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Wondering Whether to Abort a Child Diagnosed With a Fatal Medical Problem

pregnant woman making heart with hands
Should I have an abortion if my baby is likely to be born with a serious – potentially fatal – medical condition?

My doctor is sure that my baby will be born with a serious and potentially fatal medical condition – and recommends an abortion. But I don’t know what to do. I’m devastated and overwhelmed.


ANSWER:

Our hearts go out to you. There are no easy answers to the agonizing questions you’re facing as a result of this diagnosis. Immediate termination of a pregnancy is the solution most often recommended to women in your situation, but there are other choices!

Don’t panic

The question you face involves two precious human lives: your baby’s and your own. There’s too much at stake to jump to quick conclusions.

Slow down. Take a deep breath. Remind yourself that you have the time needed to consider your options and do what needs to be done.

Get a second opinion about your baby’s diagnosis

From our perspective, probably the most important thing you can do is to get a second opinion – preferably from a doctor with strong pro-life convictions.

Take a family member or a close friend with you. Ask hard questions, and don’t be intimidated by the doctor’s status as a medical professional.

Get answers to the questions that you want resolved. Remember, this is about your baby’s life and your own peace of mind.

Consider perinatal hospice care

Perinatal hospice care can make it possible for you to honor the life of your child by following your pregnancy through to its natural conclusion.

This approach involves a team of doctors, nurses, social workers, and counselors who will come alongside you and support you throughout the pregnancy and into the bereavement period.

We realize this is a painful and difficult decision. But we can also assure you that many moms and dads who’ve chosen this alternative have found deep peace and comfort in knowing that they did everything possible to uphold the value of life.

We’re here for you

Don’t hesitate to call Focus on the Family’s Counseling department at 1-855-771-HELP (4357). Our staff will be glad to come alongside you in any way they can. (We also encourage you to consider the resources and referrals listed below.)

Most importantly, remember that God loves you with an incomprehensible love – and He cares deeply about the life of your child.

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