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My view: Parental pains, birth defects and abortion

By W. Brett Branham

For the Deseret News

Published: Wednesday, June 4 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

A blood test determined that there was an increased risk for our child to have spina bifida. They called us in for more tests. Tears fell from our cheeks as we fell to our knees. Undoubtedly, it was the most trying time of our young parental lives.

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I will always remember that look on her face. I knew it was not good news. We were expecting our third child. My wife, Samantha, went to our doctor for a routine appointment. Our first two pregnancies went perfectly. Not this time. After analyzing the blood Samantha provided, the doctor determined that there was an increased risk for our child to have spina bifida. They called us in for more tests. Tears fell from our cheeks as we fell to our knees. Undoubtedly, it was the most trying time of our young parental lives.

We spent the weekend in prayer. What was once unbelievable helped us to be more believing. We put our trust in God and tried to remember that all things are in his hands, regardless of the outcome. Of course, the doctors had other things to worry about: tests, protocols and procedures.

After we arrived at the specialist for additional tests, we learned we had to be instructed on the meaning of the results from Samantha’s positive test. We met with a genetic specialist who did everything in her power to use words I had never heard of before. Illnesses, deformities and abnormalities: she laid out all the possibilities.

After she finished highlighting the relevant portions of her vast genetic knowledge, she must have sensed our despair. In her effort to speak peace to a couple of troubled parents, she explained we could find out if our baby suffered from any abnormalities by viewing a simple ultrasound. And then she said this: “But if you do not like what you see, you can always get an abortion.”

At first, I was taken back. I thought to myself, “What did she just say?” Her comfort to a couple of troubled parents with a potentially embattled 16-week-along baby is to say that if you do not like it, you can kill it? I was disgusted. Killing an unborn child does not kill any pain that we may, will or can experience in the process of procreation. Droves of women and men feel the bitter emptiness of abortion for the babies that will never be able to sleep in their lonely arms.

The genetic specialist did not focus on the pain we would feel if we decided to abort our baby. No, the truth is that abortion advocates will never talk about the mental and physical anguish that parents go through after they “choose” abortion.

As a civilized society, how do we allow abortions to occur according to personal taste anyway, let alone at all? If you do not like what you see, you can just abort it. Got a girl but you want a boy? Just abort it. Having a baby will change your lifestyle? Just abort it. Not ready to be a father? Tell her to abort it. Your baby is not big enough? Your baby will not have blue eyes? Your baby has physical deformities? No need to worry. If you do not like what you see, you can abort it.

But we should worry. With scientific advances, we are learning more and more about the life experience of an unborn child. We can hear its heartbeat from a very early age. We can find out its gender. We now know that unborn babies are capable of feeling pain.

These unborn children are not things we can just throw away. Each is a unique genetic composition of the parents that gave it life. They are the most beautiful and divine human creations. They are pure, petite and perfect. Regardless of size, shape or differences, each unborn child is one of a kind. Babies are beautiful! If you are pregnant and want an abortion, get an ultrasound. I promise you will like what you see and you will want to keep it.

W. Brett Branham recently graduated from the Ave Maria School of Law in Naples, Florida. He was the Student Bar Association president and the managing editor of the International Law Journal. A version of this piece was originally published in the Naples Daily News and appears here by permission.

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