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Published: October 16, 2013 5:08 am to Opinion Column

To the mother who killed her daughter for being just like mine

My heart is broken for you, Addie Morfoot. I can feel the regret, the pain, the torture in the words you shared at Salon.com this week. The sheer thought of what you did to your undoubtedly beautiful, smart, and resilient daughter makes my stomach turn and sends chills through my body – a body which carries a defective cystic fibrosis gene. Just like yours. And just like your Annie, my “Peanut” has cystic fibrosis. I can only imagine what the thought of your actions must do to you.

I want to tell you that it’s okay. Because I know that telling the world your story of why you chose to kill your daughter while she was still in the womb is your way of seeking forgiveness and understanding that you must be struggling to find within yourself. But you don’t need my forgiveness or understanding. The only people whom you need forgiveness from are yourself and Annie (and God if you do believe in Him).

You said that Annie must be “mad, disappointed, and hurt.” You can stop worrying about that. Annie has already forgiven you. She has the ability to forgive you because she is now in a place that far surpasses what our tiny little brains can understand. She is in a place where she doesn’t feel the deep sting that comes with knowing your own parents planned and caused your death. Annie has peace, a peace which you will likely spend the rest of your days trying to find.

You don’t need me to tell you where you went wrong on your quest to save your daughter from herself or from your own self-doubts. I can hear the pain in your words. I can feel how desperately you want your baby, but rather than stand up for her, you caved in to the pressures of people who know nothing about life with cystic fibrosis. Did you seek out an adult living with CF? Did you talk to a CF specialist? Did you take the time to learn how much has changed for people with CF over just the last decade? Did you even attempt to find any other way than abortion? You say that your choice was impossible. But it wasn’t. And I want to make sure that other parents, who are at this moment in the exact same shoes that you were in, know that abortion is not the answer.

You say that you want Annie to know that you did what you “thought was best” for your child. And with that you admit that aborting her wasn’t what was best; otherwise, you would be secure in that decision. What would have been best was to fight for Annie’s life – to let her live her life. The other choice you had, besides abortion, was to do everything in your power to take care of her, not discard her. But you already know that. What would Annie’s choice have been?

Annie is the face of aborted babies with CF across this globe. But since we can’t see her face, I will show you my daughter’s.

Peanut, age 4 1/2 with CF

Peanut, age 4 1/2 with CF

She has 2 copies of the gene that I can only conclude you and your husband both carry, because half of those with CF carry two copies of this specific gene. About 90% carry one. It is the most common mutation there is – Delta F508. But it is not the most severe, although many people mistakenly believe so. It would have greatly benefited you and Annie to do some thorough research.

I want you and all parents who may be pregnant with a child with CF to know that my beautiful, smart, resilient daughter hasn’t spent a single day in the hospital from CF. She was there once for stitches because she’s such a daredevil. She goes to preschool. She takes swimming lessons. She attends dance class with her cousin. She loves the beach. She loves fair rides. She adores her little sisters, like Annie adores her little brother, though he will never have the pleasure of her hugs or her guidance. Look at my daughter. She is your daughter. They are “cysters.”

You know that what you did was a disservice to your child. Although “disservice” is not nearly a strong enough word. The loss of her was not a remedy, but a tragedy. How do I know this? Because throughout your writing I can see it. I can see how you let your husband and the doctors convince you that it was right. I can see how quickly you turned a blind eye to the people who wanted to help you choose life. I can see and feel how much you desperately want your daughter. Your regret is suffocating. Your husband tries to convince you that you are all better off, as you said yourself:

“We did the right thing,” Ross tells me on the rare occasion when I give myself permission to think about her. “We helped her. She was sick.”

I believe him, I do. But Annie still haunts me. When her due date rolls around, or when our son has a bad cough, or with the birth of my sister’s baby girl — I think of Annie. And once every year — on her birthday — I let myself cry. I think about how it would feel to hold her in my arms. And then I ask her to please understand that I did what I thought was best for my child.

You didn’t help her. You killed her. Addie, I know that you no longer think that death was what was best for your child. And I know, because you decided to get pregnant with your son just 4 months after aborting Annie. What if he had had CF too? What would have become of him? Could you have gone through another abortion? I don’t think you made the choice to get pregnant again so soon with the intention of just aborting him like you did Annie. At least I pray you didn’t.

Annie wasn’t sick. CF isn’t a “sickness” itself; it’s a genetic disorder that leaves you susceptible to illness. Fifty years ago it meant death around the age of eight. But in today’s world it’s far more treatable, and people with CF are living into their 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s. Emily is an adult with CF who runs the RockCF Foundation. Ronnie is an adult with CF who is a husband and father and the founder of CysticLife. They are living full, happy lives. Just last week, a man with CF died. He was 82 years old.

Yes, there are some who die young. But with each day we are closer to a cure, and people with CF are living longer and healthier. Hearing that your child might live to age 37 is painful. I know. I have been told the same exact thing. But here’s something that perhaps no one told you. Those with CF who are in their 30s now have parents who were told that their children wouldn’t live to graduate from high school. That’s how progress works. I have faith that my daughter will outlive me. I have faith that CF will not kill her. Do you know why? Because right now there is a scientist in a lab, and he or she is developing the drugs that are going to save my daughter. That scientist is from a team at Vertex Pharmaceuticals. And they would have helped Annie, too.

The truth is that none of us knows how long we are given or how we will suffer in this world. Healthy children get sick. Healthy children die. Parents bury their children. But it usually isn’t by choice, like yours. You didn’t want to have to bury your daughter because that would have hurt you. So what became of Annie’s little body?

I am truly sorry for the pain that you have caused yourself. And I do hope that you find a way to come to terms with killing your daughter before you even had a chance to know her. I hope you find a way to forgive yourself and to beg for forgiveness from God. There are many resources to help you. I also hope that you use your mistake as a way to educate other parents and to help them choose life for their children, so they don’t end up with the pain and regret that you have.

Please. Don’t let Annie’s short life be for nothing. Stop telling yourself and the rest of us that you did the right thing, and start saving other babies in her honor.

All of the people pictured here have CF or are families of people with CF. Each of them wants every new parent of a child with CF to know that life with CF is definitely worth living. If your unborn or newborn child has been diagnosed with CF, please know that you are not alone and that there is help. Contact your local CF clinic to get in touch with a CF parent or adult who can help you. And be sure to visit www.cff.org for up-to-date and accurate information on life with cystic fibrosis.

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photo (1) CF bro 1 IMG_20130904_145013

IMG_9108 IMG_4658 CF bro 2

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About Nancy Flanders

Nancy is a work at home mom who writes about parenting, special needs children, and the right to life. She is the lucky mother of three spirited little girls, one who has cystic fibrosis, and she spends any free moment she can find fundraising for a cure for CF. You can read her personal blog at www.ChronicAdmissions.com.
View all posts by Nancy Flanders

  • belgianchic

    This is precisely why nobody likes anti-choicers. How incredibly condescending and cruel can you get? This was absolutely disgusting.

    • Nancy

      How cruel? I’d say aborting your wanted child for having a genetic condition that you didn’t do any real research on is about as cruel as you can get.

      • belgianchic

        i’d say assuming that this woman didn’t do any real research because she didn’t make the decision that YOU would have- or did- is patronizing and condescending and spiteful. of course she did her research. why on earth wouldn’t she? she got pregnant with another child because she WANTED another child- she wanted the child that would have been born with CF, for crying out loud! it was a wanted pregnancy and that is what makes this so incredibly heartbreaking- it was a much anticipated pregnancy. her children are NOT disposable to her- god, this is why i’m 100 percent pro-choice. getting pregnant is not at all irresponsible if you WANT to get pregnant, like she did. for chrissake people. show some compassion. i know it is difficult for the anti-choice crowd, but you can prolly do it.

        • ldwendy

          Um….I don’t see any evidence in the Salon article that she did any research. She didn’t meet with any parents that had raised children with CF, or talk with persons who had CF.

          She took the negative predictions that the geneticists gave at face value, without doing anything else.

        • mommyjess

          Getting pregnant is irresponsible if you KNOW the chances of your child having CF and you KNOW that you don’t want a child with CF….and that is exactly what she did when she got pregnant the second time. I can almost promise you what would have been the outcome of her second pregnancy had the baby had CF. NOW THAT IS IRRESPONSIBLE!!!

        • Nancy

          Well you missed my point. She says herself that she didn’t talk to a CF specialist and she refused the opportunity given to her to talk to CF parents. And she got pregnant again with the full knowledge that her next child and every other child she would have had a 25% chance of having CF just like Annie. So yes, her children are disposable because she didn’t think twice about getting pregnant again naturally while knowing the risk and one can only conclude that she would abort that baby too. I feel bad for her because she regrets the abortion and keeps trying to convince herself she did the right thing. CF is not a death sentence but abortion is.

      • Me

        “Parents bury their children. But it usually isn’t by choice, like yours. You didn’t want to have to bury your daughter because that would have hurt you. So what became of Annie’s little body? Did you even give her a proper burial”

        These lines seem like your taunting her. It could definitely have been more sensitively phrased.

    • PrincessJasmine4

      Good lord! Show some compassion for the child that just lost her life! I know it’s hard for you pro aborts, but I”m sure you can do it if you try.

      This is precisely why no one likes pro-aborts… oops.. I just used your faulty line of logic… how does it sound?

      • johno

        I think belgianchic should worry about Euthanasia in Belgium. The Belgian state might just terminate if she signs wrong forms.

        • Basset_Hound

          I think she’s licking her chops at the possibility of having the authority to sign the forms to terminate expendable lives.

          • PrincessJasmine4

            all in the name of “reproductive justice”
            only there’s no justice for those whose lives are needlessly ended.

          • ThePaganProLifer

            Dammit guys “Brave New World” was not a instruction manual! ‘chocolate creme on death days’ that’s out society.

    • Cortney Twila

      It was very well written. She put it out there that it would be hard and she could see how much it upset her. But people also need to know the facts. Imagine you had CF, and you find out that your parents thought of aborting you or not wanting you. Those are chosen spirits, children of GOD sent to this Earth who were rejected by the families they were sent to. People have to know the facts before they make these sort of decisions.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you for writing this – I loved every word of it. Hope it helps other parents facing the same decision. I’m not pro-choice or pro-life, I’m pro-information. The fact is there are so many people out there – doctors included – that have misinformation about CF.

    • DianaG2

      Pro-information IS pro-life.

  • Misty

    This is everything that my heart felt when I read that original article!! So perfectly worded!! I feel such intense grief for little Annie… She was never given a chance to show how strong she was!!! And I am incredibly grateful that the second child did not have CF… As I’m sure his fate would have been the same. Children are perfect just as God created them… With their sweet imperfections that make them who they are!!

    • ldwendy

      “She was never given a chance to show how strong she was!!!”

      Without having met the child, how could you tell how strong the child was?

      Sometimes I think the pro-life folks like attribute super positive qualities to feti without having any proof.

      • Dawn

        These are people–children you are talking about, not “feti.” I truly wish that every person who uses dehumanizing language to justify abortion would have to see the body of an aborted child or, as I did, a miscarried one. Few realize that the child must be developed sufficiently enough for the abortionist to reassemble the body parts and ensure nothing was left in the womb to go septic. Like all other historical injustices against a subset of human beings, abortion will not end until people see for themselves what abortion does to children.

        • Lilian Stoltzfus

          Human fetuses ARE human children. :-) It’s a pity the word “fetus” has been used in such a misleading way.

      • Cortney Twila

        Well how do you know she wouldn’t be strong? Sure CF is hard to live with, but I would not want my life any other way.

      • Nancy

        I guess it’s because I am in contact with over a thousand people with CF. And they are all the most amazing, strongest people I’ve ever known! But it’s all in what your parents teach you, so I guess it could have gone the other way.

      • Basset_Hound

        Emotional strength and resilience is a choice. Annie was denied the opportunity to develop it.

        • Lilian Stoltzfus

          “Emotional strength and resilience is a choice.”

          Wow!

      • Elisabeth

        The plural form of fetus is fetuses. Not that you care about grammar in your quest to troll websites…

      • Sis

        since when is playing russian roulette with a babies life ok? lets all just keep falling pregnant and aborting until we get a ‘perfect’ child – besides… we have no ‘proof’, what the ‘feti’ would have been like anyway right? Guess what… your ‘feti’ already has a heartbeat, which makes ‘it’ a human!!! Would you feel the same if she carried the baby to full term and then aborted it? Or is it not ‘feti’ enough for you anymore…

  • ldwendy

    If Addie had OCD, chances are that she was a perfectionist too. The rush to become pregnant again so soon after the abortion, and the so very palpable sense of relief on finding her son did not have CF basically tells me she was obsessed with having a healthy (read: perfect) baby.

    Ideally, she could have used the 28 days of waiting for test results to meet other parents who had raised CF kids and do more research. That’s what I would have done.

    But I also have the sense her husband Ross subtly pressured her to have the abortion as well. I think he is the one to blame for pushing Addie toward abortion. Addie had a lot of misgivings about terminating the pregnancy.

    Nationwide, we ought to be pushing for legislation that would require ob-gyns and geneticists to have up-to-date resources on support groups for parents who receive a negative fetal diagnosis, or resources on disabilities. The fear of lawsuits probably causes many physicians to give the worst case scenarios on disabled children rather than presenting a more optimistic outcome.

    • PrincessJasmine4

      Wendy!
      WOW!
      I’m pleasantly surprised that I’ve actually given 2 of your comments an up vote…
      Have I stepped into some sort of alternate universe? :-)

      • ldwendy

        PrincessJasmine, thank you for your kind words. No alternate universe here. I find myself commenting on this site often for the simple reason that I’m still figuring out my own thoughts about abortion. In this particular story, Annie was a WANTED pregnancy. Addie definitely did not do due dliigence in learning more about CF before she chose to terminate the pregnancy, and that sort of raised my ire.

    • DianaG2

      I also believe her husband pressured her, even though Roe says it’s supposed to be up to the woman.

      A very large majority — 70 – 80% —- of women say they felt pressured to abort.

    • Lilian Stoltzfus

      Interesting that you should bring up lawsuits, Wendy. Litigation has wreaked havoc upon medical care in this country.

      There is also the fact that physicians can’t know everything about any one diagnosis, let alone EVERY diagnosis. And sometimes prenatal diagnoses are, well, wrong. :-/

  • Danelle Hanson

    My heart aches for those who abruptly kill their child with CF. My son has CF and is my lives greatest treasure. The most infectious person I have ever know.

  • Sharon Bacon

    When my husband and I found out our son had CF it was the worst day of our lives, this was Feb, 1999. I was 5 months pregnant and we had just moved to Texas. We got the call from the geneticist (in the other state we moved from, Nevada) on a Friday night around 5pm, my husband was on his way home from work. We were still living in a hotel, because our house we where moving into wasn’t ready yet. We didn’t know anything about CF and all we could do was search the internet all weekend and cry. All of our family still lived in our home state of Oregon, so we had no one to be with us that weekend.
    When my husband was talking to the doctor on the phone the geneticist keep telling my husband, “There are other alternatives, it’s not to late”, meaning abortion. The only thing we could find on the internet that weekend about CF was doom and gloom stuff. First thing Monday morning we contacted the CF Clinic at Cooks Children’s Hospital and talked to the CF Nurse there. We asked her all kinds of questions and she was very upbeat about everything. Then my husband posed one last question to her, “if you were pregnant with a child that was diagnosed with CF in this day and age would you keep it?” She got very quiet for a second, but in a very strong voice said “YES”!!
    I had already knew in my heart of hearts that I would never abort, but wanted to get all the fact first. I told my husband after that, no matter what I wouldn’t of aborted anyway. Even if our son only lived for 20 mins after birth I wanted to be able to hold him and see his little face. We basically wanted to make sure he wasn’t in any pain when he was born.
    My husband and I both were on our 2nd marriage, we each already had 2 kids from them and our son was, I won’t say accident, but a very special surprise to us. I was 39 and my husband was 37 when he was born. So having a special needs child wasn’t in our game plan when we married 11 months before our son was born. We were waiting for grandkids in our near future.
    Now fast forward 14 yrs. Our son is one of the most wonderful, special gifts from God anyone can receive. He just turn 14 yrs in June, he is a freshman in high school this year and is a very smart, handsome young man. In the 14 yrs with his CF he has been extremely healthy. He has only had approx. 6 lung infections in his life, he is a black belt in tae kwon do and he LOVES girls. lol He is 5’9″ tall and is 145lbs. He does weight lifting in school and one of the most amazing things for a CF kid is he’s NEVER had to be hospitalized because of his CF. I think a lot about that doctor that told us about the alternatives we could of done and what life would be like if we had listened to him, I cry when I think of that. I would LOVE to introduce him to our son and to show him just how special our little Baconbit is.

    • Nancy

      Thank you for sharing your story!

  • Lilian Stoltzfus

    You were blunt and caring at the same time, Nancy. Good work.

  • Amy D

    As an adult with CF, I can attest to the fact that my fellow “CFers” are some of the most amazing, talented, driven, compassionate, and inspiring people you will ever meet. I am who I am because I have CF, and I wouldn’t change a thing. I was able to have a child, who I’m watching mature into a young woman, and I love life, even after a double lung transplant. I love life more than most, and Annie would have loved life and inspired many had she been allowed to live. I hope that anyone who finds out there unborn child has CF will read this Nancy. It is beautifully written and it says exactly what the CF community is thinking. God Bless your daughter. Like most people with CF, she is beautiful, and I know she will do great things with her life.

  • Sara Johnson

    This a thought out and well written article. I am so glad someone was able to articulate what I was thinking.

    I want to add that parents considering having children should both be tested BEFORE they decided to try to have kids so that situations like this can be avoided in the first place. If you know that you’re both carriers beforehand (for CF or other mutations/diseases) then at least you can prepare for the scenario where your child might have CF. If parents are not willing to take that risk, then at least there are other options (like adoption) where they don’t have to conceive naturally. In my opinion, genetic testing should be mandatory but I see how hard that would be to implement.

    - 23 year old Cyster

  • Kasey Rose

    My name is Kasey, and I have Cystic Fibrosis, and I am a #CFWARRIOR. I’ve read the deeply honest article posted by Addie Morfoot.http://www.salon.com/2013/10/08/our_impossible_parenting_choice/, and I’ve read Nancy Flander’s very honest rebuttal. Both make me quite sad. I was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis when I was 18-months old and as I sit and respond to these articles today, I can happily report I’m a thriving, “healthy” 30-year old. I have carried CF with me throughout my life, never allowing it to slow me down, but always being a little cautious because of it. I graduated high school, went to the University of Central Florida where I received my Bachelors Degree in Sociology, I work full-time at a Law Firm, I own my own home and I will be celebrating my 16th Transplant Anniversary this November.

    I think it is incredibly unfair of anyone to say what they would do, going into a situation, knowing your child could be sick…and knowing you have the ability to prevent it. For some that prevention may be abortion (and that is not to say I am pro abortion..it’s to say, I am pro people making a decision that works for them, and their heart and personal ability). For some, that’s taking life by the horns and playing the hand you were dealt to it’s entirety. Of course I was outraged when I first read of Addie’s decision, but that’s only because I’m a thriving, happy adult who also happens to have the genetic disease she speaks of (and sadly knows very little about). Anyone who googles: Cystic Fibrosis would be horrified at the literature that’s out there…I know I am. My fate would have been decided long ago had I believed what I read…but, someone who doesn’t know any better…who is trying to make the ultimate decision/sacrifice, it’s devastating. Why berate their family for a decision they can’t “undo.” Does it make any of us feel any better? It certainly doesn’t make me feel any better…if anything, it makes me sad. It makes me want a cure that much more.

    The bottom line is, it’s sad there is so little out there about this disease that someone has to go online to learn about it. It’s sad that we, as a whole, judge anyone for making a decision that we all have to know is not an easy one to make (no matter whether we agree or not), and it’s sad that we’re making this woman feel worse about something that she knew so little about–that she made this decision. What this should encourage is more fundraising, and more awareness for a genetic disease that is so unfamiliar to those outside of the CF Community that they choose abortion.

    If you’re interested in reading about my transplant, feel free to visit: http://news.ufl.edu/1997/12/10/transpla/.

    Take Care.
    Kasey Rose Barger #CFWARRIOR

    • Angelhollow

      Kasey, I think yours is the best and kindest of responses. We really can’t criticize the journey of another family because we don’t know all the facts and certainly must take into account that it isn’t our decision to make. I have a daughter with cf and wouldn’t trade her for anything but I can see where people reading online would be terrified to have a baby just to put them through lots of painful medical procedures.

    • Nancy Flanders

      Thanks Kasey! I didn’t mean to judge her. I just get fired up when it comes to CF. And to me it seems that she really didn’t want to abort but thought it was her only option and didn’t take the opportunity given to her to actually meet a person with CF and learn about it. A “choice” isn’t really a choice when a person thinks it’s the only choice they have. I don’t want other parents to find out their unborn child has CF, read Addie’s post and start to think they should abort too. Breaks my heart that so many children with CF are aborted.

    • Tullia_Ciceronis

      What if the decision some families make is infanticide? Would your response be the same? After all, some bioethicists don’t believe that infants are persons and euthanizing infants with disabilities is legal in the Netherlands….who are you to judge families that choose infanticide? That is the problem with your argument…

    • Amy

      Kasey,
      I agree with a lot of what you say. Yes, it probably doesn’t help for people, pro-life or otherwise, to heckle someone who’s made a decision she already regrets. I believe the point of this article was to show other parents facing CF diagnoses that there was more regret to be had in aborting the baby than in raising him/her.
      I do have to say, though: this is a life or death issue. We (the pro-life side) can’t sit back and say nothing about this. You said you aren’t pro-life or pro-choice (though I would say that anyone who would support/be OK with a woman’s choice to abort is, in that moment, pro-choice), but based on science, ethics, and faith, we believe that abortion is killing. We consider it to be the worst form of child abuse, so trying to liken it to a sort of “mercy killing” doesn’t sit well with us.
      This is not to say we don’t understand that a CF diagnosis (or any other diagnosis) wouldn’t make someone desperate—we do understand. We just don’t believe that being desperate legitimizes someone’s death. We are sad that she was in this situation and that she didn’t make the right choice and that her daughter paid the price in the end.
      There will always be someone whose shoes we can’t walk in. I haven’t gotten married or pregnant yet, so by default I can’t understand what it’s like to get a devastating prenatal diagnosis. However, that doesn’t mean I can’t learn from others’ failures/successes and try to prevent as many people as I can from making their mistakes. We can be as kind as we can in how we approach this subject, but no matter how kind we are, sometimes the truth hurts. We have an obligation not to be up-tight, religious a**holes, but there is truth that needs to be shared somehow by someone.
      Best wishes!

      • Lilian Stoltzfus

        Well said, Amy. A compassionate response.

    • Ingrid Heimark

      If you have a unborn child with CF you can’t prevent the child from being sick, the child IS sick, the question is whether you kill the child or not…

  • Charise Richards

    Thank you! THANK YOU for writing this… Moms & Dads need to know… CF kids are AMAZING!!!

  • Lacey

    It was mostly beautiful, but also a little confrontational and judgey. I understand the intent was good, but some of the words come across wrong.

  • Samantha Gonzales

    Thank you for this! Well said.

  • Andrea Corbitt

    This is a great response.

    My heart was heavy as I read the original article. I’m the youngest of four kids with a mother and brother who both have CF. My mom will be 63 in December and my brother is 34 and one year post double lung transplant. I wouldn’t be here today if my grandmother had chosen to abort my mom, and I wouldn’t have been able to witness countless miracles if Mark weren’t around. What is life anymore? Because something isn’t ‘just right’ or the way we ‘think it should be’, we toss it out and just start over? When did that become standard?

    I have had the pleasure of meeting so many incredible people through CF networks and advances are being made every single day! Science is alive and well and little Annie missed her chance to be a part of something big…a cure isn’t far away.

    • Nancy Flanders

      Thank you. And her mom missed out on being a part of an amazing group of CF parents. Strongest people I know!

  • Elizabeth Russell Melvin

    Our Zion has CF, and is one of the greatest blessings that we could ever ask for. just because a child has a disease or disorder is no reason to dispose of them as you would a bag of trash. born or unborn, these are human beings. and one more thing… GOD DOESN’T MAKE JUNK.

  • danae

    this is an amazing response. I myself have CF and was also told i wouldn’t live to be 18. Tests like that are good for preparation but bad for results like this. I cannot imagine EVER aborting a child because you think that they have an illness such as cystic fibrosis. I am 24 years old and have two beautiful boys that are CF free. I would never ever abort a child if i knew they were going to have cf or anything else. I am extremely healthy and have worked full time since i was 18 years of age as well as obtained a bachelors degree while working full time and having two beautiful children. People are so uneducated about CF and how it effects every single person differently. No matter what this person says it is a matter of them killing the child. And to think she got pregnant 4 months later. This will haunt her the rest of her life if she is by any means a person of any type of moral belief.

    • Lilian Stoltzfus

      A lot of people have misconceptions about a lot of diseases/disorders. :-/ Sad to think that some children lose their lives because of such misconception and fear.

  • Cam

    I am a woman with cystic fibrosis and this article does not represent me or my opinions. Ms. Flanders, you may think you are standing up for all people with CF but you are not.

    Personally, I find nothing wrong with a woman who chose to abort a fetus that had two copies of the CF gene because she didn’t have the emotional (or perhaps even financial) capability to give a child with CF a good life. Overlooking her questionable rationalizations about not wanting her child to suffer, and considering her complete ignorance about the illness, it was obvious that she would not as a parent be able to handle a child with CF.

    In light of this, your attempt to shame this woman for her medical procedure is sickening. Someone who stands up for actual, live persons with CF would stand up for the right to make medical decisions such as the decision to have an abortion. I would hope that if I so decided to, I would be able to access this medical procedure for health reasons, but you are arguing against this ability.

    Ms. Flanders, you are not standing up for my rights and you do not speak for me.

    • ldwendy

      There is another option . . . adoption. If she did not have the emotional or financial capability to give a child with CF a good life, I would venture to guess that there are parents who may have the experience and be willing to adopt a baby with CF. Remember, Annie is almost 22 weeks old when Addie’s pregnancy was terminated.

      If I had been in Addie’s situation, I would have looked for an experienced, loving couple to raise Annie first before considering the idea of terminating my pregnancy.

      • prr79

        right!! because there are not hundreds of thousands of children in orphanages in America right now. just saying…

        • Marauder

          No, there aren’t hundreds of thousands of children in orphanages in America right now. I’m not even sure how many orphanages still exist in the US. As for children in foster care, many of them are not available for adoption. There are long lists of people waiting to adopt children, including children with disabilities.

          • AudreyPH

            plus people waiting to be chosen to adopt a child in a private adoption. (this can happen at any time, depending on how soon they are chosen by a biological mother)

        • AudreyPH

          There are no orphanages in America anymore, and most of the children in foster care (most of whom are not even available for adoption because their biological family has not signed away their rights) were not given up at birth but taken out of bad home situations years later.

          • ThePaganProLifer

            I say we kill all children in foster homes…. Y’know because their lives aren’t perfect.

    • Nancy Flanders

      I wasn’t trying to speak for you. And no, I’m not standing up for your rights because you were allowed to be born. Your life has value to someone. I was speaking for unborn children with CF who are never given the chance to speak for themselves. They are never given the chance to prove themselves. Also, this women didn’t do any research about CF. She made the decision to abort based on her OB’s info – which was very outdated. And I wasn’t shaming the woman… she was doing enough of that herself and I was simply making the point that if she feels so bad about it, perhaps she shouldn’t be telling other parents to do it too.

    • Marauder

      Annie was an actual, live person, She was growing and developing, and she wasn’t dead or non-human or hypothetical. She was just at an earlier stage of development than a born child. The “medical procedure” you’re talking about ended her life.

    • Nancy

      You’re right. I am not standing up for your rights. You were allowed to be born. And I know I don’t speak for the whole CF community. I am speaking for myself and my daughter. I am not attempting to shame anyone. I’m just asking her to please stop pretending she made the right decision. If it was the right decision she wouldn’t have to keep convincing herself of that. And therefore, she shouldn’t be encouraging other people to abort their babies because of CF. She made her “medical decision” without consulting any CF experts. And yes, I am arguing against the ability to abort babies – any babies – because it is never necessary and always wrong.

    • Tullia_Ciceronis

      If a fetus isn’t a living human being, what is it? A rock? Fetuses have beating hearts, brain waves, and take in oxygen and excrete carbon dioxide through their umbilical cords. If a fetus isn’t living because it depends upon its mother for survivial, then using the same logic conjoined twins who can’t be separated aren’t alive. If a fetus isn’t alive because it isn’t conscious, then sleeping persons aren’t alive and we should be allowed to kill them. Abortion is not simply a medical procedure. It is murder, and your defense of it is not only sickening, but bordering on the sociopathic.

  • prr79

    Amazing story! I have CF. I turned 34 year this week and when I was born in 1979 my mom was told i probably wouldnt live to the age of 19. So, i am a lucky one, however, when I was 19 my 23 year old best friend died of CF. It is heartbreaking and heart wrenching to think about or even live through. I am lucky enough to have a 7 year old son who does not have CF. My husband and I did our research first and had him tested to see if he was carrier before we decided to get pregnant. Had he been a carrier we simply would not have taken the risk and would have opted to not have children. My point is I am a lucky one. In my experience treatments and care only carry you so far, it really rolls in the severity of each case. I do understand why she chose to not have her baby, i understand because i live with it. I understand because i have lost many friends along the way from CF some younger, some a little older. Not everyone is cut out to mother a sick child. it is a quite the gamble to be told your child may die at 7 years or 37. how overwhelming that news must have been. I know girls who had abortions for no medical reason at all. as long as abortion is legal in our country, we will have to deal with it. you have made your decision and you cant go back now. dont dwell on it. live and learn find peace or forgiveness and move on. maybe sharing your experience will help other new mothers in similar situations make the best choices for themselves.

  • prr79

    Amazing story! I have CF. I turned 34 year this week and when I was born in 1979 my mom was told i probably wouldnt live to the age of 19. So, i am a lucky one, however, when I was 19 my 23 year old best friend died of CF. It is heartbreaking and heart wrenching to think about or even live through. I am lucky enough to have a 7 year old son who does not have CF. My husband and I did our research first and had him tested to see if he was carrier before we decided to get pregnant. Had he been a carrier we simply would not have taken the risk and would have opted to not have children. My point is I am a lucky one. In my experience treatments and care only carry you so far, it really rolls in the severity of each case. I do understand why she chose to not have her baby, i understand because i live with it. I understand because i have lost many friends along the way from CF some younger, some a little older. Not everyone is cut out to mother a sick child. it is a quite the gamble to be told your child may die at 7 years or 37. how overwhelming that news must have been. I know girls who had abortions for no medical reason at all. as long as abortion is legal in our country, we will have to deal with it. you have made your decision and you cant go back now. dont dwell on it. live and learn find peace or forgiveness and move on. maybe sharing your experience will help other new mothers in similar situations make the best choices for themselves.

  • politicaljules

    Beautiful.

    Abortion did not cure Annie of Cf. Annie’s life was ended but she still had Cf. And Annie’s mother wont be relieved of the burden of caring for a child who has Cf. Her burden will unfortunately be greater, and weigh more heavily that she believed. I am saddened that she thinks this will get easier. Because as the cure gets closer, it will only hurt worse. I am not perfect by any means, but I know this is going to hurt her more than she realizes. I hope she can forgive herself one day.

    • Ingrid Heimark

      I agree, you don’t cure a disease by killing the patient

  • JustMe

    Using phrases like “killing your baby” and condemning her the way you have makes you no better than her… I was so sad when I read the original article, because I know the truths about CF because I live with it everyday… The salon.com article made me realize we need more research and awareness about CF… But it in NO WAY would ever make me shame someone for their choices… This article was actually harder for me to read because the undertone of judgement in it… tsk tsk tsk…

    • Tullia_Ciceronis

      Well, if Addie didn’t kill her baby, what else did she do? How else would you describe what she did? What if Addie decided to kill her newborn infant with CF? Would you still say that we should not condemn her choices? After all, it is legal in the Netherlands…

    • Nancy

      tsk tsk tsk? huh… you didn’t read the undertone well. I mostly repeat what Addie herself says. I didn’t say anything she doesn’t already know and I told her it was okay and I told her that Annie forgives her. Speaking the truth does not mean I’m judging her.

  • Griffonn

    The sad thing is that if everyone aborted their CF kids, there would be no more progress…we would not learn how to cure diseases or solve problems. You do not overcome obstacles by simply killing off the people who present the obstacles.

    If we took this logic to its conclusion, only the “perfect” would be allowed to be born. We’d all look the same. We’d all be the same. There would be no defects, no deviance, just perfect people who never do anything interesting, never have any adventures, just lead perfect lives – whatever that means.

    Who gets to decide what “perfect” is? That is the ultimate in “choice”, I guess.

    • kev thomson

      no, that’s taking it to its hyperbolic conclusion. there’s a huge gray area between perfection and a fatal illness.

      • Griffonn

        Right, because we’re still expected to pretend there’s no such thing as a precedent slippery slope.

        And girls will never use abortion as a form of birth control.

        And abortion will be “safe, legal, and rare”.

        • Basset_Hound

          Legal is the only part that has been achieved. “Safe” or “rare”…not so much.

  • Amy Jackson

    Wow. Although I can relate to your perspective-actually better than you can relate to your perspective, as I am an almost (next month) 40 year old with CF, this article feels judgemental, passive aggressive, and mean spirited.
    Addie-my only prayer for you is peace and joy. God be with you and your family.

  • KANDACE SMITH

    I MUST SAY THIS IS AMAZING STORY SHES TELLING IT HOW IT IS IN THE NICEST WAY POSSIBLE. IM 23 WITH CF AND I WASNT SUPPOSED TO SEE MY 1ST BIRTHDAY DAY BUT A SHOCK TO THIS LADY THAT KILLED HER BABY. I JUST CELEBRATED MY TRIPLETS 3RD BIRTHDAY! AND I HAD THEM JUST LIKE ANYONE ELSE NATURALLY!! IM SO BLESSED TO HAVE BEEN HERE ALIVE AND HAD THESE BABIES AND I WAS TOLD WITH CF THAT I COULDNT CARRY THE BABYS AND IT WOULD BE BEST TO “TERMINATE”. SO I CANT BELIVE I HAVE BEEN THREW THIS WITH TRIPLETS THAT ARE HEALTHY! I HAVE CF AND THEY DONT. THANK U FOR WRITING THIS STORY

    • Lilian Stoltzfus

      Whoa! Natural triplets?? And non of them have CF?

      Kandace, that is amazing! That’s just so, so cool! What tremendous blessings God has given you!

      (You are probably passionate about this, but could you refrain from using all caps in the future? It seems like shouting and doesn’t become one’s Internet presence. It’s also a little hard to read.)

  • ProChoice

    Addie had to make the hardest decision of her life and is clearly having a hard enough time without you shaming her and telling her that what she chose to do with her body was incorrect.
    It’s great to be an advocate for what you believe in but you did not need to make this women the target of an anti-abortion article, especially when she is already struggling with her decision.

    • KWedel

      It’s not what Addie did to “her” body that we have a problem with. It’s what she did to Annie’s body that we find reprehensible. To have your baby dismembered and disemboweled and then to claim that you did the right thing is not only ridiculous but dangerous. Any women that read her story and find theirselves in her situation need to be told the truth not lies by a woman trying to soothe her soul after making a horrendous mistake.

  • Suzanne B

    Nancy you are amazing! Keep spreading the truth. Every child is a wonderful blessing from God, and to say we are sparing children by taking their life is an inconceivable concept!

  • little lyl

    I get it, but making another human beings hard, difficult decision THAT much harder…shame on you, shame on anybody who feels that the way they live THEIR life is the best way. I agree with what you say, but disagree with the maliscious way you attack another mother, another human being.

    • Mary Kochan

      When some thug makes the hard, difficult decision to invade your home, beat you, and steal your belongings, will you be understanding that just because you choose to live your life without engaging in home invasions, you have no right to shame them for their choice. After all that is how they choose to live THEIR life. Who are you to shame them and make their decision harder?

      • little lyl

        I hardly see how these two things are connected AT ALL. I was just trying to say that everybody has their own battles in their lives, and nobody knows but they. If I lived my life based on others’ opinions, it would not be MY life. Shame was a bad word to use, I agree.

        • Mary Kochan

          Well, you could see if you understood the concept of analogy. But let’s just stick with the question of whether you think home invasion is a lifestyle choice that you would condemn. Would you?

          • little lyl

            I get the ANALOGY, but it is a very POOR one. How can you compare a crook, who for some reason, feels that he/she NEEDS to break into somebody’s house to live/get his/her fix, to a pregnant mother who is only doing what she thinks is right for her…………I just do not think that it’s fair to compare these two situations. If a tiger killed and ate me, would my family shame him, or was he doing what he thought he needed to do…….CAMON!

          • Mary Kochan

            Ah, but you missed the part of the analogy where the home invasion crook made “the hard, difficult decision”. In fact the decision for the crook might have even been harder and more agonizing than the decision for the mother. Because the home invader has to consider that he might go to prison if he gets caught. He has to weigh the odds very carefully about whether he should kill you and risk more prison time or even the dp or whether he should risk letting you live to ID him. His decision is very hard! Certainly the mere fact that he had to make such a hard decision means that no one should judge him or shame him for what he decides. I am simply applying the exact same logic you used. (We can leave tigers — along with alligators, praying mantids, hyenas, and other animals — out of the discussion since they do not make decisions, but just act on instinct.)

          • little lyl

            Are you saying that the act was illegal or wrong….because again that is a matter of opinion, which we all have the right to. I am simply saying that every person has the right to choose how they want to live their life, and I find it very disappointing when one person feels that what they do, or how they live their life is the “right” way. The fact that you used a burglar/murderer to analogize an expectant mother faced with the hardest decision of her life, shows me that only your opinion matters. She is not a criminal.

          • Mary Kochan

            So right and wrong are merely matters of opinion? Then your home invader can assert that he has the right, in his own opinion, to come into your home, do bodily harm to you or even kill you and take whatever he wants from you, and really, you have no basis to argue the point, do you? After all that is how he chooses to live his life. I just want to be clear on what basis you say anything is wrong or right — and so far it seems that you don’t assert there is any basis.

            As for me, I don’t think my opinion of things matters at all. My opinion is not a moral basis for anything and I would never assert it was.

          • little lyl

            What I was “saying” is that if you think aborting is wrong, that’s your opinion. Comparing a pregnant mother who has to make the choice, to a “criminal” who might feel like they “have” to do the crime, is complete non sense. That is all I am trying to say. Please do not compare a mother who decides to abort her child to a criminal that does harm. CAMON

          • little lyl

            Can we just agree to disagree…..this was about a woman’s choice, a choice she has the LEGAL right to, and the fact that others’ felt it necessary to directly slam her in the face with their opinion. I was just trying to say that being negative towards a situation that had already happened, helps NOBODY. That is all…………

          • Mary Kochan

            little lyl, I am impressed that you are hanging in there with this conversation. I think that you would really like to apply reason to this. You are trying to do so and that is good. So let’s see how it goes forward.

            You have made some assertions that you want to back away from, haven’t you? For example, you no longer want to assert that simply because someone makes a “hard decision” that what they decide cannot be subjected to criticism, right? I think you also want to abandon the idea that a human mother deciding to abort her child is anything at all like a tiger catching a meal, right?

            See that is how things move forward. We cannot agree to disagree unless we know WHAT we disagree on. And what we agree on. So, do we agree that invading a person’s home and doing bodily harm to or killing him or her is wrong? Would making it legal make it right? Can you answer these questions, please.

          • Mary Kochan

            And byw, I did not, as you put it, “compare a mother who decides to abort her child to a criminal that does harm” in this discussion, at least NOT YET. ;-) Instead, I was trying to find out how committed you were to your original assertion that someone who makes a hard, difficult decision should not be criticized, or judged or shamed for the decision. I wanted to see if you thought that applied to all decisions.

          • Mary Kochan

            Well looks like little lyl may have decided not to engage anymore, which is a shame. But just to wrap this up, let’s take the analogy logically to a conclusion. I’m sure that little lyl would think (even if she called it “feel”) that if someone invaded her home and injured or killed her that a wrong had been done. That this is really and truly wrong, not just because it was against the law, but because it was WRONG. She might not be able to articulate why it is wrong, but she would know it was and know it truly.

            Suppose however, we found out what race or ethnic group or age group she belonged to and we changed the law so that protection against home invasion robbery did not apply to that class of people to whom she belongs. Would that make it right for someone to do it to her? I’m sure she would say no. In other words, the law can be wrong. Some things that are wrong should be illegal. But just because something is legal does not make it right. Slavery used to be legal.

            We all recognize the horror that home invasion robberies are. We understand that people have a right to be secure in their homes. Well, the womb is the home of the unborn baby and that baby deserves to be secure in that home. It is a horror and a great injustice that the security of the unborn in the womb is not protected by law. But the lack of legal protection does not make the lethal invasion of the womb less wrong. It is no less an act of murder than that contemplated in the home invasion robbery scenario above.

            The truly sad thing about this discussion between me and little lyl is that it demonstrates what happens to human minds that are simply not trained to reason with moral categories. I don’t think she is a “bad person” or even a “stupid person”. I think she would like to be able to think and reason. But it is as though the logical categories — a kind of mental filing system for ideas — has never been set up in her mind. She does not know how to make distinctions, so she relies on certain platitudes that appeal to her emotionally. Rather that honestly follow the ordered train of reasoning of an argument, she jumps around incoherently from one emotive statement to another. It isn’t just that this is what comes OUT of her; it is that this is what has gone INTO her. And it makes her completely vulnerable to lies because she doesn’t know HOW to sort things out, how to discern the truth of statements.

            What is the way to help people like her reach the fullness of human moral development, my friends? That is the issue of our day.

          • DianaG2

            WTG, Mary.

            You’re awesome!

          • Lilian Stoltzfus

            Mary! Please keep commenting on Live Action!

            As to your questions, asking good questions can get people to think about why they believe what they do. In the end, real spiritual knowledge can only come from God.

          • Mary Kochan

            Thank you Lilian. I will when I have a chance. If you and others would vote the starting part of this conversation up, maybe Disgus will stitch it together. It’s down near the bottom.

          • DianaG2

            No harm is done when she “decides to abort her child” then?

  • Carol Ann

    Beautifully written…. I hope she and many others read it.

  • Casey Troulias

    After reading both articles, I just had to write a response. I will say with Addie’s post, my heart broke for Annie. I immediately thought that Addie just took the easy way out. Maybe she didn’t want a sick child to ruin her image. Maybe she was too concerned about being perfect. I wish she could have learned more about CF. It isn’t called the “invisible disease” for nothing! Secondly, I cannot stress enough how much CF differs from each patient regardless of gene types. Both me and my sister have CF. She’s 27 and I am 20. Our doctors say we’re one of the best cases they have ever seen of the disease. It was all by chance that we turned out this way and Annie could have had the same fate as us. That’s what’s sad to me. She wasn’t even given the opportunity to live. After my sister was born and my parents found out she had CF, they didn’t give up on me. They still chose to have me when it would have been easy to say “Two sick kids would be too much”. I’m writing this just for the hope that any new parents to a CF kid or if there are some of you that are wanting to try but you know you’re carriers of the gene, don’t give up. I am so beyond blessed to have CF. Sure it’s a pain, but I would not be the person I am today without it. I’d be spending my days not being grateful for waking up the next morning and getting trashed at every opportunity. I wouldn’t have the compassion, understanding or appreciation that people my age couldn’t begin to understand. Thank you Nancy for standing up for us and spreading the word! We’re far from a burden. We’re gonna change this world.