Radical abortion laws in Virginia and New York make up most of the daily outrage and news coverage across the nation. It, again, leaves many people at odds. As a mother, I can say that not a single woman I know would wait until right before she’s due to decide on an abortion. Even if the child suffered from serious physical maladies and was “graced” with the medical term of “incompatible with life.”
For the sake of clarity, I know women who received such news about their unborn child during an ultrasound or prenatal testing. Mothers who elect to carry the child to term bring the child into the world. They do not change their mind during labor. Mothers who choose an abortion because of a diagnosis do so through an agonizing process both mentally and physically; and they do it shortly after the initial diagnosis or confirmation diagnosis. Again, I state: it is not a decision any mother makes for their own comfort and well-being. And, again, I state: mothers do not wait until just days before they’re due and decide to abort.
While I can certainly understand the shock as well as disgust at the idea that such a late term abortion would take place, I must point out a larger issue.
Will We Ever Hold Health Insurance Companies Responsible?
Babies born into the world with serious physical defects (including brain malformations) need a host of intensive medical support. Ventilators, feeding tubes, shunts in the brain, open heart surgery, brain surgery, special therapies, medications. The list could very well continue. I have friends who are the parents of a child with LGS, cerebral palsy, and autism. I have an acquaintance who has a son with trisonomy 18.
Disorders such as LGS (and other forms of epilepsy) aren’t diagnosed while the mother is pregnant. Trisonomy 18 (as well as other trisonomy disorders) are often diagnosed during the pregnancy. And parents who choose life are set to face an entirely different battle on behalf of their child.
That battle isn’t just with life, either. It’s with the health insurance company…even state insurance. How would you feel if your little one was denied the equipment they need to have an adequate life for their diagnosis was denied because someone at a health insurance company (someone without a medical degree, by the way) said your child is “incompatible with life?”
How would you feel if the insurance company routinely denied the medication(s) your child needs to live because they say it is too expensive and want your child to do step therapy? Step therapy means they want your child to try and fail on other drugs before they agree to the med(s) you know work for your little one. They put your child’s life at risk for money.
Will We Ever Focus on the the Entire Issue?
So, my question to you, readers, is when will we stop focusing on issues that very rarely happen and focus on health insurance companies who are more concerned with their pocketbook than the very babies we’re all hoping are born into the world?
Only when we begin to take on these larger issues so that parents of children with special needs can get the help and medical attention without jumping through hoops or being denied by people without a medical background will we stop this nonsense.
Only when we begin to drop the circular logic of “Don’t have them if you can’t take care of them” and “How dare you have an abortion when there are people willing to adopt!” will we ever begin to find solutions that minimize abortion and promote a life well lived for both parents and children.
Only when we quit complaining about sex ed and birth control options for free or sliding scale fees will we see a more permanent drop to unwanted pregnancies (outside of rape and incest).
Only when we start providing mothers (and fathers) with the support they truly need both physically and mentally will we begin to see improvement.
We can start by supporting our friends and families who have children. We can start by talking with our representatives about the travesty of how health insurance companies treat families that need these life saving and life improving devices and medications.
Addressing one side of the problem doesn’t solve the entire issue, does it?