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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Shane: Anencephaly: to abort or not to abort...that is the question

As a student midwife in South Africa I was present at the deliveries of 2 anencephalic babies.

 It was not a pleasant experience as, in those days, we did not have ultra sound and so the mothers were not warned or had no choice to abort or not to abort as abortion was illegal and only carried out after two doctors gave the written opinion that the mother's life was in danger.

We were not allowed to feed the babies and I doubt that the mothers saw them but not 100% sure about the latter. I do remember tho' that both babies were alone when they quite soon after birth and the other a day or so after birth which caused a controversy as some of the students thought it was cruel to leave the child to die of thirst and so they gave it milk when it became apparent that it had a sucking reflex.

Nature often takes care of flawed foetuses through spontaneous miscarriages but if it does not it is not right for us to be judgemental. Abortion is legal in most countries today and so parents can choose to either destroy or nurture the life that has started growing.

 In an uncaring and selfish world where abortion has become an accepted option, I think it's wrong to condemn parents who want to meet the little life they have started and are prepared to make huge sacrifice to show love and caring for the little time they are allowed.

Shane: 'Bucket list baby' dies in mother's arms

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