by Brittany Stohlton
Our day-to-day actions are preceded by choices, and those choice-based actions are always followed by consequences. Each day in the news there are reports of child abuse, abandonment and death. When the life of a child is at stake, parents, doctors and child experts do everything in their power to protect and improve that child’s life. A tragic irony is the acceptance of a woman’s choice to abort her child simply because she is “not ready to be a parent,” her finances are unstable, or one of the worst excuses yet, as a method of birth control. We must ask ourselves if those reasons or justifications take precedence over saving the lives of innocent children.
Losing a Child
After giving birth one year ago to my son, Adam, holding him in my arms for the first time was one of the most magical experiences of my life. He was small, having been born 3 weeks early—but absolutely perfect! As I have watched him grow and develop, I am in awe as to how much I love him. Because my husband and I have experienced such joy from having this little boy in our lives, we wanted to add another child to our family.
When my most recent pregnancy test came out positive, I was so excited, and came up with a brilliant way to announce the good news to family and friends. I didn’t even tell my husband about the pregnancy, because I wanted it to be a big surprise for him as well. The day before the announcement, I awoke at 1 a.m. to some spontaneous bleeding and pain that swept through my entire body. My husband awoke, sensing that something was wrong. Thoughts raced through my mind, “Things weren’t supposed to happen this way. It was going to be such a great surprise…how could this be happening?”
I saw the look of confusion on my husband’s face as I told him I was pregnant but feared I was losing the baby. The blood continued for a while, then slowed. I tossed and turned the rest of the night, hoping and praying that my unborn child would be okay. Later that morning I was able to schedule an appointment to see the doctor for that afternoon. My anxiety mounted throughout the day only to have my worst fears confirmed: my precious unborn child was dead, and there was nothing that I could do, or could have done, to stop it. The heartache, pain, and grief that I felt held me back from finding joy in day-to-day activity. Not only are the thoughts and emotions that I have felt enough to rip my soul apart, but the physical pain has been nearly unbearable. Knowing and feeling each contraction of pain, and thinking about how I had lost that child, was a constant reminder of just how miserable things were.
Seeking support in a time of crisis is exactly what my husband and I needed to do. We contacted our parents and explained the situation to each of them. When they heard that we were expecting a child, the levels of excitement were heightened; however, the excitement turned into despair as they heard of the loss. We found comfort in knowing that each of us has a distinct purpose in life. Indeed, each child that is conceived has a purpose and should not be created or aborted by emotional, unprepared individuals.
As we shared the grief as a family, we couldn’t understand how any woman could choose to kill and dismember their unborn child, literally destroying a developing and functioning person—one that could bring joy and happiness.
Miscarriage vs Abortion
In our quest as a family to come to terms with the disaster that had just taken place we wanted to know what separated a miscarriage from an abortion. We came to understand that the difference between miscarriage and abortion is choice. In a miscarriage the mother does not have control over the situation. The body, in most cases, begins to naturally break down and expel the tissue of the fetus. The mother, therefore, is not choosing to end the child’s life. In the case of abortion, however, the mother has chosen to end the life of the child, undergoing an extensive medical procedure in which the doctor begins labor and delivers the baby piece by piece.
As we understood the difference between a miscarriage and abortion, we could still not come to terms with why people could do such a thing. On that note we began to seek out how frequently this procedure took place and how it affects a woman’s well-being. In our research we found that on an annual basis, 1.2 million American women choose to have their pregnancy terminated. This generally takes place within the first trimester, between weeks nine and twelve—the very weeks in which I miscarried my child. Not only is the life of the fetus terminated, but the mother is at an increased rate of death both during, and after, the procedure. The World Health Organization estimates that, worldwide, 68,000 women die per year from complications from “unsafe” abortions.
The psychological distress that I have felt upon miscarrying a child is within the norm for those who have experienced miscarriage. Would these feelings of distress also be present with those who have had an abortion? Looking at the population of women that have had abortions, we found that they were seven times more likely to commit suicide than women who had given birth. A survey revealed that 28.2 percent of post-abortive women had attempted suicide, and nearly half of those had attempted suicide two or more times. 
As disturbing as the truth may be, it is the reality in which we live. For those considering abortion, seek support from professionals and understand that the choices and actions you make affect more than just you as an individual. For the unborn children that were taken from this world because of the selfish entitlement of abortion, we feel heartache, pain, and grief to know that you never entered this world. You are wanted and you are loved. It is with deep regret that we will miss out on what you could have been. There will never be a moment that I forget about the child I lost. I wish more than anything that I could have held, or even just heard the heartbeat of my unborn baby.
 Abortion-Reasons Why Women Choose Abortion. (2005). Retrieved June 2, 2015, from http://www.webmd.com/women/tc/abortion-reasons-women-choose-abortion
 Abortion Risks and Procedures. (2003). Retrieved June 9, 2015, from http://www.midlandlifecenter.org/abortion-risksprocedures
 Pending Abortion, Unplanned/Crisis Pregnancy or Possible Pregnancy Information. (n.d.). Retrieved June 2, 2015, from http://www.afterabortion.com/crisis.html
 “Unsafe Abortion.” Global and regional estimates of the incidence of unsafe abortion and associated mortality in 2000. World Health Organization. (2004). http://unitedfamilies.org/downloads/Abortion_GuidetoFamilyIssues.pdf
 Durband, D. (2007). Abortion Deaths: Facts/Research. Guide to Family Issues, 36-37. http://unitedfamilies.org/downloads/Abortion_GuidetoFamilyIssues.pdf