I CANNOT bring myself to feel sorry for this man, as heartbreaking as his story is. Charles Vestal recently wrote a blog piece entitled “Denied,” designed to tug at the heartstrings of the pro-choice crowd, and inspire them to fight harder for “reproductive rights,” and possibly convert some of the pro-life side. But I don’t feel sorry for him. Because of the very laws he hates and rails against, his baby at least got to leave this life being loved. My heart goes out to the baby that he so desperately wanted to kill.
Mr. Vestal says that he and his wife wanted this baby, and were excited about being pregnant. However, his baby was not going to make it, he and his wife learned, because of a condition known as an incompetent cervix. She was dilating at 20 weeks, and the doctors determined that they could not save their baby from being born too immaturely to survive.
Vestal blames those “terrible anti-abortion laws” for “making” his wife stay pregnant to give birth to a baby who was going to die. What he wanted was for abortion at 20 weeks to have been legal, so his son wouldn’t have to be born, only to die, because that would be so cruel. Or that is the way he tries to make everybody feel.
At the same time that Texas passed the abortion laws making it illegal to abort after 20 weeks, he and his wife learned their difficult news. No doctor would touch them to abort, even though one told the couple that it would have been an option before the bill passed.
This father rails against those unfeeling people who fought for the laws that denied his wife the ability to abort their son. They didn’t want their baby to have to experience the trauma of being born, only to die. He would much rather have had the choice of abortion instead.
My question is: Does he not know what abortion actually is? Does he fail to recognize what he was actually asking for to happen to his child? And somehow, that was less cruel?
At 20 weeks, there are different options for abortion, but none of them are remotely pleasant for the baby. All of them are excruciating for the baby. Perhaps Mr. Vestal is utterly clueless as to what is entailed in abortion. I can only hope that is the case, how else could he possibly justify his thinking, even to himself? Perhaps many people remain uninformed about what abortion truly is.
When it is a philosophical or political concept, it is much easier to distance oneself from the reality. It is a “procedure” that happens behind closed doors, that nobody really talks about. If we were to speak in terms of what abortion really is, perhaps some hearts and minds could be changed.
What people are justifying when they justify the choice of abortion is something that the baby certainly would never choose. If the mother were given true informed choice, she might be less likely to choose it as well. Some of the options for abortion include:
- Saline – which kills the baby over hours by scalding them inside and out with a salt solution. The mother gives birth, usually to a dead baby, which abortionists crudely refer to as a “candy apple baby,” due to the redness of the skin. This isn’t used as commonly anymore, because of the “dreaded complication.” Sometimes a baby would survive. Gianna Jessen and Melissa Ohden are beautiful survivors of this type abortion.
- D & E (Dilation and extraction) – where the cervix is manually dilated, and the baby is literally ripped apart, limb from limb, and pulled out in pieces. Incidentally, this type of abortion often results in an incompetent cervix, like Vestal’s wife had. I am not saying she had a previous abortion. There is no mention of that, but it is a possibility.
- Then there’s the method where a drug is injected directly into the baby’s heart, which kills the baby in a slow, agonizing death over hours. The mother then gives birth to a dead baby.
- Pills, for a medical abortion. One of which, again, poisons the baby over a period of hours. Then cytotec is given, so that the mom has vicious labor before giving birth to a dead baby.
Because of the “terrible pro-life laws” in Texas, the Vestal’s baby got to be loved by his parents until he was born. They would have had the opportunity to hold and love him as his life naturally left his body, while he exited this world secure in the love of his parents – a much kinder death than the kind his father wanted for him in his ignorance.
So, really, for all the pro-choice people who want to point to his story to bolster their cause, I say no. No baby wants to die that way. That dad has utterly no clue about what the “choice” actually was. I don’t think that many people who advocate choice really have any clue how agonizingly, excruciatingly horrible that choice is for the tiny person inside. Babies have the capability to feel pain much earlier than “they” say. But they feel it more exquisitely – the filters that older babies have for filtering out painful stimuli haven’t developed yet.
While I do feel compassion for Mr. Vestal and his wife for the loss of their precious baby, I hope that he can somehow understand that the option that the pro-life laws in Texas forced them into spared their son from a cruel and agonizing death. Because he was going to die anyway, I hope he can see that the way he was able to live before he died was much more gentle and compassionate.