Analysis

Mother testifies she aborted her 22-week-old son ‘out of love’

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Last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee held hearings on the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Obama has promised to veto the bill if it ever reaches his desk, and it failed to pass the Senate last September. However, Senate Republicans have refused to give up the fight for preborn children, much to the consternation of pro-abortion extremists everywhere.

At the hearings, abortion survivors like Melissa Ohden testified about the need to protect these preborn children. After 20 weeks of pregnancy, these children are able to feel pain, and are often able to survive just a few short weeks later. Science alone should be enough reason for people to support a 20-week abortion ban, but too often ideology trumps science.

One of the people who testified was Christy Zink, a mother who had a late-term abortion at 22 weeks because her son had a birth defect. According to Zink and countless people like her, if you’re carrying a baby with any kind of disability, abortion is the better option. And in her testimony before the Senate, Zink made the horrific claim that she had the abortion out of love for her aborted son — and was testifying before the Senate to keep late-term abortions legal in his honor:

When I was 21 weeks pregnant, an MRI revealed that our baby was missing the central connecting structure of the two parts of his brain. A specialist diagnosed the baby with agenesis of the corpus callosum. What allows the brain to function as a whole was simply absent. But that wasn’t all. Part of the baby’s brain had failed to develop. Where the typical human brain presents a lovely, rounded symmetry, our baby had small, globular splotches. In effect, our baby was missing one side of his brain.

… If a 20-week ban had been passed before my pregnancy, I would have had to carry to term and give birth to a baby whom the doctors concurred had no chance of a life and would have experienced near-constant pain if he survived. His condition would require surgeries to remove more of what little brain matter he had, to diminish what would otherwise be a state of near-constant seizures. Wires, tubes, electricity, machines, scalpels, surgery, pain and more pain. My daughter’s life, too, would have been irrevocably hurt by an almost always-absent parent.

… The decision I made to have an abortion at almost 22 weeks was made out of love and to spare my son’s pain and suffering…. [T]he abortion care I received was safe, expert, gentle, and compassionate.

… It’s in honor of my son that I’m here today, speaking on his behalf. I am also fighting for all women, to have the same right to access safe, legal, high quality abortion care when we need to beyond 20 weeks—even for those women who could never imagine they’d have to make this choice.

What Zink had to experience was undoubtedly awful and tragic. It was likely the worst news she ever had heard, and ever will hear, in her entire life. But that does not mean the answer is abortion.

Zink speaks frequently about the desire to prevent her son from living in pain. But in her desire to save him from pain, she subjected him to the excruciating pain of abortion. By 20 weeks, these children feel pain as they are killed. After birth, Zink’s son would have been able to have pain medication and palliative care, but preborn babies get no such consideration.

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Zink also speaks about how the birth of a severely disabled child would have negatively impacted her daughter, but why? What her daughter would have witnessed was a mother who loved her child no matter what and was willing to fight for them. Zink could have modeled unconditional love for her daughter; instead, she showed her daughter that her love was very much conditional.

The abortion lobby promotes stories like Zink’s because they are, essentially, emotional blackmail. Who wants to look at someone like Zink, who is doing everything she can to tug on your heartstrings, and say that having an abortion is not the right choice? The abortion lobby will never want to let on the truth: that situations like Zink’s are very rare.

The reality is that most late-term abortions are performed for reasons of convenience, and not because there is anything medically wrong with either the mother or the baby. Only about 2% of abortions are performed because of a fetal abnormality. On top of that, most Americans don’t support late-term abortion. 7 in 10 Americans, including those who call themselves “pro-choice”, would ban abortion after the first trimester. And women support 20 week abortion bans in higher numbers than men do.

The abortion lobby chose Christy Zink to speak against this ban for a reason. Her tragic story is sure to touch people, and it makes people feel sympathetic towards her. It also obscures the facts about late-term abortions. It hides the scientific evidence and uses an extremely rare situation to hide the truth about the vast majority of late-term abortions.

Perhaps the worst part of Zink’s testimony was her brazen claim that her abortion was performed out of “love,” and that she would fight for more preborn children to die in her son’s name. That’s not love. It’s fear and ignorance that forces an innocent child to die a violent, painful death.

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