"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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  • Posted by: Fr. William - Dec. 05, 2005 12:39 PM ET USA

    Thanks, Diogenes. Definitey a re-print for my parish bulletin, especially in January, when we note the tragic anniversary of the abortion holocaust begun by Roe v. Wade.

  • Posted by: - Dec. 05, 2005 12:33 PM ET USA

    The 17 year old who sought to abort her child is to be pitied, too -- one imagines her a product of our age, where when one is pregnant and seventeen, abortion is presented as a reasonable solution. This is sad beyond description.

  • Posted by: - Dec. 05, 2005 10:56 AM ET USA

    Anyone who has ever heard Gianna Jessen speak at a pro-life event comes away changed. Her damaged body contains the soul of a saint. Words of love, hope, faith, and encouragement pour from her lips. In this regard Gianna reminds me of JPII who also had, in his later years, a broken body yet his mind and soul remained active and vibrant to the end. Abortion is an unspeakable crime against God and Gianna Jessen is a living victim and she unites her suffering with Jesus, THE Living Victim.

  • Posted by: - Dec. 05, 2005 9:44 AM ET USA

    "We did everything we could, but she pulled through." That's a Rodney Dangerfield line (similarly, "When I was born, the doctor took the cord and he hung himself."). But when you think about, Rodney didn't "get no respect," and neither does human life in our society.

  • Posted by: - Dec. 04, 2005 5:57 PM ET USA

    "Credit is due the Telegraph for running this story" Maybe the fact that the Editor is a Catholic might have something to do with this.

  • Posted by: - Dec. 04, 2005 4:25 PM ET USA

    "I'm a Catholic physician, a recovering catholic Physician, and wish to thank you for your teaching, Diogenes." I can't speak for the Maistro, but speaking as a layperson, you should be thanked for having a change of heart. How fortunate are people who see or hear the truth!

  • Posted by: - Dec. 04, 2005 2:38 PM ET USA

    Thank you, Diogenes, for this most remarkable story of courage, faith, and sacrifice.

  • Posted by: - Dec. 03, 2005 8:42 PM ET USA

    I'm a Catholic physician, a recovering catholic Physician, and wish to thank you for your teaching, Diogenes.