My daughter, Daisy, was born at 28 weeks gestation, which is the very beginning of the third trimester. She weighed all of 2 ½ pounds and was a smidgeon over 15” long. When I would lay my arm next to her in her isolette she barely reached between my wrist and elbow. She was so tiny and lovely – she was also a fighter who wanted to live as much as her dad and I wanted her to live. So many days and nights spent in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit), praying that she would live, fearing the worst that we would lose her. I think back to those 63 days and I’m amazed when I look at my eight-year-old daughter today.
I share this story with you because her birth changed my life is so many ways. Beyond just being a first-time mother and realizing what it meant to care about someone else’s life more than my own, it changed my beliefs around abortion. Don’t get me wrong, I have never been one to support abortion, but before my daughter was born I was definitely of the mind that what others did with their bodies wasn’t any of my business. That I did not have the right to tell others how to live and what to do; honestly I just buried my head in the sand and chose not to really think about abortion and what it meant.
Daisy was by far not the smallest or earliest baby in that NICU. There were babies born at 23 and 24 weeks, who were fighting to live. Being that I was in the NICU every day, I was able to spend time with other parents who had the same “preemie looks” on their faces as my husband and I did (preemie look is something Mr. Janney coined, it basically describes a face in stress, sadness and fear 24/7) One mother I had gotten to know had twins who had been born at 24 weeks, and she lost one of them… it was devastating, that sense of loss. There were alive, they were BABIES not fetuses.
It amazes me the lengths pro-abortion people will go to in order to protect this so-called “right.” They will deny a baby is a baby, insisting that a “clump of cells” is not a human and will only refer to the life in question as a fetus. It’s as if they must dehumanize a baby so their own agenda and self-centered needs can be excused. I really wish these pro-abortion types could spend just a day in the NICU, seeing these tiny babies fighting to live and witnessing the pain these parents feel. The pain I felt.
I will admit when the Gosnell horror came into full view in the media, I avoided it. My heart simply could not withstand the idea of babies being mutilated at the same gestation as my daughter, or younger. Having witnessed so many miracles of life and survival I just couldn’t bear the thought of this man who clearly had no issue in ending their little lives. I did cheer when he was found guilty and sentenced, but it didn’t erase what he had done, or what other “abortionists” continue to do when performing late-term abortions, but there was finally some justice for those little souls.
Additionally it has opened up a dialogue that has needed to take place for decades, the issue of late-term abortion. Abortion as a whole is a horrible thing, but the idea of a baby being aborted at my daughter’s gestation is unthinkable. Recently, Representative Marsha Blackburn a fellow preemie mom spoke out against late-term abortions and promoted the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. She said, “Life’s amazing potential often surprises us and too often we underestimate it. And that sacred connection of witnessing life’s potential compels us to stop turning a blind eye to the scourge of late-term abortions in our great country. That’s why … House Republicans will lead the fight to pass the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, to put reasonable limits on dangerous late-term abortions.”
I am hopeful that we can stop making this issue about democrats and republicans and instead make it a human issue and work together to stop late-term abortions. In the back of my mind it seems ludicrous that we have to legislate something like this, that we just don’t understand that murdering unborn children is wrong, but I will take what I can get if it means this stops.
And it must be stopped.
Written by Sam Janney