Funeral for an aborted baby?

Avatar for mommytojoshua
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Funeral for an aborted baby?
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Thu, 04-03-2003 - 2:09pm
I was told a story recently about a friends sister-in-law, and it's haunting me in a way. I thought that you guys might like to discuss it.

The married couple has been trying to have a baby for a while. They're over 35. They finally conceived, but later learned that they were carrying a baby with Down's Syndrome. They decided have an abortion because the baby had Down's Syndrome. They then had a funeral for the fetus. I was told that the ceremony was very somber.

What do you guys think of this?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-21-2003
Thu, 04-03-2003 - 2:16pm
There are various reasons women have abortions. Birth defects is one of them. In this case, they really wanted a child, but did not have the resources (financial, emotional etc.) to care for one that had Down's. I don't think it is acceptable to say, you can't have a funeral for a baby you aborted/killed. They most certainly should grieve the child and a funeral is a way to do that.

Kim 

Mom to Brad, Ma

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 04-03-2003 - 2:42pm
Although I would feel very awkward at having a funeral for a fetus, each person grieves in their own way, so I'm not going to say that I have a problem with the concept.....it seems a bit odd though (but that's my opinion). I think that in a circumstance like that, I'd be mourning the lost pregnancy, more than the dead fetus. Lil
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 04-03-2003 - 7:50pm
I don't see it being any different than having a funeral for a stillborn baby. Why shouldn't that baby have a memorial? It was a wanted baby. A loved baby. I think the parents were appropriate in having a memorial/funeral for their baby...if anyone else felt odd/uncomfortable about it they didn't have to go.

Sue

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 04-04-2003 - 8:28am
I understand the feelings that must have been behind it, but not so much the rationale. I don't mean that to come across in a cold way, I understand funerals are not about rationale anyway, they really are about feelings, so . . . I don't know really how to comment on it.

What I keep thinking about in relation to this story is an experience I just happened to have this week. I ran into the most adorable little girl this week whose mother told me that she had Down's Syndrome, but that her particular condition was pretty mild compared to many children with DS. Her mom and I talked about it a good bit, and her mom just looked so proud of her daughter (as of course she should be, her daughter was just as sweet as she could be). Anyway, it makes me sad to think that little girl could have been aborted if her mother had had different emotions about giving birth to her b/c of her condition.

Avatar for lizmvr
Community Leader
Registered: 06-06-2001
Fri, 04-04-2003 - 1:17pm
I understand the funeral being about feelings, too, but I do feel sad that a couple would in some way encourage a ceremony for a death they caused. I would think that there would be some other more appropriately symbolic way to grieve the loss of hopes and dreams of a perfect child and pregnancy than a funeral for an aborted baby. It just seems odd that they would choose a funeral for a baby they decided to kill, no matter what the reasoning. Funerals, in my mind, seem to stand for celebrations of lives more than a way to deal with a loss of parents' future plans not even based on knowing the personality and character of the child who's died.

I also think it's incredibly sad that a child would be aborted because of DS. There are many couples who do want to adopt children with DS--there was a whole story on one of the Dateline type shows about this. I mentioned this before on this board and told of how the parents of the child who was found to have DS before birth were shocked that so many other people would want their child that they reexamined their own beliefs about children with DS and decided to keep their child and raise it themselves. I don't really think there's a way to know how severe DS is while the child is in utero, either, and I shudder to think that a child was just aborted on such unknown terms.

Just my $.02 . . .

Liz

Liz


Clinical Research Associate


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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sat, 04-05-2003 - 10:23am
Point made...and I'm humbled...nt
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Sun, 04-06-2003 - 10:04am
I totally agree -- they weren't grieving *this* child -- they were greiving themselves and what they thought they lost (a *perfect* child) -- not what they threw away (the child they had).

I agree with everything else too --- incredibly well said.

Ya know the *money resources* excuse slays me --- NONE of us are guaranteed our children born ~perfect~ will remain that way --- what do we do then? What if they get a disease? Have an accident ..... a birth defect is determined later? Can we afford their care then? Or do we smother them in their sleep?

Photobucket

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-04-2003
Sun, 04-06-2003 - 10:32am
I completely understand what you mean about the "lack of resources" excuse. So what if these people had had a "normal" child at birth and five years later that child got a serious illness? Let me tell you what would have happened? They would have found a way to come up with those "non-existent" resources! They would have found a way to cope!

As far as that (the lack of resources) being their excuse, I don't believe that either. I think the real reason was that, while they may have wanted a child "badly"(not as badly as they would have people believe obviously), the child God gave them just wasn't the child THEY had in mind, wasn't good enough for them. That child wasn't "wanted", a perfect child was. You don't get to pick out your children, people; this is not "duck-duck-goose"!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Sun, 04-06-2003 - 10:46am
I totally agree --- right this minute I am caught up in a situation where a friend who used invitro to get pg is trying to decide if her child is *good* enough to keep. Meanwhile the clock is ticking and he is getting older and bigger .....

Her concerns are that her marriage can not handle a special child nor can her finances, she fears bankruptcy.

Which I accept as being HER business but it is still painful to watch -- and a part of me (the part who knows she IS gonna abort) wants her to just go ahead and do it as I fear a PBA will be the result.

Photobucket

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-04-2003
Sun, 04-06-2003 - 11:06am
This is none of my business--but hell, when did that ever stop me? LOL

If she is so worried about the state of her marriage, what the hell is she doing having a child (in vitro!), anyway? I hope she wasn't expecting this "perfect" child to fix everything. Children ADD pressure to a marriage, they don't take it away...

Fortunately, PBA will be illegal soon. Thank God we have a president who isn't afraid to stand for something!


Edited 4/6/2003 11:09:45 AM ET by sherylann975

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