A couple from Ireland have given birth to a healthy baby boy after being repeatedly pressured by doctors and hospital staff to abort their child who was incorrectly diagnosed in the womb with severe and fatal fetal disabilities. The parents’ persistence in the face of such trial shows the power of faith in God in a society that is seeking to devalue life in the womb and encourage the killing of the unborn.
According to reports:
Melanie and Damien Sheenan talk about the immense pressure they were put under to have an abortion in this week’s ‘Choose Life’ story.
The couple from Northern Ireland chose to keep baby Joshua – now nearly a year old and doing well – after doctors made what was eventually shown to be an incorrect diagnosis of fatal foetal abnormality.
Devastated by the prognosis, they were then made to feel they were doing something “terribly wrong” by choosing life for their son. (source).
20 weeks into her pregnancy, Melanie Sheenan was told that her baby’s spine and brain had not developed. From that point, the doctors and medical staff tending to the pregnant mother that her baby would not survive the pregnancy and that even if he would have no “quality of life”. She was then repeatedly pressured to allow the medical staff to kill her child via abortion.
“I had phone calls to my mobile and my house phone to tell me how many days, weeks that I had left till my 24-week cut-off [to have an abortion],” Melanie Sheenan said. “Whenever we went to appointments, the nurse in charge of the consultant would introduce us as ‘the couple who was continuing with the pregnancy against medical advice.’ We were made to feel that we were doing something terribly wrong by wanting to keep our baby.”
Her husband, Damien concurred that the pressure was intense to abort their baby. “They thought that it probably wouldn’t be right to bring him into the world,” he said, “so that’s when they suggested the abortion to us.”
The pressure and outright shaming of a couple who only wanted their baby to live is becoming more commonplace in Ireland as the Northern Irish government seeks to make abortions legal where the child suffers from diagnosed “fetal abnormalities.” At present an abortion is legal in Ireland only if the mother’s life is in jeopardy or she is at risk of severe physical or mental health injury. The Irish government is also considering expanding abortion for cases of sexual assault or incest.
“The Doctor’s Diagnosis Was Completely Inaccurate”
After months of ignoring the doctor’s pressure and refusing to have an abortion, the Sheenans gave birth to Joshua, a healthy baby boy. It turned out that the doctor’s diagnosis of fetal abnormalities was incorrect. The couple, expecting a disabled child, were even more overjoyed to see that the child proved to be heatlhy.
The Bible And Abortion – Life Is Formed In The Womb
“For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.” (Psalm 139)
The Bible is clear from the very first birth in human history that life begins at conception:
And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the Lord. – Genesis 4:1.
And Isaac intreated the Lord for his wife, because she was barren: and the Lord was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived. – Genesis 25:21.
And the woman conceived, and bare a son: and when she saw him that he was a goodly child, she hid him three months. – Exodus 2:2.
God also reveals through the Bible that not only does He create life in the womb, He knows who we are even prior to the time we are conceived:
Then the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. – Jeremiah 1:4-5.
As society moves away from God and the Bible, the sinful push to dehumanize unborn children and thus justify killing them has only increased. Today, in most nations, abortions are commonplace, acceptable and even encouraged as an exercise of “women’s rights.” By deceitfully framing the killing of a child as a “right” a woman should have because it concerns “her body” many millions have been seduced to support the abortion movement. This goes directly against the Word of God that values all human life as precious because all people are made in God’s image.
Because of sin, that once pristine image has become corrupted. And as a result we have the pain, suffering, illness and death that exists in the world today. It is devastating news for a pregnant couple to hear that their child has severe disabilities and will a life full of medical challenges or a short lifespan. This is a truly tragic event for an expecting mother. Many people, born again Christians included, will deal with the same diagnosis, challenges and pressures the Sheenans went through with their child. But to conclude that because of this the killing of a potentially disabled baby is justified is not “mercy” – it is murder. The abortion movement argues that “quality of life” should be the determining factor and if a child is going to be “hampered” by severe disabilities, then it should be killed. But by that logic – why stop with the unborn? What if a one-year old baby suffers a tragic accident and now requires constant medical attention? Can the parents now request the baby be euthanized since her “quality of life” has been so diminished? This may sound extreme but this is precisely where society is headed as the “right to die” movement is also gaining popularity.
Thank God For Life
If you are a Christian, give praise to God for the healthy baby Joshua and for the faith of his parents to stand by Biblical principles, regardless of the outcome. “Even if mothers get hours, days or weeks with their baby, they say that it is the most precious time,” Melanie stated. “And in our circumstance, the doctors’ diagnosis was completely incorrect. … And if we would have went with the doctors’ diagnosis, he wouldn’t be here today.”
Pray more women and men begin to value life as God does. And for those women who have had abortions (and the men who stood by their side as they did so), pray that they will repent of their sins and know that Jesus Christ willingly gave His life so that even the killing of an unborn child can be forgiven. God cares about all life and not only wants unborn babies to live but for all people to value eternal life, believe in Jesus Christ and receive free forgiveness as children of one Father: The Lord in Heaven.