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"I was aborted at 7 1/2 months."

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Dec 03, 2005

In 1977, an unmarried American 17-year-old had an abortion by saline injection. The product of conception fetus surgical waste tissue baby survived, and is now 28 years old. She has forgiven her mother. From the UK Telegraph:

In the early morning of April 6, 1977, the abortion failed. Against the odds, the baby had lived. A nurse called the emergency services and the child was taken to hospital. She weighed only 2lb and the abortionist had to sign her birth certificate.

Nice touch, that ("We did everything we could, but she pulled through").

"I had an innate wondering," Miss Jessen says. "I wasn't satisfied for some reason, so I kept asking why I had this disability.

"[My adoptive mother] tried to break it to me gently and then, just as she was about to tell me, I said 'I was aborted, right?' She said 'Yeah, you were.' And my reaction was 'Well, at least I have cerebral palsy for an interesting reason.'"

Thanks, mom! I wonder if mother and daughter exchange NOW t-shirts on the Feast of the Holy Innocents. Of course, if Frances Kissling had her way, the unborn Jessen would have been anesthetized during the procedure. The caring approach.

Credit is due the Telegraph for running this story (I can't picture the New York Times or Boston Globe getting within a mile of it). I have no words adequate to my admiration for the woman who adopted the damaged and palsied Jessen, with the day-in, day-out sacrifice this entailed, for who knows how many years. The whole drama serves as a pretty good Advent meditation -- in the idiom of Flannery O'Connor: the cynic in the tank runs down the cripple on the tricycle, and the cripple is the one left standing.

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