Today is the 39th Anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade and since the legalization of abortion more than 50 million abortions have been done in the United States, 50 MILLION! About 23% of all pregnancies in the United States end in abortion. These statistics are disturbing but it should be noted that there are women who are taking a stand, a stand for their unborn babies.
In church this morning I found myself deeply moved when I read about the following women and I wanted to share their stories with you and I hope you find their stories to be an inspiration for all of us.
Gianna Francesca Beretta was born in Italy. She was the tenth of thirteen children in her family, only nine of whom survived to adulthood. In 1942, Gianna began her study of medicine in Milan. She received a medical diploma in 1949, and opened an office in Mesero, near her hometown of Magenta, where she specialized in pediatrics.
Gianna hoped to join her brother, a missionary priest in Brazil, where she intended to offer her medical expertise in gynecology to poor women. However, her chronic ill health made this impractical, and she continued her practice in Italy.
In December 1954, Gianna met Pietro Molla, an engineer who worked in her office, ten years older than she. They were officially engaged the following April, and they married in September 1955. They welcomed Pierluigi, in 1956, Mariolina, in 1957 and Laura, was born in 1959. Gianna suffered two miscarriages after this.
In 1961, Gianna was pregnant once again. During the second month, Gianna developed a fibroma on her uterus. After examination, the doctors gave her three choices: an abortion, a complete hysterectomy, or removal of only the fibroma. The Catholic Church forbids all direct abortion even when the woman’s life is in danger, Catholic teaching would have allowed her to undergo a hysterectomy, which would have resulted in her unborn child’s death as an unintended consequence.
“Abortion – that is, the directly intended termination of pregnancy before viability or the directly intended destruction of a viable fetus – is never permitted…Operations, treatments, and medications that have as their direct purpose the cure of a proportionately serious pathological condition of a pregnant woman are permitted when they cannot be safely postponed until the unborn child is viable, even if they will result in the death of the unborn child.” – The Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services (ERD) Directive 45
Gianna opted for the removal of the fibroma, wanting to preserve her child’s life.
After the operation, complications continued throughout her pregnancy. Gianna was quite clear about her wishes, expressing to her family, “This time it will be a difficult delivery, and they may have to save one or the other — I want them to save my baby.”
On April 21, 1962, Good Friday of that year, Gianna went to the hospital, where her fourth child, Gianna Emanuela, was successfully delivered via Caesarean section. However, Gianna continued to have severe pain, and died of septic peritonitis 7 days after the birth.
Gianna was beatifiied by Pope John Paul II on April 24, 1994, and officially canonized a saint on May 16, 2004. Gianna’s husband Pietro and their last child, Gianna, were present at the canonization ceremony.
“If you must choose between me and the baby, no hesitation; choose – and I demand it – the baby. Save her!” ( Gianna)
The migraines had started about a year before, when Jenni was a sophomore at Pocatello High School in Idaho. After doctors found a 2 centimeter mass on her brain from an MRI scan, she was diagnosed with stage three astrocytoma, a tumor that affects the brain and spinal cord. Doctors gave her a 30 percent chance of surviving two years with treatment.
Only weeks after Jenni was diagnosed with cancer, she found out she was 10 weeks pregnant. Doctors told her she had to terminate the pregnancy or stop treatment while pregnant for the safety of the baby. Jenni reportedly did not consider terminating the baby. She decided to forgo radiation and chemotherapy while pregnant.
“I guess we were just hoping that after she had the baby, she could go back on the chemotherapy and get better,” her mother, Diana Phillips, told the AP.
Her family documented the heartwrenching year through a series of YouTube videos appropriately titled, “Jenni’s Journey.”
“I don’t know how long this is going to last and I just want it to go away,” Jenni said in one of the videos uploaded on November 20, 2010.
The baby’s father, Jenni’s boyfriend, Nathan Wittman, will take care of Chad in Idaho, the AP reported.
Stacie Crimm received the best news of her life in March when she found out she was pregnant. Doctors have told the 41 year old that she would never have kids and was overwhelmed with the news. A few months into the pregnancy, in July, Stacie was diagnosed with neck and head cancer from a n CT scan given by her doctor that stemmed from having headaches and tremors.
When given the option to began chemotherapy the mother refused. She risked her health for the thought of a healthy baby. Throughout the term she was very concerned about her unborn daughter. She consistently sent over 150 text messages to her brother about her worries.
“I hope I live long enough to have this baby,” she commented on one text. “Bubba if anything happens to me, you take this child,” she also wrote.
Stacie Crimm passed out in the middle of August finding out that the tumors were wrapping around the stem of her brain. During so the babies heart rate began to drop severely. Stacy’s heart had stopped for an hour an a half. The doctors proceeded to resuscitate but decided to deliver the two pound baby. Dottie Mae Crimm survived the tragic ordeal. Last month was the first time she held her newborn baby. Three days later Stacie Crimm died leaving a dying wish behind- a beautiful baby girl. The miracle baby is now 5 pounds living with her uncle, wife and their four children.
Thank you to all the moms who have chosen life and if you are reading this you need to thank your mom too!
Tonight when you are kissing your children goodnight give them an extra long hug and think about the moms in this post and the ultimate sacrifice they made for their children. And think about the 50 million babies that have died all because here in the United States women have a choice, not a gift or a blessing, but a choice. And pray.