Former Tiller Patient Drops Bombshell Testimony Of Illegal, Coerced Abortion on Legislative Committee

Topeka, Kansas — A former patient of abortionist George R. Tiller gave jaw-dropping testimony before a joint interim legislative committee today, telling the detailed story of her late-term abortion experience that obviously violated the Kansas ban on such abortions at nearly every turn.

“This is perhaps the most explosive testimony that has every been heard at the Capitol. Based on this testimony alone, Tiller’s medical license should not survive to the end of the day,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “We demand that the Board of Healing Arts take immediate action to stop Tiller from victimizing any more people as this young lady was victimized.”

The woman, Michelle Armesto Berge, appeared with her attorney, and told the committee of her abortion that took place at Tiller’s Women’s Health Care Services in May, 2003, while she was 18 and about to graduate from High School. Michelle related how her parents were upset to discover that she was pregnant and immediately began to pressure her into an abortion that she didn’t want at 26 weeks into her pregnancy. Michelle’s boyfriend opposed the abortion and had planned with Michelle to marry and raise their child together.

Michelle’s mother discovered George R. Tiller on the Internet and arranged for Michelle to have an abortion there the following Tuesday. After several days of nearly constant pressure and coercion, and fearing the loss of her family’s love, Michelle relented to their demands.

Michelle and her mother became lost on the way to the abortion clinic and arrived two hours late for her appointment. Upon arrival, she was placed immediately into a group with several other women also receiving late-term abortions who were in the process of watching a video about the Tiller abortion legacy.

From there, without having spoken to anyone or signed any paperwork, Michelle was taken to a room with an ultrasound machine. She was prevented from seeing the viewing screen by the clinic worker who did her ultrasound. At that time, abortionist Shelly Sella came in and administered the injection through her abdomen into her baby’s heart that immediately killed her child. Sella is a California abortionist who travels to Wichita every third week to do abortions for Tiller at his late-term abortion mill.

After receiving the fatal injection, Michelle was sent to the receptionist to fill out her paperwork and consent forms. There was no effort before the injection to insure that Michelle was over 18, or that she suffered from any kind of condition that would meet the legal requirement of “substantial and irreversible impairment,” either physically or mentally, for an abortion after 22 weeks. She told the committee that at no time was she asked medical questions, but was asked questions only of a social nature.

In the three to four minutes that she spent with Tiller during her three-day stay, he told her that if one of his children were in her situation, he would have them get an abortion as well. Another clinic worker told her that if she had the baby, her life would be over and that she would never be able to go to college.

Michelle delivered at the abortion clinic on the third day of the procedure. She refused to deliver her baby into a toilet bowl, as ordered by clinic workers. Instead she delivered her dead baby on the floor next to the commode, a sight that still haunts her to this day.

A minister from the Unity Church met with Michelle and told her that God would forgive her for her abortion, but he never asked her questions or even inquired about how she was doing.

Because Michelle’s mother was set to graduate from college the following day, Michelle was released a day earlier than she normally would have been released, with the verbal promise that she would seek follow-up care in one week. However, because of turmoil in her family and embarrassment over her abortion, she did not get follow-up care. She stated that Tiller’s office never called her to even ask how she was or if she had indeed made the follow-up appointment.

Earlier this year, Michelle requested her medical records from Women’s Health Care Services and was shocked to learn that her healthy 26-week baby had been diagnosed as “not viable” by Sella. This designation allowed Tiller and his staff to circumvent the Kansas ban on abortions of viable babies after 21 weeks, a gestational milestone that is considered the earliest a baby can survive outside the womb if born.

Michelle did not receive a second opinion as required by law for post 21-week abortions, and she was never diagnosed with any condition that would have met the “substantial and irreversible impairment” standard in the law.

Michelle agreed to make her medical records available to the committee.

Rep. Jene Vickery commented that it seemed her abortion was done without any consideration of the laws of Kansas. Every member of the committee seemed to be on the edge of their seats during Michelle’s testimony.

Michelle indicated that after reading the law that bans late-term abortions, she believes that the law failed to protect her and her baby from an unwanted abortion that has caused her painful consequences. She expressed that she is equally upset at her parents for pressuring her to abort and Tiller for allowing the abortion to take place.

“Michelle’s emotional testimony is perhaps the most compelling evidence to date that Tiller has committed illegal abortions while the authorities have refused to enforce the law,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “Her testimony was a powerful indictment against those in Kansas that have the authority to enforce the law and protect people like Michelle, but instead look the other way. If they cannot feel shame over what their inaction has done to Michelle and her little baby, then may God have mercy on their souls. If this isn’t the end of George Tiller, then there is no justice in Kansas.”

  • G-Dub

    I totally agree with Troy Newman…

    “Tiller’s medical license should not survive to the end of the day.”

    “If this isn’t the end of George Tiller, then there is no justice in Kansas.”

    “May God have mercy on their souls!”

    GW

  • Rizz

    Well, there ya go, all you ‘pro-woman’ proaborts.

    Honestly…

  • Scott

    Could Michelle personally “press charges” against Tiller for killing her baby in violation of the state law? I would say she is a victim of the crime as well as witness to the crime. Can she go directly to police or prosecutors?

  • Alayna Staggers (Nurse)

    So Sad. A tragedy to inflict such an unnecessary trauma on a young girl which will follow her throughout her life. Regret is a hard cross to bear and the adults around her are responsible! I never cease to be amazed that healthcare workers could be a part of assisting a woman deliver a helpless baby on a cold hard floor and scooping it up like a piece of garbage to dispose of. Years ago when I was much younger, I had a nurse friend who worked in an abortion clinic who told the grotesque story of a baby being tossed down a chute and it was crying. I was not a nurse at the time and could not comprehend the bizarre circumstances as I didn’t know anything about abortion in those days. Years later when I recalled her summary of the event, I remembered the coldness with which she expressed what happened and even at the time I wondered how she could be so stoical about the cries of a newborn baby. A nurse’ duty is to ensure the safety, comfort and well being of her patients. It is perplexing to understand how the givers, protectors and nurturers of life can view a tiny baby with a callousness which is beyond comprehension. I am so thankful that God gave the courage to this woman to step forward with her story (which is the story of “many of Tiller’s patients.)
    and now the whole world can see the tragedy of abortion. The tragedy of fragile, innocent lives ruthlessly torn apart, sadistically for the benefit of the all mighty dollar! Our eyes have been opened. We will no longer look the other way…Our ears have heard the cries of the babies as they are torn from their mothers!
    We will no longer tolerate this barbaric act upon our unborn! Now is the time for Tiller to pay the price for the suffering he has brought upon women and children in Satin’s name. Now is the time for women to reveal their stories of abortions which stole their babies and their heart.
    The women who have suffered through these ordeals must speak out against Tiller and others. Abortion is a rape of a woman’s soul, an act of violence against the very essence of her being, her own child. A mutilation of a part of herself. In her heart, she knows she and her unborn child both have been violated and the psychological pain lasts forever. Women are victimized by the Tillers of our society and it is time they spoke out for sake of preventing any more babies from suffering.
    Finally, Tiller is facing the consequences of his demoralizing, unethical,degenerate, corrupt , relentless determination to inflict barbaric pain and death upon our most defensless, vulnerable victims, the babies of the world. May justice be rendered in an appropriate and timely manner.

    “Mothers Against Abortion”

  • http://O.R. Paula Reichert-McKiban

    After reading “Bombshell of Testimony…..” , how can
    Kansas NOT prosecute Tiller? They have all the broken
    laws in front of them, presented by one courageous
    young lady.
    Michelle- the entire pro-life population owes you
    greatly for coming forth. I can only imagine how difficult
    this must have been to relive this travesty. You are to be
    commended for your strength. God ,in His Divine Mercy,
    has forgiven you if you have repented. Please forgive
    yourself ,also. And I am sure that God is well-pleased
    that you have made this wonderful leap of faith and
    presented this information that will hopefully bring Tiller
    down. God Bless You !
    And Troy, you summed it all up in your last paragraph.
    Compelling evidence….powerful indictment…authorities
    looking the other way. And as you said, “May God have
    Mercy on their souls”.
    America is watching. So is God.May justice finally
    prevail!
    In Christ,
    Paula Reichert-McKiban

  • Mike

    Another life (in addition to the child) ruined by Tiller and his “caring compassionate staff”.

    Praise God that Michelle had the courage to come forward and expose what she went through at the hands of these monsters. Pray that she will find forgiveness and be able to get on with her life.

    Maybe other women who experienced similar “treatment” will also come forward and testify to the situation at Tiller’s and he will be put away for good.

  • http://none Louise Scofield

    God bless Michelle for being so brave as to do what she did by testifying. I will pray for her healing from this horrible experience and for the end to killer tillers “business” once and for all.

  • Pete from Shawnee Mission

    Laws prohibiting abortion exist as much for the protection of the woman as the child. When the supreme court acted to remove that protection they subjected every woman in this country to coercive actions by husbands, boyfriends, pimps, and sadly, parents.

    Chances are good that the natural inclination of the woman is to preserve the life that is in her whether to raise the child herself or give it up for adoption. Instead she has to hear things like:

    “If you don’t get an abortion I’ll leave you and you’ll raise that child on your own.”

    “Get an abortion and get back to work!”

    “If you don’t get an abortion you can forget about college young lady.”

    How sad.

  • Scott H. Davis

    We may not have met. I was at the Wichita Summer of Mercy, origianlly asked by Keith Tucci to lead on-site prayer, then switched the day before to leading an intelilance team, where after we easily infiltrated the enemy’s camp. The immediate doorway was thru media contacts we made while appearing as some of the few pro-aborts there. Infact they were tight with Peggy (then administrator) and staff. All I had to do was use harassment in a sentance talking with a reporter and I was immediately the main interviewee on the evening news (did not give a very good interview from their perspective).

    Anyway, if it would be of value, I could recount the multitude of lies the media willing passed on eventho their own stories clearly contridicated the lies.

    Anyway, we’re increasingly supporting ya’ll as you stand firm. Stand on the Rock, walk infaith, declare the word.

    Blessings,

    Scott

  • Kelly

    Thank you Michelle for being the voice of the many victims Tiller has torn apart. I, too, have a horror story from that horrible place and if we keep speaking up, others will be saved from the pain we suffer. Justice will someday be served to Tiller and because of you, I hope it is soon!

  • http://OperationRescue Mrs Joan Boulio

    God bless Michelle for coming forward. I hope she now receives the counseling that she needs. I am sure someone will put her in touch with a Christian counseling service.

  • Denise Holland

    Spoken TRUTH, bathed in prayer and repentance, will bring down “strongholds.” May Michelle’s testimony pierce the “hearts” of Kansas’ legislators!

  • http://realchoice.blogspot.com Christina

    Is her full testimony available, either in text or in video?

  • http://jarom54yahoo.com Niki Romero

    I praise God for people like Operation Rescue and Michelle! The devil is difficult to defeat but the grace of God is much stronger if we remain faithful in prayer and action. May God bless all involved!
    Niki Romero
    Hollywood, Fl.

  • flynn

    “There was no effort before the injection to insure that Michelle was over 18, or that she suffered from any kind of condition that would meet the legal requirement of “substantial and irreversible impairment,” either physically or mentally, for an abortion after 22 weeks. She told the committee that at no time was she asked medical questions, but was asked questions only of a social nature.”

    That’s telling enough, that Tiller does not care anything about the women he exploits; they are nothing to him but a source of income. But I wonder, too, that the abortion profiteers do not examine their prospective quarry to be sure that the abortion itself is not likely to do substantial and irreversible impairment to the woman involved. These predators are always quick to blame any impairment or death on some pre-existing problem the woman allegedly had prior to the abortion, and herein lies yet another major difference between an abortion profiteer and a real healthcare provider; the latter will always examine the woman and her medical history for any condition which would contraindicate a given course of treatment and then only for a real disease, like cancer, not for a normal function of a healthy reproductive system, like pregnancy!

    To Michelle, YOU GO, GIRL! I hope her testimony brings this embarrassment to humanity and to legitimate medicine down and out of business where he has belonged for decades.

  • Steven

    After reading these posts, I thought it might be a good idea if all of the surviving Tiller victims (the women who suffered there) could come together as a united front. Perhaps as a means of support, and also so people can see that real lives are being hurt by Tiller. How could something like this be organized?

  • Mary H.

    Truth and justice will not be denied no matter how powerful some Kansas government officials think they can block justice by their inaction or purposeful obstruction of the truth. Michelle Arnesto-Berg’s testimony begins the next step to ridding Kansas and the nation from the abortion holocaust by officially documenting the malpractice occurring in Kansas.

    Now is the time for responsible lawyers and lawmakers to step up and fight the obstructionist government leaders who circumvent Kansas law on abortion procedures. Class action lawsuits against the abortionists who continue to defy the law must be pursued so that abortion is no longer a viable, profitable industry! Money is what fuels the abortion industry and loss of its monetary advantage through lawsuits is just one tool that must be used to starve it out of existance.

  • Still Pro Choice* (to a point)

    *but in my view, choice ends at a discernible point. At 24 weeks (six months), I believe that point had long since passed.

    I do not care what you think of me; however, you have certainly buttressed my decision not to apply for the clerical position at our local clinic. Had I done so, and subsequently been apprised of situations such as these, the agony would be unimaginable.

    If you are ministering to this young lady, I would implore you to utilize the same dignity, discretion and mercy that I have heard you are eminently capable of exuding. (In other words, I would hope you would refrain from comparing her to Timothy McVeigh. Or a profligate bimbo who hires two thugs to off her husband to effect her erotic vagrancy.)

    This story is heartbreaking. And, because I am unable to demonize Dr. Tiller or his staff, I am unable to find solace in fundamentalism. For the same reason(s), I remain unable to attend a Rachel’s Vinyard retreat.

    I am very sad today: I am sad for the young lady; I am equally sad for her fiance; I am sad that fetal viability is not more sharply defined; I am sad for Dr. Tiller, whom I met two years ago and whose kindness and forgiveness were palpable. I am agonized that I cannot effect a solution that will allow women and men to prevent pregnancy.

    So, you see, I do not have – nor can I enforce – all the answers. I do not believe these late-term procedures should be allowable. Equally, I cannot march in lockstep with all of you who despise Dr. Tiller. It’s an easy solution; it’s a cheap palliative………

    But it doesn’t ease the pain in my heart after reading the depiction above.

  • Alayna Staggers (Nurse)

    To Pro-Choice:Abortion is not a choice for a baby. Do your research and decide if there is any right time to take a baby’s life. Yes, the above story is sad, but it is also a story of courage which God has given her the strength to reveal. More women need to come forward to tell their experience with G. Tiller and I don’t believe you will hear much about kindness, forgiveness, and how much good he has done. Instead you will hear of a greedy, callous, cowardly, individual who has no empathy for his patients, provides unsafe, inadequate medical care, and doesn’t have any qualms about tossing tiny, mutilated baby bodies down an incinerator to burn up. At one pont, he carried such a heavy load of bodies to a container, that he needed assistance in opening the door to “dispose” of them. Nice man. This is the man you feel sorry for, who looks into the face of death without emotion, who pulls the legs and arms off of babies and tells the woman it is “for the best!” Who are we kidding? He and his so called “medical staff” arange these women on an assembly line of barbaric torture to end the lives of their babies where the end is the delivery of a baby into a toilet or a cold hard floor. Welcomed babies are greeted with comfort and rejoicing. These babies are either mutilated, injected with Digoxin to stop their heart, or left to die if they are born alive. No heroics, no soothing arms and blankets, no nursing at mother’s breast. Anyone with any sense of compassion can see that this is NOT RIGHT! Michelle’s story is sad and represents what is happening in Tiller’s office on a daily basis! God has given her the strength to speak out to reveal the atrocities, injustice, and lawbreaking which Tiller represents. We do SUPPORT HER with our prayers that the Love of Jesus will sustain her and wrap her in the arms of forgiveness. She was a victim. We are “SO GRATEFUL” that she took this courageous step to come forward and hopefully others will too! Our heart goes out to her for all she has suffered, and we pray that with her help there will be an end to Tiller the Killer’s baby killing business!

  • Mike

    You claim to be so pre-occupied with “sadness” for everyone except the child..,SO typical of someone who works (or is considering working for or at ) a clinic.

    Sad for Tiller? You MUST be joking.

    As is typical of you “pro-choicers”, the child never gets mentioned.

    When you get your job at the clinic, keep denying to yourself that you are complicit in the deaths of the innocent, REGARDLESS of what your involvement is.

    Abortion is killing a human life, regardless of the state of viability…whether you choose to believe it or not.

    Have a nice day.

  • Frank

    Dear Still Pro Choice to a Point:

    Some thoughts, please:

    1. It is interesting that you say you will not join in “demonizing” Tiller, and that he showed you “kindness” and “forgiveness.” This alone leads to some particular thoughts:

    –Is Tiller really all that “kind” and “forgiving?” Or do you think he merely ACTS that way to get what he wants? Tiller appears, by his actions, quite UN-kind, yet he’s also smart enough to act the part when tyhe need suits him. Consider that Tiller appears to act quite differently towards a) customers and b) everyone else, particularly prolifers. Customers of ANY “service” business, and particularly those of any business which is relatively fungible, i.e., doctors, lawyers, accountants, etc., can usually expect some extra degree of “kindness” (i.e. a heightened form of solicitiousness), at least initially, simply because the dollar rules such businesses, and that is usually required to “get a client,” i.e., if you call a lawyer and say “I have a new case you you,” you will almost always get better treatment, more attention, etc., than if you have no particular business to transact. That is particularly true if you call up sobbing, simply because it is obvious that you are overwrought. In other words, Tiller is probably ALWAYS going to ACT “kind” to those he’s trying to make money off. That doesn’t mean he really is “kind” or “forgiving,” objectively, it merely means he wants people’s dollars and isn’t above a smile and a (false, honeyed) word to get them.

    –Also, there is a difference between “demonizing” Tiller and condemning his actions. Granted, it is difficult to draw a clear line. However, even putting aside the issue that Tiller makes enormous $$ killing the unborn, there does seem compelling evidence that Tiller is a) shamelessly violating Kansas state law, and is b) donating enormous $$ to politicians who appear to be happy to look the other way as to his legal violations. People who act as Tiller does should expect that some will not take kindly to such acts.

    You write, “If you are ministering to this young lady, I would implore you to utilize the same dignity, discretion and mercy that I have heard you are eminently capable of exuding. (In other words, I would hope you would refrain from comparing her to Timothy McVeigh. Or a profligate bimbo who hires two thugs to off her husband to effect her erotic vagrancy.)”

    –I see no basis to conclude that this young lady is being treated with anything other than dignity and mercy, or that she is being compared to Tim McVeigh.

    You also write, “but in my view, choice ends at a discernible point. At 24 weeks (six months), I believe that point had long since passed.”

    –Since no one can ever really agree on this, and given a) the Constitutional right to “life” and b) the moral law that we ought not kill, ought we not err on the side of caution?

    –The most easily “discernable” point is when one chooses to have unprotected sex. I will leave aside for the moment those statistically tiny, tiny fraction of pregnancies that result from rape (far fewer than the media reports).

    Finally, you write, “I am agonized that I cannot effect a solution that will allow women and men to prevent pregnancy.”

    –So too are many. But allowing the killing of the child is not a substuitute for trying to find a “solution.”

    In any case, when you reference “the pain in your heart,” and what appear to be very personal struggles, it is obvious you are struggling with this issue as a whole — and, dare I say it, I think that “pain” stems from that fact that your heart knows deep down what abortion really is. I pray all of us come to the right conclusions in that respect.

    Regards,
    Frank

  • Sarah

    to pro-choice:

    one thought…children considered viable today would not have been viable say twenty years ago. with our increasing technology the age of viability gets earlier all the time…does that mean fetuses achieve personhood earlier than they did twenty years ago? viability is dependent on technological advances, it isn’t a prerequesite to personhood or humanity!

    seriously, and I am not trying to be sarcastic…but really do some research on the unborn…you will see that they are very much human from the first month on. theres no reason to be ignorant of the truth in this day and age with the internet and all the information out there!

  • Robyn O

    Thankyou Michelle for your courage to come forward and take on the Kansas legislature and Dr. Tiller.
    I also have a horror abortion story to tell, but Dr. Tiller was not the murder of my child, it was a Doctor here in Australia where I live. My abortion was performed at 8 weeks, but it was the killing of my child non-the-less.
    I have been following with intense interest, the situation as it unfolds in Kansas. This man must be stopped. This killing must end.
    Abortion is wrong. I knew it when I aborted my child, but I, too, was pressured by the father of the baby and also my family to “get rid of it, it will ruin your life”.
    May other woman who Tiller has harmed come forward to speak up for themselves and their stolen babies.
    Thank God that He is in control.
    Robyn O.
    Queensland.
    Australia.

  • Rachel

    I’ve been debating leaving a message on this site, there ARE some fetal anomalies where the baby would suffer if they make it to term or die during birth or shortly after. Would any of you want your child to suffer? There ARE also cases where the mother’s life IS in jeopardy…

    I’m not looking to start a war here…just a conversation.

  • ashley

    After my first child was born I went into a 7 day coma. It was scary when I conceived my second child, but I found a high-risk OB. He cared for me throughout my diffiuclt pregnancy and delivery (and recovery.) I feel that life is the ONLY choice.

  • John Francis Borra

    So, Rachel, you think it’s best to kill a child who might suffer if allowed to be born. What a great excuse for abortion– it’s a favorite used everyday by its practioners.

    Presumably, you favor assisted suicide or “mercy” killing, too. After all, you reasoning appears to be that if someone’s in pain and cannot be treated for it, he need not suffer. After all, there’s always death: the ultimate cure-all.

    Yours is the reasoning of those who consider the human life a burdon. This is the difference between the nihilist, who has no hope, and those of Judeo-Christian belief, who have hope.

    The sanctity and dignity of the human person is not nullified by adverse circumstance. To take the life of the unborn, defenseless, ill and elderly for any reason is wrong.

  • teddi

    Rachel-

    I do not dispute that there are cases where a mom’s life is clearly jeopardized by her pregnancy, which happens prior to the point of viability. I know of two mothers who have died from a condition that I too suffered during pregnancy- well before their babies had any chance of living. Those mothers died along with their children. Some pro-lifers do stick their heads on the sand and hold the belief that pregnancy *never* endangers a mothers life before the baby could be delivered. Never is a big word. It’s rare, but it does happen.

    Rachel- what fetal anomalies do you speak of? I want to know specifically. These generalizations you make, simply just aren’t really true. Anencephaly is not painful, though it is 100% fatal. Trisomies are not painful. Spina bifida (which is treatable and mostly NOT fatal) is not painful to the babies. Gastroschesis is a condition that may be painful to babies- but that again is very treatable after birth.

    Rachel any person, born or not, who had a fatal disease still has the right to their life. Being ill, even fatally doesn’t mean you somehow give up the right to live what life you have left. Quite the contrary, it simply allows US born folk to appreciate every moment all the more.

    EVERY method of abortion is painful though. They rarely bother to anesthetize the babies before they are killed. And we don’t know yet for sure when the capacity to pain begins, but it is known that later abortions are able to be felt.

  • Frank

    Rachel:

    Okay, let’s have a “conversation.”

    Your write, “there ARE some fetal anomalies where the baby would suffer if they make it to term or die during birth or shortly after. Would any of you want your child to suffer? There ARE also cases where the mother’s life IS in jeopardy…”

    Those are basically two wholly separate questions.

    As to the first, absolutely NO ONE “wants” their own child to suffer. That’s not really a question calcuated to provoke an intellectually honest discussion. Yes, it is absolutley chilling for anyone who has ever been in a position, wherein they learn they MIGHT have a child with “fetal abnormalities,” and I can see how abortion might be a tempting option (I’ve been in just that position). However, in your example, death seems inevitable in any case. The bottom line to me is that God and humanity are different — but our society has eroded religion and belief in God to the point where humanity sees ITSELF as God, i.e., reserving God’s rights to humanity itself, and allowing people to artifically judge for themselves when the killing of the unborn is suddenly “okay” and when it isn’t. The choice of when life ends belongs to God alone. That doesn’t mean we all might not be solrely tempted based on unique circumstances, but being tempted doesn’t justify killing children.

    As to the second, cases where the mother’s life is in jeopardy, that’s wholly different. I suspect that very, very few who call themselves “prolife” would preclude an abortion where mom was 100% likely to actually die if she brings to term. The problem is, where one draws the line. In medical science, very few events have 100% likelihood of killing mom. What if mom is “more likey than not” going to die if she brings to term? Or 50% likely to die? Or 10%? Moreover, the bigger problem is that if you allow abortions where mom will die, what about the 18 year old who says “my life is over if I give birth” but she’s speaking metaphorically. One of the biggest issues some see with “allowing” abortion where mom will die is that if such an allowance is made, some postulate that pregnant women will simply take to saying to their doctors, “I’ll kill myself unless you give me an abortion!”

    Rachel, look at your own questions. Our society has been so saturated with a lack of respect for LIFE, as a whole, that some feel it is now appropriate to start “conversations” about when killing your own child might be appropriate. Ours is a culture that no longer values or cherishes LIFE or is willing to accede to moral laws with respect to the lives of others. That’s the root of the problem as I see it, NOT when killing your own child is acceptable.

    Regards,
    Frank

  • Alayna Staggers (Nurse)

    As a mother, I would choose to carry my child to term.
    If I killed that child, I would be responsible for his death. I would have to look at a body of my baby that never had the chance to lie in my arms, to feel my love. If he/she died after birth, at least I would have those moments to cherish and I would hand him into the arms of Jesus. I would not have inflicted pain upon his little body. There would be a bond formed among all family members involved and we would feel that we had loved this precious baby into the world and given him to Jesus whole. The memory would not be one of guilt or remorse over a birth overseen by Satin. God in His mercy knows when His chosen ones must return to him. I would have the comfort of knowing I would meet my child in Heaven. I have known women who had physical problems where pregnancy was a risk, but they followed through with the pregnancy and all was fine. There are no guarantees on anything. Medical knowledge is not always reliable. Doctors make mistakes. I would rather trust God to carry me through and make whatever sacrifice for my child. Abortion definitely causes suffering for a baby. Even if your baby lived only for a short time, wouldn’t you rather look into the eyes of a live baby and tell him you love him and hold him for as long as you could, or would you prefer to see him chopped up in pieces laying on a table, or bruised beyond recognition knowing you were the source of the painful contractions that rejected his little life? Would you rather deliver your child into arms of love, if even for a brief time, or would you rather deliver him in a toilet or cold hard floor like Tiller has his victims do. I can understand your concerns, as this is how many people feel. Too many opinions are involved in women’s decisions over their pregnancies. If a woman says. “This is MY BABY,” her maternal instincts will kick in and she will be totally determined to protect that child from anyone who wants to destroy that life, be it men and families who want the baby gone, the doctors who think they have all of the answers, to the abortionist who wants her money. Satin comes to kill and destroy, and abortion is one place he has hit the hardest and with the permission of the “so called professionals.”
    Trust in your motherly instincts and you will protect your child with your life, no matter what stage he is in.

  • Rachel

    Thank you for you for not ‘slamming’ me for coming on here, I mean that in the most sincere way. I’m not sure if you are familiar with the drtiller site run by stuart? (I’m sure you are) I am going to copy/post my story on here….I am a former patient of Dr. Tiller (Aug 06). That now being said, I did not deliver my daughter on a floor. My daughter was NOT cut to pieces. I was told by 2 doctors continuing my pregnancy was HIGHLY not recommened. I am asking after reading this please show me the same kindness you have already shown….

    “Up until August of this year I would’ve considered myself pro-life. I’ve seen so many of the graphic photos of terminations that it just made me ill. I couldn’t imagine why ANY woman would put themselves through such trauma. I always assumed that woman who used any type of termination service were unintended, healthy pregnancies. I now realize things aren’t always black and white.

    I honestly feel as though Dr. Tiller is not getting positive support. I am grateful to him for making a horrible situation a little more tolerable. He didn’t force us into making a decision. He was able to provide us with information many local/regional doctors were not, and he gave us the option to have some control over the most difficult time in our lives.

    I want to give a little background about myself. I am an educated, happily married 28-year-old woman. I have one child and this was a very WANTED pregnancy.

    Our world crashed when we found out something was seriously wrong during a routine ultrasound at 22 weeks (5 1/2 months). We were told she had a two-vessel cord, her heart was on the wrong side (fluid around the heart – leading to failure), ribs were butterflied, lung abnormalities, increased nuchal fold (7 mm) and spine was missing pieces & fragmented. According to the report from the neonatologist over 2/3rd of the spine was ‘abnormal’. ‘No normal curvacture is seen and all of the vertebra appear disorganized and out of alignment. No open defect is seen. Fetal cardiac situs shifted right, normal axis, aorta deviates around disorganized thoracic spine, spine irregular and disorganized.’ Her facial bones were abnormal as well as her brain development. She also had dislocated, frog-like hips and her tailbone was missing. Two doctors at two major hospitals, one perinatal, had no idea what to tell us. They had never seen this before.

    We underwent a level 2 ultrasound and asked various questions of the technician. She answered as much as she could but we would have to wait for the perinatologist. Once the perinatologist entered the room, we knew something was terribly wrong, she had tears in her eyes. She started to explain to us the abnormalities they had discovered with our child. One of the first questions out of my mouth was can it be fixed? Was there ANYTHING that could be done to save my very wanted pregnancy? The doctor flat out told us “No”. I can not explain to you how I felt except for that I felt that my world crashed. Pregnancy is supposed to be happy. For me personally, it killed me inside to know that I was carrying a child that would not live. As horrible as it sounds, feeling her kick had turned from a joyous feeling to unbearable. I thought I was going to die of a broken heart. The second question we asked was about quality of life. We were told “zero” and that her deformities were ‘incompatible with life”. If she survived to term and birth, which was very doubtful, our child would be in constant pain and have numerous inoperable conditions. We were informed we had one of two options, continue pregnancy or terminate. Back pain alone can bring the strongest man to his knees. Imagine a whole body in that condition? My baby’s heart was showing signs of failure. It was beating but not ‘working’. My heart was supporting my body as well as hers, causing adverse affects on me. If something could have been done for my child, ANYTHING, I would have done it. There was also the very real fact my 2 yr old daughter could be left without a mother. It’s a lot to absorb in a very short amount of time.

    We had our baby baptized before we left for Kansas and our minister was incredibly supportive.

    We were referred to Dr. Tiller in Wichita, Kansas. I PRAYED that the doctors were wrong. We underwent an additional ultrasound when we arrived in Kansas, and nothing would’ve made me happier than to hear the doctors were wrong and we could go home to have a happy baby. Obviously those prayers were not answered. Our WANTED child had Caudal Regression syndrome (a very rare syndrome affecting 1 in 75,000) as well as numerous other anomalies.

    I ask that you at least glance at one of these links (if not both).

    http://www.orpha.net/static/GB/caudal_regression_sequence.html
    http://www.thefetus.net/page.php?id=94

    Through HOURS of research I have found someone that also suffers from Caudal Regression syndrome. My conversations with her were extremely enlightening. She explained to me that while it IS possible to live with this syndrome, there are differing degrees of severity. Sadly, my daughter had a very severe case. She informed me that in her opinion we made the right decision.

    Dr. Tiller and his staff were absolutely wonderful. We were given the option of having our baby baptized, the option to see/hold/name her, prints of her hands/feet (which I now have her footprints tattooed on my wrist), a certificate of her delivery, the option to take photos and medical xrays.

    While these sound bizarre (at first I couldn’t imagine seeing my daughter, let alone holding/naming her) I treasure everything I was provided with. I would have deeply regretted not doing or taking advantage of these options.

    It has partly become my mission to bring awareness to people about infant loss. We were greeted by protesters upon our arrival and departure during our week in Wichita and I just had to feel sad for them. The first day consisted of numerous crosses on the lawn, which I had assumed were in honor of babies that had passed away. I was wrong. Either later that day or the next day we were greeted with signs of aborted fetuses (in pieces) on billboards. We also had men and women pound on our car window as we entered saying to my husband, “Sir, you don’t have to kill your baby.” They obviously have never been in my shoes, and I honestly hope they never have to. Located next door to Dr. Tiller’s clinic is a pro-life clinic that offers 4D ultrasounds (or maybe it was 3D). I would have loved to see them tell me that all the other doctors were wrong, but mostly I would have just wanted the chance to see my daughter one more time.

    I’m not trying to change your views on termination, but can you honestly tell me that you would/could put your child through this? There isn’t a day that goes by that my heart doesn’t ache. I still have panic attacks when I talk about my darling little girl, not because of Dr. Tiller, but because this type of thing isn’t supposed to happen. I have a 2-year-old daughter and she should’ve had a baby sister around the 12 of December. I just ask that you respect my view as I respect yours. I wanted to share a different view of this subject.

    Thank you for your time.”

  • Robyn O

    To Frank and Alayna: THANKYOU so much for speaking the truth in love. I only wish more “pro-choice” people could read these comments and then maybe their eyes would be opened to what they actually support, the murder of innocent children.

  • Vanessa

    Rachel,

    I am sorry about your baby’s condition. However, did you know that abortions for fetal anomaly are illegal in Kansas past 21 weeks gestation? You may think you got an abortion for fetal anomaly, but I would bet you might be suprised to see what the clinic reported your abortion under. Ask for your medical records. You may find out that you have a substantial and irreversible mental impairment you knew nothing about!

    On another point, your dear baby was not some dumb animal. When pets get sick, you put them down, but you don’t do that to your children. Injecting your baby and bringing on a fatal heart attack was not mercy. Your baby deserved to be held by loving arms, even if only for a few minutes, but you denied your child that one moment of love. That is very, very sad both for your child and for you.

  • John Francis Borra

    Rachel–

    As I said above, the circumstances surrounding a child– including his health– do not nullify his humanity. Vanessa put it quite well: he deserved a loving reception into the world, even if short and painful.

    Don’t be played for a chump, as Mr. Tiller (I won’t dignify his nefarious deeds by placing “Dr.” before his name) clearly would like. It’s extremely rare that he would abort an unhealthy child; that your child presented gross abnormalities merely allows him to claim he’s doing good.

    None of us is perfect; that is simply a human characteristic. Were it required that all children be born perfect, all would be aborted. Not even God asks us to be perfect; why should we demand it of our unborn children?

  • Rachel

    Vanessa~

    I will do just that – request my medical records. If by chance they do say it was due to a mental impairment, I will let this group know. I had put my faith in the medical community and trusted two very prominent (LOCAL/REGIONAL) doctors. If these two doctors would’ve have differing opinions, that would have been different. Normally a doctor gives SOME sort of hope. I would’ve taken a 5% chance. They didn’t even give that. I was told ZERO. I do not think until you hear the phrase ‘incompatible with life’ it fully hits how lethal it is.

    I do not consider my baby a dumb animal – please do not assume I didn’t love my daughter. I wish everyday she could be here with me. I would gladly take on a lifetime of suffering (which I am going through now) than to have my daughter suffer for one moment in her life.

    I really did used to be very pro-life…until you are in similar shoes, you can not say what you for sure would or would not do.

  • Frank

    Rachel,

    In response to your earlier post, you write:

    “Was there ANYTHING that could be done to save my very wanted pregnancy? The doctor flat out told us “No”….The second question we asked was about quality of life. We were told “zero” and that her deformities were ‘incompatible with life”. If she survived to term and birth, which was very doubtful, our child would be in constant pain and have numerous inoperable conditions.”

    I genuinely feel very sorry for the whole situation unfolding as it did. Some observations, however:

    1. As I read I’m reminded of a question posed to Michael Dukakis in a debate when he ran for president: If his wife was raped and murdered, how would he feel about the death penalty for the perpetrator? (He was oposed to the death penalty, and bungled the answer). I always believed the proper response was “my purely emotional response should not guide public policy.” The same answer applies equally well to the question of whether we allow abortions where “quality of life” is supposedly zero. What we may WANT TO DO should not guide what SHOULD BE DONE. The 2 are different. Granted what happened to you and your baby was no doubt a very agonizing and emotion experience, but should that experience be the sole driving force in allowing us to allow abortions, across the board? Far more abortions are performed for convenience, birth control, etc. (i.e. Tiller has done them for women who want to attend rock concerts) than because of the condition the baby had (which occurs once in 750,000 pregancies).

    2. I confess that “something” about your post seems to not make sense to me. When teh doctors said the condition was “incompatible with life,” does that mean the baby would have died soon anyway? Your post suggest otherwise, since another person with this affliction was “spoken to.”

    3. I am very sympathetic, and I am not going to condemn you, but all life has value. There is absolutely no difference between abortion of a child who someone else thinks will have a poor “quality” of life, and starving Terry Schiavo for the same reason. Life is a seamless web.

    4. I am not suggesting you did this, but I must speculate that when some say, “I wouldn’t want my child to go through this,” what they are really saying is, “I MYSELF don’t want to go through this.” There’s a difference.

    5. The fact that the world isn’t always black and white must not blind us to the fact that sometimes things ARE black and white. Abortion is the killing of a baby. Sorry. It is what it is.

    * * *

    You write, “Dr. Tiller and his staff were absolutely wonderful.”

    –2 words: So What? Whether a person smiles as they pull the trigger of a gun does not change the morality of the action of shooting the victim, who is still just as dead.

    –No one can say what they will do until they are confronted with a particular action. However, to me the measure of a society is how it treats its weak, its innocent, and those who cannot speak for themselves. Will we embrace our innocents, or allow our human weaknesses to win out when convenient?

    Also, I second John Francis’ comment that Tiller should not be gratified with being called a doctor.

    * * *

    “No one has the right to do that which is morally wrong.”
    —Abraham Lincoln

  • Sarah

    Rachel,

    I feel deep heartache for you and I am sorry for the tragedy you suffered…truly. i do believe you loved your daughter and I know you grieve for her. I am a young mother (had my first child, a son in oct 06) I’m 27 and married three years…i’m probably a lot like you. I was blessed with a healthy son. But I do know that even if my child had abnormalities of any sort, I would not take life and death into my own hands.I am a christian…I know I am not the giver of life and have no right to take it. The point is that no one has the right to take another’s life period.

    the problems your daughter had sound so similar to my friends who also had a daughter with heart defects, butterflied ribs…water on the brain, fragmented spine…it sounds almost exactly the same. they too were faced with whether to have an abortion but said no. they had their baby and got to hold her for twenty minutes after birth. she passed and they grieve for her every day (she was their first child) but they saw her, she saw them…they have NO GUILT knowing her death was in God’s hands, not theirs.

    I truly have deep sorrow for you…i can’t imagine such a horrible choice to make…but i do know all human life is precious. you don’t have to meet “quality” standards in order to be human and deserve the respect a human life deserves….even if you have pain, even if your legs don’t work, even if you don’t look pretty , whatever, a human being is a human being and deserves the basic right to be ALIVE.

  • Rachel

    Sarah~

    Thank you for your post – we do sound similar. I am also a Christian, I will be honest, this is a definate faith tester. I was raised God is a loving God. He doesn’t ‘punish’, although I couldn’t feel like he WASN’T punishing me, does that make sense? I still have a hard time wrapping my mind around the fact God would create a life full of pain (my daughter). Our minister told us in his opinion, even God can make mistakes.

    I feel so awful for your friends. I can not imagine what they went through – especially being their first child. Did they ever know what was the cause of it? I do agree human life is precious…I will never say otherwise. I didn’t need my daughter to be perfect as someone implied earlier – I just wanted to her to have SOME sort of of a life and was told by both doctors she wouldn’t. I can not tell you how hard it was to hear that.

    Frank~

    I apologize for the confusion…the syndrome my daughter had has different levels of severity. The more mild forms ARE livable, mostly loss of lower body control (leg movement, bowel, bladder issues). Normally this means wheelchair confinement & colostomy bags….nothing horrible. The severe forms (what my daughter had) occur when a majority of the spine is malformed, numerous internal abnormalities (non-functioning or non-existing organs), usually absense of bowels(anus) & sometimes genitalia…the list can just go on & on. It’s easier to list what isn’t wrong when it comes to severe cases. I did mention speaking to a gal who has this condition — hers is mild. She would know more than most doctors (and usually does) how the severity can affect life. If you check the second link I provided on the syndrome (thefetus.net) the Prognosis section states, “Depends on the severity of the spinal defect and associated anomalies, but the vast majority of survivals requires urologic and orthopedic interventions. Severe forms are commonly associated with cardiac, renal and respiratory problems, which are responsible for early neonatal death.”

    As to your comment about “I myself don’t want to go through this” I AM going through it. I’ve seen grandparents pass away – and the gasp for the last breath is not something I like to remember. It’s a horrible sight etched in my mind. I would not put my own child through that. I refuse. I can not tell you how hard I prayed over my decision. I’ve dealt with a nasty divorce and a brutal sexual assault…those two combined do not equal the pain I have and still feel over my daughter.

    I agree 100% abortions for mere convenience (rock concert, teen – or any age – thinking their life is ‘over’) are absolutely horrible. There are TOO MANY other options (adoption). I honestly never knew, until it happened to me, just how sad pregnancy can be. My heart breaks for all of the couples who desperately try for a child and are unsuccessful.

    I want to tell everyone on here how much I appreciate the level of respect I have been shown. I know our opinions are very different, but it is nice to hear what each other has to say. I am learning a lot from this posting, as I hope (possibly) you are too?

  • Rizz

    Stevem-

    That would be a really good idea! Maybe you should email OR or something and suggest that they establish such a group?

  • Sarah

    Rachel, just because two docs said your daughter would have no semblence of a life doesn’t mean it would def have been so. God could have granted her a wonderful life, but my point is you’ll never know. and if she did die at birth like my friends (there was never found to be a reason why this occurred) isn’t that God’s perogative? He is the creator of life and only HE has the right to take it.. “the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away” none of us are guaranteed another day on this planet…some of us die at two days, some at two years…some at 90 years.

    my dad died suddenly and tragically at 43 years of age. my mom was left suddenly a widow at 40 with four children ( i was the youngest and was only 3) I respect her faith so much. Even in this horrible situation she never questioned God. She didn’t understand it, and she suffered greatly but it was a comfort to know even though the situation seemed crazy God had it in HIS control.

    What your pastor said is blashphemy. that truly makes me angry. he needs to go back to seminary and read his bible. the bible clearly says “ALL things work together for good to them that love God” (Romans 8:28) I don’t know the mind of God, I don’t know why he made your daughter with all those problems…but i do know when he made her that way it wasn’t a mistake. I hope you read your bible and pray that God will show you some answers. situations like yours can make some people bitter and I really hope that doesn’t happen to you. i’m praying for you rachel really I am. and i don’t mean that in a holier-than-thou type of way, but as one mom to another, my heart really feels for you.

  • Still ProChoice (to a point)

    Ms. Staggers and Sarah: I have certainly conducted my research on this issue over the past 30+ years – exhaustively. Please do not insult my intelligence, my considerable pain over this event, nor the rigors of forming my own conscience. At no point did I ever – nor do I ever – attest that my 5.5-6-week-old fetus was “not human.” It was certainly not a “nothing.” Do not seek to minimize my own sadness – and that of countless others – with profundities. You haven’t walked in my shoes – nor have I walked in your own.

    Frank – I do not believe that you intended any harm or disrespect. However……rape is a vastly under-reported crime. As a rape victim myself who denied this reality for more than a decade after it occurred, I know this to be true.

    I have seen the face of sadism and cruelty up close, and it didn’t derive from Dr. Tiller. Even today, I’m required to protect myself. It helps less and less these days now that I look like Amy Winehouse’s slightly overweight, massively under-intoxicated aunt, but it happens nonetheless.

    I’m sure you weren’t attempting to minimize this tragedy, but your overweening statement could be taken as callous were I really the cold, hard b-word I can sometimes come across to be.

    Finally, I do not seek to change any of your minds about abortion. For most (if not all) of you, abortion is morally unthinkable at any point in time – for any reason. As a younger woman, and during my 13 years as a Catholic, I would have certainly agreed with you.

    Just some further thoughts here: I do not believe my very early abortion was a crime. I believe it was a tragedy; I will always believe it to be so. Others may not agree – on either side of this issue. For some, I should have been tossed in prison without discourse (or due course). Others may confuse the word “tragedy” with criminality – and take offense.

    My intention is not to cause pain to anyone – be they post-abortive or non-abortive. The reasons why I am both pro-choice (to a point) and ultimately unable to work at an abortion clinic are acutely personal. I have thought very deeply about this issue – concurrently with taking responsibility for my own actions so long ago. Two realities remain: The lingering sadness and the inability to render abortion illegal for all women at all time. Is this dichotomous? Not in my opinion. I cannot live any other way.

    Frank: Don’t be so quick to dismiss crimes involving sexuality. I despise my own impregnator so much that he barely merits mention. Moreover, he’s disabled now, so perhaps I should exude some restraint. Live by the Golden Rule. So I’ll let him keep his dignity, just like I would expect to be left alone if I needed help making water (Bong water or otherwise) and spending my life channeling Timothy Leary and mourning my youth.

    Mike: For god’s sake, give me a break here. What part of “I cannot work at an abortion clinic” did you fail to understand? I “did not mention the fetus?” Why in the world do you think I oppose these late-term procedures as gravely immoral? If you need to demonize me, criticize me for this much: I’m a mean, mouthy wench who can’t forgive her own rapist! I mean, he and I have something in common: We both pee sitting down, but there’s no ignominy in it for me! I’m a girl!

    Oh well, I shall not see his like again, of that I am fairly certain. Although a girl sometimes has to utilize creativity to ward off disaster. “I was a born a man, but those test results say I’ll soon die a woman,” was my recent brush-off to an unwashed denizen of the mid-town landscape.

    So, Frank, don’t be so quick to dismiss the depravity of others. It’s still out there – I’m just more feisty – and less brain-dead – than I used to be.

  • Frank

    Pro-Choice:

    You write to me:

    “…your overweening statement could be taken as callous…”

    –Interesting choice of the word “callous.” In response, true callousness is chopping little unborn babies into bits and ripping their little arms and legs off. My statements have nothing on the true horror of abortion.

    “Don’t be so quick to dismiss crimes involving sexuality.”

    –I did nothing of the sort. What I said was, rapes comprise a tiny, tiny statistical minority of abortions. Your unsupported opinion that “rapes are underreported” may be true but does not counter the fact that convenience is still the major driving force for abortion. And if rapes are underreported — what of it? Whatever the reason for the abortion, the baby is still just as dead.

    “So, Frank, don’t be so quick to dismiss the depravity of others. It’s still out there.”

    –Once again, true depravity is pulling the limbs off little babies. Nothing, absolutely nothing, gives anyone the right to do the foregoing. Humor, rationalizing, weird references to “bong water” and channelling Tim Leary, references to peeing sitting down, whatever — none of them excuse sitting by and allowing babies to get chopped up, having their skulls crushed, inducing massive heart attacks, etc. If you want to think me callous, go ahead, it’s a free country…and maybe that’s part of the problem, isn’t it? We’re free to kill our own unborn by ripping them to bits in utero. Now that’s more than “callous” — it’s so monstrously horrible any sane person reels at the thought…

  • Sarah

    pro-choice to a point, um….i don’t know what i said that offended you so i offer a sincere ” i’m sorry” but a baby is a baby is a baby. i haven’t walked in your shoes but there is NEVER a reason to have an abortion. its murder. period. end of story.

    I got pregnant ON BIRTH CONTROL (the pill) my husband and i lived in a one bedroom apartment. the docs told me my uterus was septated and would probably miscarry second trimester anyhow….i sure could’ve had an abortion. theres a clinic right in my town….blocks from where we lived. i could’ve walked there. it was never an option. we had to figure how to get out of our lease, how to afford a bigger place in an incredibly RITZY county where we live. nothing is affordable where we live.

    the landlord sold the house where our apartment was, the lease was terminated for us! we moved into a cute townhouse at an incredible price! it all fell into place!!!! then my husband got laid off…i was only four months pregnant. could’ve still had an abortion..a clinic about 30 minutes away does second trimesters….things were tight financially…it was really really hard. my husband found a job finally…the docs discovered my uterus was perfectly normal…i had my son…the absolute love of my life. he’ll be a year old right before Halloween.

    I wasnt planning to be a mother yet. I didn’t feel ready…there were things i wanted to do for myself first, things we wanted to plan for first financially…there were supposed medical reasons to terminate…please. the list goes on and on. I’m so glad I learned the truth of abortion as a child. I didn’t buy into the lie. and ya know what? life isn’t always easy and sometimes it requires sacrifice but its not reason to kill a child. period. and I’m sorry if that offends you and i don’t mean to sound cruel, but what you did to your child offends me. abortion is never an answer. it doesn’t solve any problems, it just creates new ones. it sounds to me like you are still struggling with the grief of your abortion. is it worth it? Don’t you think your life would be happier (not necessarily easy) with your child? how can any woman think her life would be better off without her child? as a mother i can’t fathom that way of thinking.

  • Mary H.

    Often many unborn children with defects incompatible with life or which are life-threatening will often not survive to full-term or will expire shortly after birth. If such infants threaten the life of the mother, early delivery, rather than abortion is always an option. Miscarriage or early delivery of a non-viable neonate usually does not carry the long-term guilt that abortion will harbor in mothers who especially mourn the loss of these wanted children.

    Suffering is a fact of existence for all of us. Love is greatest when it can empathesize and support us through lives greatest tragedies.

    No one would think of deliberately ending the life of a child or adult if suddenly, an injury or disease would cause them suffering and/ or leave them permanently disabled, the unborn are no less deserving of our support, empathy and sacrificial love despite their defects.

    If unborn life were cherished irrespect of their defects, mothers who dearly loved these wanted children would likely endure the suffering of birthing these children no matter how short the life. But as it can be seen, society in general and many in the medical profession in particular, elect the more efficient means for eliminating problem fetuses.

    These special children are trying to teach us about tolerance, sacrifice and our ability to endure pain and suffering–in essence, teaching us how to love. If we attempt to eliminate their suffering by their elimination, what does that say about our capacity to truly and deeply love.

    The truest, purest understanding of Love and Mercy are always associated with supporting life and never with killing it. Mercy killing is a contradiction.

    Love endures suffering, invokes empathy and sacrifices for another! Abortion circumvents Love’s ability to fully manifest itself. This truth is hard-wired in us and when we avoid the truth guilt and depression results, or at worst, we risk losing our conscience soul.

  • teddi

    Rachel,

    Nothing will bring your daughter back. But the truth is, it wasn’t a choice that had to be made. It was one you did choose. I don’t doubt that her condition wasn’t one that was survivable. However, given the fact she virtually had no spine, it would be a flat out lie for any physician to tell you that she was in *pain*. Paresis and lack of sensation is actually what would be the much more likely scenario.

    Her heart wasn’t working and this put a strain on yours? Your vascular system is not directly connected to your baby’s. What you say does not make sense. While of course the baby always depends on the mother’s body, your heart cannot pump for your baby’s body. It’s physically impossible. Only twins or multiples in the utero can be affected in such a way as sharing a placenta does in fact share bloodsupply. There are other conditions, pre-E, etc that can arrise for a pregnant mom, but these are not related to the baby or any abnormalities the baby has.

    If she was able to feel, a heart attack wasn’t an unpainful death. That’s the thing, I can’t imagine the heart break because I couldn’t know it. But the fact is, your daughter had rights. Actively inducing a heart attack violated her rights. If she had survived to birth, the only good thing she could have experienced in life would have been being held and loved by her parents. Maybe she could hear. Maybe she could have heard your voice. Maybe if she had some sensation she could have felt the warmth of your arms. She could have died with some sense of love and peace.

    Do you REALLY think a Dr like Tiller can do this, over and over, ON PERFECTLY HEALTHY BABIES and actually LOVE them? Or was your family income to him? Were you and your situation a sick sense of twisted “power” to him? He’s a piraya. Not a single baby physically capable of feeling dies a painless death at his hands. They die, scared as a needle finds it way thru their skin and into their heart and as the poison works it’s damage. Or, some smaller ones die by D&E, perhaps even more gruesome.

    You see when we make those decisions to take away what may have been pain and or suffering, and that decision involves taking her life away, it takes away any good experience she could have had.

    I can only imagine in that situation that it felt unfaceable- to watch your baby die, her body very broken by nature. Helpless. Brokenhearted. Maybe the abortions chosen in these cases feel like “doing something”. Or even as protection, for self and child. But this is how life works: sometimes it gives us situations where the only right answer is the most difficult one. And while I don’t doubt it was difficult to chose the abortion, in some way, for parents in your shoes it is easier than facing the birth and death of their child. Or, much more commonly, the birth and life of their disabled child. Or, even more commonly, simply the life of their child (most babies killed at Tillers clinic are healthy).

    Grief was a lot given to you regardless of what, if any, choices you made. Unfortunately allowing for free and legal abortion only allows for sick babies to die a painful death before birth, versus allowing disabled people to live in our society, or live the rest of their alloted (THEIR TIME) as nature sees to it.

  • Robyn O

    Rachel, you pooor darling girl, GOD DOES NOT MAKE MISTAKES.
    What was said, is true: No one would think of deliberately ending the life of a child or adult if suddenly, an injury or disease would cause them suffering and/ or leave them permanently disabled, the unborn are no less deserving of our support, empathy and sacrificial love despite their defects.

    This is true: If unborn life were cherished irrespect of their defects, mothers who dearly loved these wanted children would likely endure the suffering of birthing these children no matter how short the life. But as it can be seen, society in general and many in the medical profession in particular, elect the more efficient means for eliminating problem fetuses.

    Yes, true: These special children are trying to teach us about tolerance, sacrifice and our ability to endure pain and suffering—in essence, teaching us how to love. If we attempt to eliminate their suffering by their elimination, what does that say about our capacity to truly and deeply love.

    God bless you Rachel, and your unborn daughter.
    xxxxxxx

  • turned down

    About a month ago my unborn child was diagnosed with severe hydrocephalus. For those of you who don’t know that is the term for “water on the brain”. At first we could not accept that nothing except a shunt could help our son. We went from dr. to dr. and all opinions were the same. There was no hope for our baby. The pediatric neurologist told us she didn’t even think our son would breathe at birth if I carried him to term and that his quality of life would be none at all. I just turned 20 and the babies father is only 18. Because the idea of facing this at so young not to mention the pain our child is facing, we decided to come see dr. Tiller. We made funeral araingments and bought things to bury the baby in. We wanted to hold our baby and have the oportunity to say goodbye. We were confident in our descision. We live in annapolis md so it quite a trip to get here not to mention a huge financial expense. We got there and had our consultation. I was in with 3 other mothers making the same choice I was for similiar reasons. Of everyone there I was the most emotional. Between me the babies father and my mother who went with us I don’t know who was crying more. When dr. Tiller took us back he did the ultrasound and determined me to be 25 weeks and 1 day pregnant. The size of the babies head was the size of a babies head at 30 weeks. Because of the hydrocephalus dr. Tiller said the babies head would cave in at birth. Since we were so adamate about wanting to hold our baby this was bad news. I started to cry and dr. Tiller said he wasn’t going to perform the procedure on me. He said that he didn’t think abortion was the best option for me and that I should let mother nature run its course. He said he could tell I was conflicted and he had made his descision. He didn’t charge us for anything and sent us home with the advice that I continue my pregnancy. I felt very relieved to leave the clinic because I didn’t think I belonged there. I just have a hard time thinking dr. Tiller is all about money when he turned me down. It seems as though if that was the case he would have got my six grand no matter how conflicted I was or if he could give me what I wanted or not. I do not believe in abortion. There are a few circumstances like rape where I believe women should have the option early in pregnancy. However there are so many couples out there who can’t have children who would love to adopt a baby. I feel like adoption is a much better option than abortion. In cases like mine however adoption is not an option. I will tell everyone who has commented on here that you may think you know what you would in certain situations but you don’t. The simple facts is that you have NO IDEA what it is like to hear that your child will never even be able to play with a toy. You will do anything to protect your child from pain and constant suffering. Dr. Tiller is right. Abortion is not the answer for me. In all honesty I am very grateful to dr. Tiller for turning me down. He saved me from doing something I would have regretted. I am going to let God and mother nature take over. I know my baby is going to die, if not right away soon after birth. I know he is also going to have a huge head. The babies father and I will hold him while he dies. It will be so hard to see but that will be God’s plan and not mine. Life is so hard. Many people don’t leave dr. Tiller’s with good stories but I have one. He knew I wasn’t ready for his procedure. I thank him for showing me mercy and not taking my money and making me do it. Abortion was not the answer for me and I’m glad he saw that.