Sunday, March 11, 2007

The Cost of Inconvenience

I was recently visiting an Orthodox Christian message board when I came across a news article someone had posted. The article was about a 45 year old woman from Boston named Jennifer Raper who is suing two doctors for "wrongful birth". Yes, you read that correctly. She is suing over a failed abortion. The article can be found here, though this particular article is abbreviated and does not mention the fact that Ms. Raper gave birth to a healthy baby.

There are so many things wrong with this story that I can scarcely begin to cover them all. First of all, let's look at the miraculous conception and birth of a healthy baby girl whom someone had attempted to destroy in utero. The chances of conception for younger women (aged 20-30) in any given cycle are only 1 in 4, and chances for miscarriage are also 1 in 4. For a woman over 40, the odds of conceiving are much lower (7.8%) and the rate of miscarriage climbs to 50%. From these statistics we can already see that, while all conceptions and births are miraculous, it is especially so in a woman of age 45. On top of the very poor odds for women of this age, consider the fact the the baby survived an abortion attempt unscathed. I can't find any better word to describe this than miraculous.

Sadly, Ms. Raper does not see this as miraculous at all. As a matter of fact, she is so distraught over the "wrongful birth" of her daughter that she is suing for the cost of raising her. Tell me, what price does one set for the life of a child? How do we calculate the cost of inconvenience? The fact that a court will have to consider this question is terrifying proof of what has become of our self-absorbed society. We have become so lost in ourselves that we have lost the ability to see the miraculous, and even the value of human life is measured in convenience.

Lord, have mercy.+

- E.

1 comment:

les said...

It will be interesting indeed to see what the court does with this, if the case even gets that far.

A little at a time, in case law in the U.S. there are precedents being set, such as the pain of the fetus being established in court. This case will be a logical difficulty for the judge, because to tie together the cost of child-care to a failed abortion brings, under the law, the welfare of a child closer and closer to predating live birth.
At the same time there is something chilling about a mother who can look at her own child and regard that person as a failed abortion.
Indeed, Lord have mercy.