Earlier this week, I met a lady named Sandeep. Sandeep said she was against abortion in all circumstances and then began to share her own story.
When Sandeep was expecting her second child, her baby was diagnosed with Down Syndrome. The medical staff told her she should have an abortion but Sandeep knew she couldn’t live with the guilt of having killed her child. Even the thought gave her nightmares.
“I knew it would be difficult to raise a child with Down Syndrome,” Sandeep said, “But I told the doctor I could not kill my daughter. I knew my god would help me.”
She recalled how hard it was to go to her prenatal appointments after the diagnosis, as the medical staff persisted in pressuring her to abort over the next eight months of her pregnancy. They made comments like, “This is what her face will look like” and, “She won’t have a good life.” Despite their words, Sandeep remained resolute in her determination to protect her pre-born daughter and love her no matter what.
The medical staff saw Sandeep’s daughter as a child who didn’t meet the standards.
This child would look different from those around her. This child may have a difficult life and be less capable. They thought those differences justified killing her.
You may not have Down Syndrome. I don’t. Yet both you and I look different from those around us. We each have a life to live and all of us will face challenges and enjoy blessings; what those are vary widely. In addition to those things, we each have unique strengths and weaknesses.
There are a lot of differences between you and I. There are a lot of differences between you and a child who has been diagnosed with Down Syndrome. But do any of those differences justify ending someone’s life?
Is it what we can do which gives us value or who we are?
When Sandeep saw her pre-born child, she saw a little girl who she was determined to love and protect, no matter what. I’m so thankful she did!
Sandeep’s daughter, Reet, was born as a healthy 9lb baby. The diagnosis turned out to be wrong and she did not have Down Syndrome nor any other health complications.
Reet is now ten years old! She plays Tier 1 soccer on a local team and is an excellent student with good grades. Her teachers recently told Sandeep how much they love Reet, they are thankful for her kindness and compassion towards the other students in her school.
Had Sandeep given in to the pressure the medical professionals put on her to abort, I wouldn’t have heard Reet’s story nor had this opportunity to share it with you. I wouldn’t have met a mother whose face beamed with pride as she said, “I wish you could meet my daughter but she is out playing soccer right now.”
If Sandeep had chosen abortion, her family would be missing their daughter and sister. The students who go to the local school would be missing a kind and compassionate classmate. The world would be missing Reet.
The stories of many children, just like Reet, have not had such happy endings. How many will we rob of life with all the blessings and all the difficulties it holds?
*Sandeep shared her and Reet’s story with hopes that it would encourage others who are considering abortion due to a difficult diagnosis or difficulties of other kinds to choose life for their children.