I was having a busy day when I reached for the phone; as I said “Hello”, I heard a frantic voice on the other end. I stopped looking at my emails and focused on the call. It was Cindy, a single mom who had attended our church for the last three years. She had a cute four-year-old daughter named Molly who was a chatter box, I often had her in my nursery class. Cindy was crying and it was hard to make out her words.
I began to talk in calming words, “Cindy what’s wrong? I’m right here, it’s okay. Do I need to come meet you somewhere?”
Slowly she began to make sense. She had been at the doctors with Molly and they discovered that Molly had a brain tumor. The doctor went over treatment options with her. I sat speechless as she began telling me about Molly’s diagnosis. Without treatment she will probably die in the next month. The doctor had never seen a case this severe in a young child.
“I didn’t realize how ill she was,” Cindy explained. “The day care ladies would say she was fussy once in a while, and she occasionally complained about headaches. But I never imagined she had a brain tumor!” Cindy sobbed for a few minutes, I sat quietly and began praying. Soon she calmed down and continued, “The doctor says that with nine months of intense treatment, if I drive a few hours back-and-forth to Ann Arbor every few days, she has a 75% chance of making it. If we do nothing she will be dead within a month. What do I do?” she pleaded.
This question startled me, “What do you do?” I thought, “Fight for the life of your child!”
However, I didn’t say anything. I took a few moments to pray and in a steady voice said, “What do you mean, Cindy, what are you thinking you should do?”
“I don’t know?,” she said, “I’m so close to being finished with my master’s degree. I just can’t put my life on hold for nine months right now. What kind of quality-of-life will she have after all this treatment? She’s only four years old, I’m not sure she should suffer during this time. If I just do nothing, within a month it’ll be all over and she’ll be in heaven.” Cindy began crying again.
I sat quietly and pondered what Cindy had just said. Cindy has been a part-time college student since becoming pregnant with Molly her freshman year of college. Two years after Molly was born Cindy was pregnant with her second child and she came to me explaining that she needed to have an abortion, she couldn’t put her life on hold for nine months again. I tried to talk her out of it, and even offered to adopt the child myself. I explained that I had been conceived in rape and had been given a wonderful family, but she insisted it was her life, her choice. And now she’s faced with a similar choice.
“Cindy,” I said, “Molly’s life is valuable, she’s worth fighting for. Even if she has some ill effects from the treatment, she will still be a beautiful precious girl, bringing joy to all those around her.”
The thought of this laughing little girl–who had played in my office and nursery class–now lying in bed sick, made me sad.
Cindy was quiet for a few moments and finally said, “It’s my choice, it’s my life that will be affected. I’ll lose my apartment, I won’t be able to work, or to finish school. You can’t understand.”
“There are many of us that would be willing to help you as much as we can,” I replied. “I know you might have to put your life on hold for a few months, but it’s just temporary. Once Molly is gone she is never coming back.”
“I know,” said Cindy in a very small voice, “but it’s my choice.”
I continued to reassure her that we would be there to help, but Cindy kept restating that it was her choice and she was not sure what she’s going to do. She hung up quite upset with me in the end. Unfortunately, she did not choose life for Molly, and she died three weeks later. I was always haunted by that conversation. Should I have called the state to report child abuse? Should the doctors have insisted that Molly get treatment, or have her placed in foster care? Was it really the mother’s choice about how to take care of her child when it came to life and death? Or, did society owe Molly a fighting chance at life, especially since she had such a high chance of surviving with treatment?
The story I just shared with you is fictional, however the excuses Cindy used are real. Instead of a four-year-old, mothers are talking about their developing pre-born child. A woman doesn’t want to put her life “on hold” for nine months. It’s her body, her choice. I hear women say it’s their right to choose an abortion, especially those who have been raped. It was not their fault they got raped, someone else perpetrated an evil against them. How could they be expected to bear this child and put their life on hold for nine months? Just like the choice Cindy had to make for her daughter, Molly, many women are faced with a choice.
If they choose as Cindy did, their children will never have a chance to laugh and play, to live! There are Mollys, Marys, Rebeccas, Jims, Toms and Wesleys all over the world that will never be given the chance to live, because of a selfish choice. Society would be appalled at a mother not willing to sacrifice nine months of her life to care for her child, but yet we find it acceptable for mothers to end lives through the choice of abortion. Shouldn’t the law protect those children whose mothers won’t? Until all mothers embrace life and forsake abortion, I will speak out to protect the unborn, I will encourage all mothers to choose life.
Edited by Shawn Spry