Our friends at Students for Life Ireland have been running a great series of blog posts for awhile now. In each post a different young person explains why they oppose abortion.
Several authors talked about the lives of their siblings with life limiting conditions who died shortly after they were born. We are posting links to these stories here.
On November 2nd, John Paul Jr. was born, and for the 17 minutes that he lived he was surrounded by family that loved him. I got to hold my little brother. I can’t really describe how I felt, except to say that every part of me said “….Yes! Thank you!” And even though I still feel the pain of that loss, that moment where I got to hold my only brother meant worlds to me. The fact that his life was so short made me appreciate life even more, because even though he only lived 17 minutes we were still able to give him a life full of love, and I wish it could have been longer.
So growing up, Mum would use that story on behalf of the Pro Life Campaign, but that didn’t really mean much to me. I was *extremely* proud of her for sharing her story and her pain for what she believed, but I didn’t really feel much for the movement. But when I heard that in the UK 90% of babies diagnosed with down syndrome pre-natally are aborted, I got really upset. I remember thinking to myself “If only they knew what it’s like to hold them. To know that they are my blood, my family, and that there’s beauty in this person’s life like I did when John Paul Jr. was born, then they wouldn’t do this.”
That thought just started to grow and it became my reason for being pro-life, because every life matters, and you just can’t judge a life and decide this person won’t live. No matter how short this life is, no matter how much pain it will bring you, there will be love and joy too, which even in tiny quantities completely outweighs the pain and loss.”
When I was eleven years old, my mom was pregnant with my baby brother. With four sisters and one brother, I was so excited to meet our newest addition. Baby Brian was born on the 6th March 2010. He was born with Edwards Syndrome, also known as Trisomy 18, and he lived for a few precious hours.
I remember being in that hospital room with my parents and siblings, each of us holding our brother while we could. I remember telling myself that I would do anything if he would live. I tried my best to will the life back into him but it wasn’t to be. There’s no way to describe the loss we felt as a family but there’s also no way to describe the love we felt. Baby Brian didn’t live long, but for the time he was alive he was loved more than anyone else on this planet!
On the 6th of April 2011 at 3 a.m., my brother Jimmy was born. It was a premature birth – 6 months. At 6 a.m., he left us. Those 3 hours were gold. Jimmy was baptised, Jimmy was held by my mum and dad, Jimmy was loved and was never alone or felt lonely. His life was meaningful.
Unfortunately, I never got to meet him during those 4 hours, nor did the rest of my siblings. We never made it in time to the hospital. We did, however, get to feel him kick and move in the earlier stages of the pregnancy. Whenever mum felt him moving, she’d motion me or whomever was around to come close and lay our hands on her tummy. We would then feel Jimmy, full of life! Probably excited to hear music playing or reacting to the voices – and squeaks! – of his older brothers and sisters arriving home after a long day at school. He was so full of life!
After his passing, we gave him a funeral, and a burial. I can still recall the church at full capacity. People at the back, standing, and at the church’s entrance, as there were not enough pews and chairs to hold the crowd. It was hard to conceive the impact of my brother’s life and my mum’s bravery on so many people’s lives. His life was a source of inspiration.
Unfortunately, the right to life of babies like Jimmy no longer exists in our constitution. It is overlooked. The Yes campaign blindfolded Irish people with unfounded propaganda, making no reference to the child’s humanity and dignity or the women who regret their abortions. Since when do the rights of one individual strip the rights of another? Is it because they are defenseless human beings? Is that how low their pretext for abortion was? I find it appalling.
What’s even more distressing is the lack of aid directed toward perinatal hospice care. Our taxes can fund abortions but cannot help women that want to carry on with their pregnancies and give their child the dignity he or she deserves. We are better than this, Ireland is better than abortion.