cutoff from 24 weeks to 20 weeks.
Thank you for the way in which you’ve conducted the discussion.
The reality of course, is that very few pregnancies materialize in the way you have described above. Also very few pregnancies are the result of rape. But what pro choice-ers attempt to do, in order to beef up their argument for murdering babies is point to extreme circumstances like rape and complications in pregnancy.
You are fooling nobody, most abortions are carried out by women who have had more than one, they use it as a form of contraception because they have bought into the lie of feminism. These women repeat in parrot fashion “It’s my body, It’s my choice!” without even thinking about the babies choice.
Nevertheless, in spite of your wickedness in supporting babies being murdered you can still be saved from the coming wrath of God and certain punishment in hell, God can change you,give you a new heart with new desires and give you a love for children,only because of the sacrifice made by Jesus Christ on the cross.
Repent and believe the Gospel bodycrimes, do it today, you may not have tomorrow.
That’s absolutely true that the majority of abortions are from choice, not extreme necessity like rape or foetal deformity. But this post is specifically about foetal deformity. I will be interested in your answer to my question above.
It is a miracle that the little baby survived the attempt to kill him by those doctors. However, I am troubled by the fact that the mother is not married and this is her second child out of wedlock. We learn that she has a “partner” which is a euphemism for “live-in boyfriend,” and, of course, she is referred to as “Ms,” the preferred designation of the feminist movement. As far as I’m concerned, as she is unmarried, she is “Miss,” not “Ms.” It is sad that few Christians today refer to those cohabiting as “living in sin,” and many Christian organisations use the designation “Ms,” instead of “Mrs” or “Miss.” On only has to think of the feminist magazine “Ms” for a good reason not to use “Ms.”
I am also troubled by some of the things you mention. My focus here, though, is on the fact that this baby should have lived (whatever the sins of the parents), and by God’s grace and despite the errors of the doctors, he has.
Chloe (bodycrimes), there would be no benefit in answering your question. This post is on the subject of abortion, as I said you are fooling nobody.
Abortion is murder therefore is always wrong, God is in control and He gives life and takes it.
He will take yours one day, and you will definitely stand before Him and be judged, not only for every wicked act, but for every word spoken and even every thought. You need your sins forgiven. you need a new heart and new desires. Desires that want to please God and not self, otherwise all that is left is just a fearful expectation of judgement.
You can have that forgiveness and new heart through what Jesus Christ the one who Created all things, did on that cross 2000 years ago.
.. and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. 2Corinthians 5:15
Repent from your selfishness today Chloe and trust in Jesus Christ and He will open your eyes to the wickedness of feminism and the hideous practice of abortion.
Dale, I must point out an error in what you said above, on 6th September at 6:34 pm.
Table 11b of the Dept of Health Abortion Statistics for 2012 shows that repeat abortions for women of all ages was 36.7% of all abortions carried out. This does not have the abortion statistics for Scotland. The link to the data is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/statistics-on-abortions-carried-out-in-england-and-wales-in-2012.
The Scottish Statistics are available at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/statistics-on-abortions-carried-out-in-england-and-wales-in-2012 and show a percentage of repeat abortions overall in Scotland in 2012 as being 30.7%
I would stress that I agree wholehearted with Jon when he says that he cannot see how anyone who claims to love the LORD could ever see the killing of a human life that He has created as anything other than evil. I keep asking pro-abortion advocates why, if we use the brain’s electrical activity or lack thereof to determine death, why do we not use its presence to show life but I have yet to get a reply beyond a claim that I am mysogynist.
When my wife was carrying our second child, she was considered to be at risk for some chromosomal abnormalities and was offered an amniocentesis test, When she asked what the4 amniocentesis would show up that would help her, she was told that its only benefit would be to allow her to have an abortion. My wife turned the test down. I could discuss the matter with her, but even though I was responsible for half of the genes in that child, I was never asked until after my wife had said no.
We also turned down amniocentesis, Fred.
Regarding repeat abortions, the trend is upwards, the statistics for 2011 in England and Wales showed 34%, so the 36% continues the trend which has been seen over the last decade. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-18249026. For women over 25, the repeat percentage is 45%.
In the US, the Guttmacher Institute did a study in 2006 and found the percentage was 48%, so if the trend higher here is paralleled there, it is over 50% now. And the U.S. has no central NHS reporting, so I would suspect that some women do not disclose that they’ve had abortions before.
“if we use the brain’s electrical activity or lack thereof to determine death, why do we not use its presence to show life”
That’s simple to answer: because “life” never emerges in the foetus. Life began on earth 3.8 billion years ago and hasn’t been interrupted since. “Life” does not magically spring forth at conception, or at any phase through the foetuses development. The egg and the sperm are already parts of the living system; a system that began 3.8 billion years ago. A foetus was never inorganic and suddenly became organic.
John, unlike you, many pro-abortion activists try to claim that the unborn child is not really a living being. It’s not credible.
Hi Jon, hope you’re doing well
Well, first up, no one is “pro-abortion.” That’s like saying someone is “pro-amputation.” As there are any number of reasons why a woman would chose to terminate a pregnancy (from health to economics) the appropriate term is “Pro-Choice;” and it is a choice, a decision that should rest wholly with the woman. It’s funny, just yesterday crazy-lady Michelle Bachmann said this about the US Affordable Healthcare Act:
“I don’t want 15 political appointees to make a health care decision for a beautiful, fragile 85- year-old woman who should be making her own decision”
Now let’s cut that down to size: “I don’t want 15 political appointees to make a health care decision for a woman who should be making her own decisions.”
That is precisely what advocates for Pro-choice say. Of course, Bachmann was talking about something else, but I guess we can call this a fine Freudian slip.
As for the foetus being a living being, it’s not… not really… not any more than a kidney is. Not until week 25. “Life” never jumps to the foetus. Like I said, it was never inorganic then suddenly becomes organic. What that leaves us with is (sustained) EEG activity as the only possible defining element for when a foetus “switches on,” so to speak. Once switched on it can be switched off = death. Before it is switched on it cannot be switched off.
Hello, John, I am well, thanks, though very busy, so my blog has been quieter than normal. Much of that busy-ness has been for good things — I am certainly not complaining. I hope you also are well.
The response to this post suggests many people are pro-abortion. You will notice I suggested no legislation in this post. All I said was that parents should be slow to believe a doctor who says their baby is dead so they should get an abortion.
I have received personal abuse in comments from the UK, US, and Europe, comments that I have not cleared through moderation — I don’t even know how many, I didn’t keep track. I am sure you and Chloe, who I have cleared through moderation, would not want to see a repeat of a baby like Aaron being aborted, but why do others engage in abuse when I simply said parents should go slow on these cases? They apparently don’t want parents to go slow, they want the abortions to happen. Of course, I am interpreting motives here, which is always dangerous. But it does seem that some are indeed pro-abortion, that any suggestion that anyone makes of even slightly reducing abortions brings opposition.
I have no interest in discussing Michelle Bachmann here. I know she ran for US President, but I don’t even know what she is doing these days. But as to women making their choice, the choice you describe affects not just the woman, but her child as well. It is not acceptable for parents to kill their children. Everyone in a civilised society, and almost everyone in uncivilised societies, knows that.
You say an unborn baby is living but not a living being. If that is what you believe, that is what you believe. As to the 25th week, babies have been born and survived before that. But if that is what you believe, that is what you believe.
I’m really sorry to hear you’ve been abused, particularly since you are being so thoughtful. You’re absolutely right that people should think once, twice and three times before accepting any medical opinion, much less a life-altering one. I sincerely hope people aren’t really pro abortion. I suspect, however, that this is such an inflammatory topic, that people fail to read what is written and are just reacting on auto pilot to certain words. I’m certainly guilty of that and I’m always embarrassed afterwards.
I can’t speak for others, but i think the subject of abortion (particularly when presented by Christians) gets secularists hairs up right from the start. The reason is most Christians take the matter to be black and white and refuse to even acknowledge the need for good sex education and contraception. Prevention, not access, should be the central subject of any adult discourse, but that is a conversations most Christians don’t seem capable of having. Unfortunately, that position seems to be the rule, not the exception, and a post on abortion written by a Christian comes with a fairly predictable (unmovable) set of “denying access” talking points.
I quoted Bachmann simply because she’s as anti-anti-anti-abortion as they come, and yet here she was saying women should be free to make their “own” medical decisions concerning their “own” bodies. The irony of her words is somewhat hilarious.
What I said was “life” never miraculously appears in the foetus. It was never inorganic and becomes organic. “Life” is there, uninterrupted for the last 3.8 billion years which leaves us sustained EEG activity as the only means with which to define the onset of distinct human life. There has been no 2nd Genesis, none that we’ve witnessed, and if there has been then that new strain of life didn’t last long enough to take root and be observed. Some biologists think it’s happening quite regularly, there’s even The 2nd Genesis Project which seeks to discover it, but as far as we’re concerned everything from mushrooms to men are part of the unbroken line that started 3.8 billion years ago.
I’m sorry to say, but no baby ever has been delivered before week 25 and survived without extreme outside assistance: an artificial life support system. It’s not what I “believe,” it’s a fact. Week 25, though, is when sustained EEG activity kicks in, and although not yet a viable human being the foetus at least can be considered “On.” That is to say, “On” in so far as it can be switched “Off.” One cannot be considered “alive” until that individual can also “die;” one defines the other.
Ultimately, what could blow this subject completely open is if someone produced evidence for a human soul. No one ever has, but everything would have to be reassessed if any new information comes into play.
Apologies, Jon, i meant to acknowledge that your post was a little different from the average, and your point regarding seeking more information was spot on. I couldn’t agree more.
Glad to hear you’re well!
Hi, Chloe. I’ve taken abuse from unthinking people before, it’s hardly new, or particularly troubling to me personally. 🙂 It is somewhat revealing about the people doing it.
I rarely write on abortion, for two reasons. The first is the reason you’ve given — people react on autopilot and it accomplishes little.
The second is that most discussion of abortion is focused on the political battles, and the primary purpose of this blog is to help and encourage Christians to live consistently with their faith. Political activity is part of the lives of many Christians, so I will address political issues at times, but it will never be a major focus. Being right politically and being right with God are not the same thing, and I’m focused on the latter.
Jesus said His kingdom is not of this world, or His servants would fight.
Certainly, I would like to see significant changes in abortion legislation, but I’m not holding my breath, and I’m not turning this blog into a campaign forum for that.
Well keep calm and carry on!
Of course all things are ultimately political, humans being the political animals we are. If you got a critical mass of people living in the spirit of Francis of Assisi, say, you would overturn society as we know it.
Which the animals, at least, would probably appreciate.
Hello, John. As you know, there’s much with which I would disagree, and I have to work today, too.:) But I’ll address two things, separate personhood and the human soul.
A. Separate Personhood, two points.
1. You said, “I’m sorry to say, but no baby ever has been delivered before week 25 and survived without extreme outside assistance: an artificial life support system.”
“Almost 30 percent of babies born at 23 weeks of pregnancy survive.” Source: http://www.marchofdimes.com/loss/neonatal-death.aspx. “Extreme outside assistance” notwithstanding, at 23 weeks a baby is a distinct person which in many cases can survive and go on to lead a productive life. I fail to see how any reasonable person could argue otherwise.
B. Human Soul
You said: “Ultimately, what could blow this subject completely open is if someone produced evidence for a human soul.” That is one of the most perceptive comments I’ve ever seen from “the other side” on abortion.
The human soul settles the question. You cannot expect Christians (or anyone persuaded of its existence) to approach abortion as if the soul does not exist — we have to be “black and white” (to use your words) on this. Anyone claiming to be a Christian who is not black and white on abortion is either fraudulent or unthinkingly inconsistent.
If you were persuaded of the existence of the human soul, you would be “black and white,” too, because you would not endorse the killing of babies who have a human soul. We can be tolerant and respectful of people, whatever they might say or think, but we really have very little room for toleration of the crime of abortion. We can recognise that you don’t see it as a crime if you are not persuaded of the existence of the soul, but we can’t see it any other way.
I think I’ll close it off here. You’ve provided a useful service in putting your finger on the dividing line, and the reason why there will be no “meeting of the minds” until minds change on something much deeper than abortion, and that is something for which this thread is not intended. If you want to give one more response, that is fine, but I suspect I’m done.
I thank you for the discussion and I wish you well.
Thanks, Chloe. Critical mass is not my concern. Nor are the animals, but you made me laugh. 🙂
Apologies to all. Scottish statistics are at http://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Sexual-Health/Publications/2013-05-28/2013-05-28-Abortions-Report.pdf
The 197,569 abortions carried out in both England and Wales and Scotland in 2012 are 197,569 tragedies. I was recently in the US where I visited a church who helps sponsor a pro-life counseling organisation in a large city. We all need to consider, especially me, what practical difference we are going to make in our home communities to all who are faced with decisions like “abort or keep the baby”.
Thanks, Fred. Some are doing a good job with crisis pregnancy centres, etc. It would be good if there were more, though it is getting more and more difficult for Christians to adopt in some places due to other political agendas.
For Chloe, you speak of the woman having the decision to abort a child based upon deformity. What is the difference between that child in the womb and that child outside the womb? Just what deformities then constitute the need for an abortion? Who makes the decision for what deformities constitute the need for abortion? Who is to say what is viable outside the womb? We have seen amazing advances in the medical realm. What was once consider a non-viable life is now viable. Here in the states a 20 week term baby can be viable outside the womb if given the proper care and grow and develop. Mankind tries too hard to play God. God is the giver of life. He has created all men, both the whole and the deformed (Ex.4:11 “And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD?” John 9:1-3 “And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.”). God has His reasons for those born with deformities for both them and those around them, which God is not obligated to always let us know. We too often forget that God is the one in control and knows far more and far better than we do. I have a family in my church which have a downs syndrome child. She is a teenager now yet just a child mentally. God has taught that family and our church so much through her about His love and compassion and so much more. Our lives would be the lesser if they had aborted that child.
And yes, I know of the heartache of children not making it to birth. We’ve had two miscarriages at 2 months and another one who died in the womb at 19 weeks. Even there, God has used those losses in our lives to show His love, grace, mercy, compassion to us and to others as well. God makes no mistakes. Regardless of the severity of the deformity, God is the giver and the taker of life. Let’s leave those two things in God’s hands, He does a better job than we do, for we are prone to errors in judgment, He is not.