By Ruth Limkin
The tragedy is almost too much. Perhaps it actually is.
The heartbreaking news from a Melbourne hospital detailed an abortion that took the life of a healthy twin at 32 weeks gestation. It had been meant to take the life of the twin whom doctors had diagnosed with a congenital heart defect.
The article read:
A friend of the woman said the family was struggling to cope with the fatal mistake.
“She went to the hospital with two babies and now she has none. And she had the heartache of giving birth to her sick baby. She’s traumatised,” the friend said.
“The hospital said it had followed correct procedure but how could this happen? The ultrasound clinician said she checked three times before the termination because she didn’t want to make a mistake.”
The woman’s husband, a nurse, a doctor and the ultrasound clinician, who was reportedly inconsolable as a result of the error, were in the room at the time of the procedure.”
Even when reading the news about this devastating situation, the pain is almost palpable.
I grieve for the parents of these two children, who now have an almost unbearable loss.
I grieve for the ultrasound clinician who has experienced something so horrible that they may find it hard to confidently fulfil their duties for some time.
I grieve also for our culture. Sadly, we consider this a tragedy only because a healthy child was killed.
What has become of us that we defend or applaud the killing of a child with heart problems, in the name of ‘freedom’. Surely, sick children also deserve our compassion and protection?
We have abandoned women to the very worst of situations by refusing to demand better alternatives for them than abortion. They deserve real choices, unconstrained by fear of financial strain, threats, or sense of isolation. We must support, love and care, and we must advocate for change.
We should weep at the death of a child, whether healthy or with heart problems. We should weep with the men and women who have lost their children – through whatever circumstances. And we should resolve again to remind our society, our government and ourselves that women deserve better than abortion.