I just finished reading an article on an online news source, The Stir, “Hospital Aborts Wrong Twin in Horrible Mistake.”
It was a woman in Australia who was carrying twins. One was diagnosed with a life-threatening heart defect. At 32 weeks (7 1/2 months) she decided to have the baby with the heart defect aborted. Problem is, the doctors ended up aborting the wrong child, terminating the healthy one.
Then, to compound the situation, they performed an emergency cesarean, delivered the baby with the heart defect and then terminated it. It sounds bizarre, but here’s the exact quote from the article: “The woman, who was 32 weeks pregnant, had to undergo an emergency cesarean to deliver the sick fetus, where it was later terminated.”
Talk about values that are all screwed up.
I read through some of the comments. Many are just sympathetic with the woman and try to adamantly insist that the story is not about abortion. But it seems that a slight majority do feel that the situation is about abortion, and feel the woman and her doctors made the wrong decision, and should have given birth to the defective baby.
As I read the story, though, there was one late-term abortion, and one infanticide – a baby killed right after delivery. But you know, what’s the big difference? You suck the brains out of the baby and then deliver it, or you deliver it first and then suck the brains out. They’re really very close to the same thing. The difference is really a technicality. And the article doesn’t say that the heart defect was fatal, only life-threatening. So they did have to terminate the baby – it wasn’t born dead.
By the way, I have a son who was born with a life-threatening congenital heart defect. That was in 1988. He was kept alive until he was three months old, at which point the defect was surgically repaired. He’s now a normal, healthy adult. But that type of treatment probably would blow the budget of the wonderful Australian universal health care system, so I suppose that wouldn’t be an option for this woman or her children – not cost effective, y’know.