Julia Alphonso

Julia Alphonso

Editor’s Note:Julia Alphonso of Father McGivney Catholic Academy, Markham, Ontariowon first prize in the Fr. Ted Essay contest sponsored by Niagara Region Right to Life. The contest asked participants to reflect on the statement:. You are a child in the prenatal stage of development. Are all the current biomedical/technological breakthroughs helpful in advancing your right to life as a preborn human being?

If only someone was there to hear and voice my thoughts, opinions, desires. I have not been born yet, but I am still here. I am an 18-week-old child, and though I do not have a name I hear everything going on outside my mother’s womb. A few days ago, my mother had an ultrasound and found out that I have a condition known as transposition of the great arteries, or TGA, which is where my heart’s aorta and pulmonary artery are switched. I heard my mother speaking with some of her friends about the situation; most of them say it would be better to abort me, while a couple of them told her otherwise. There is a very high chance of me dying either soon before, or soon after birth, which is why some of her friends say to “get rid” of me. The question is whether or not she loves me enough to keep me. There are some current biomedical/technological advances that can carry out either option that my mother’s friends suggested. As a child in the prenatal stage of development, I want to live. After all, it is my right as a human being to live, to breathe, and to experience the world outside of my mother’s womb. I am sure the vast majority of current biomedical/technological breakthroughs will help me to advance my right to life as a preborn human being. I want to be more than just a “fetus,” which is what some people call me. I already have it figured out that when a mother wants to have the child she is pregnant with, it is called “a baby.” When she plans to abort, it is called “a fetus” in order for her to dissociate herself emotionally from what she knows deep in her heart, to be a little human being – a cuddly, lovable baby that humanity coos and dotes on after birth.

Hearing the words “dilation and evacuation” make me tremble. If my mother chooses to do this, it would mean the abortionist – the one to kill me – would dismember me using forceps, and then pull me out of her womb piece by piece. Since I am stronger than I was 13 weeks ago, the abortionist could use digoxin, potassium chloride, saline or urea to kill me before crushing my head, letting my brain matter flow out, and dismembering me, ripping me away from my current home. She could also choose to get rid of me through surgical dilation and curettage. I heard that for this procedure, “the cervix is dilated with laminaria or rigid dilators; sometimes, the prostaglandin Misoprostol is also given to soften and dilate the cervix.” They would then insert a curved knife to cut me up and scrape me out. There are also the hysterotomy and hysterectomy procedures. Hysterotomy takes place when the abortionist would pull me out from the womb in a caesarean delivery, and then he or she would leave me out in the open to die. Hysterectomy involves removing my mother’s uterus altogether. These methods not only imply certain death for me, but provide extremely high chances of ending my mother’s life as well. These surgical procedures suggested to my mother are so terribly gruesome and horrific; they leave me no chance at advancing my right to life as a preborn human being. I am concerned not just for my own safety but also for that of my mother… Even though she might not want to take me to full term and have me, I love her and always will. I desire the opportunity to actually see her and be held and loved by her – for the chance to look into her eyes and for her to look into mine and see the unconditional love I have for her. This love I feel for her is in its purest form in my very soul that was put there by my Creator God – my Heavenly Father. I also have a Heavenly Mother and both desire me into existence. However, my parents, as co-creators with God, have to cooperate with Him by the choice they will finally make.

How I long to be welcomed into my mother’s open arms, and to see where life takes me! But sadly there are even more ways to end my life. Oh, my mother is speaking with someone about this right now – they are telling her about the abortion pill. Its use is the most common worldwide to prevent children like me from being born. Now this person is suggesting a few other methods; ones that are labour inducing. There are the saline, urea, and prostaglandin abortions, where my mother would be injected with a concentrated salt solution, urea, or prostaglandins into the amniotic sac in her abdomen. Now, this would not kill me quickly – apparently I would burn to death. What a way to die! Before making my way into the world, my right to life could end in an instant. Why are these people so against my mother letting me live? These biomedical breakthroughs will kill me if my mother chooses to use one of them.

I am hearing a new voice. Can it be? My father has returned home after working abroad for a while, and is overjoyed to hear of my being. He told my mother that no matter what the circumstances, they have to let me live – rich or poor, ill or healthy. He spoke with the two friends who encouraged my mother to keep me and he did some research on ways to do so with minimal risk. The methods he researched happen to be much more practical and not painful at all, while abortion is just the opposite. He found an article titled, “In-Utero Surgery gives Baby Sebastian Good Heart-Start in Life.” Baby Sebastian also had TGA, just like me, but having an in-utero surgery saved his life, and is celebrated as historic. This new biological/technological breakthrough would most definitely help me keep my right to life. Now all my mother has to do for me to grow healthy from here onward is to stay calm, mobile, and avoid labour induction.

I am now 20 weeks old, and with complete disregard to all those who suggested to terminate my mother’s pregnancy, my parents have finally chosen to let me live! They have done their research, spoken to friends and doctors, and have learned of all the different horrendous ways to end my life that I have described, as well as the effects abortion has not only on children, but also on parents. And so they have decided not to violate the intelligible human good of life by taking mine away. Again, I want to live, and experience the wondrous world outside the privacy of my mother’s womb. I am much more than just a “fetus.” I am a child, and I know that though there are many biological and technological breakthroughs that are destructive in advancing my right to life as a preborn human being, there are some like in-utero surgeries that will give memy God-given right to live for His glory and as a contributing member of humanity.