In an article published this week by Religion News Service, a clergy woman from New York City defended her choice to obtain a late-term abortion, and asserted that every woman ought to have the “right” to make the decision. “I wish I never had to live through the loss of my child, but I am forever grateful for my personal decision being just that: mine. I had a choice, and I chose to make the hardest decision and carry the pain of that decision with me for my whole life to ensure that my child didn’t suffer,” wrote Amy Butler of Riverside Church.
Butler shared that when pregnant with her second child, she was informed that her unborn daughter had serious developmental issues.
“[A]ll the doctors came in the room together, stood around the bed, and told me that my baby was severely developmentally compromised; that she would die at birth, if not before, after a very short, excruciatingly painful few minutes of life; and that continuing the pregnancy to full term would be very dangerous for me,” she recalled. She was advised that she could either abort the child or wait the matter out. Butler opted for the abortion as she didn’t want her daughter to be in pain.
“I never had a second thought about the right thing to do,” she wrote. “I didn’t know how we’d survive the loss, but I did know the right course of action for me, my baby and my family. And the ability to move through that goodbye as a full participant was an important part of just surviving during an inconsolable time.” Butler said that she decided to share about her abortion following the last presidential debate, during which late-term abortion was discussed. “Others may characterize that choice as they wish—even presidential candidates seem to be doing that. But it’s my conviction that every woman deserves that right in a situation where there are no easy answers, no pious pronouncements, no political solutions that could ever, ever fix the gaping, aching emptiness in her arms,” she contended.
However, a number of parents have also shared their story of refusing abortion even when their child was not expected to survive birth. Brandon and Brittany Buell recently celebrated their son’s first birthday after he was born without a skull. Critics have scolded the couple for not obtaining an abortion.
“Jaxon was our baby, and we only had one shot to do everything we could for him. We would never choose to play God in that situation, when we had been given a child, and it was our job to give him a chance to live,” Buell continued. And a boy who was born with only two percent of a brain was recently featured in a U.K. documentary about his amazing progress as his brain is now nearly fully functional. “We were offered termination five times,” father Rob Wall recalled in the new documentary “The Boy Without a Brain.” “It was never an option for us. To me, we wanted to give Noah that chance of life.”