Today I want to share with you a letter that a friend of mine, Lynn Smith, wrote to the Post & Courier. It is an incredibly well-written article on this subject and was also picked up and mentioned in a national publication.
Lynn Smith, R.N.
As a health care professional, I understand the concerns about recently passed legislation known as the Pain Capable Unborn Protection Act. I would encourage the public and health care professionals to consider these things:
When faced with a fetal anomaly incompatible with life, 75 percent of parents choose perinatal hospice. When assisted suicide and euthanasia were legalized in the Netherlands, doctors lost the concept of options for end-of-life care, except for euthanasia. Killing is not medical care. When assisted suicide and euthanasia were legalized in the Netherlands, patients began to fear their doctors, and began to avoid and delay seeing doctors for health concerns.
We do not eliminate suffering by eliminating those who suffer. Pre-emptive termination of babies with fetal anomalies is sending a message of hopelessness to those whose bodies or minds are imperfect. Studies from countries with socialized medicine (where citizens have health records that span the lifetime) have shown that up to 18 percent of women who choose abortion suffer with diagnosable post-traumatic stress disorder.
In the United States we have a mobile population, doctor shopping and incomplete patient recall (many post abortive women do not remember having had an abortion because the event was so traumatic), so we do not have accurate follow-up of abortion care. The CDC fails to give an accurate picture of the physical or emotional effects of abortion.
Many healing programs are available for anyone who has been involved in choosing or performing abortions. Abortion is not an unforgiveable sin, but it is an unnecessary option that has been sold as medical care. Real compassion is suffering along with people, not telling them that their condition is undignified, or that their lives are somehow less valuable.
When doctors initiate the death of a patient, it denies the person the only remaining possession that they have: time. Time for seeking and allowing forgiveness, time for showing love and support, and time for saying goodbye, assured of their value as a human being. Please give life a chance.
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