A mother who was urged to have an abortion after becoming pregnant at the age of 17 has said she is “so very glad” that she chose to have her baby.
Marybeth Mitcham was told that she would be “selfish and cruel” not to have an abortion after her baby was diagnosed with a condition called gastroschisis.
But her daughter defied doctors’ expectations and has just celebrated her 18th birthday.
Doctors informed Marybeth that her baby’s condition, where the abdomen does not fully close during development, would likely lead to premature birth, surgery, developmental delays and possibly even the death of the baby.
She told LiveActionNews: “Abortion was strongly encouraged.
“We were told that we would be selfish and cruel if we did not choose to terminate, as our child would have a painful, limited existence.”
Value of life
But the mother, who was brought up in a Christian home, said that both she and her husband had “been raised to know the value of life”.
She added: “Our baby had been entrusted to us to care for and protect.”
Marybeth’s daughter was born at 32 weeks by caesarean section and taken into surgery straight away.
Reflecting on the moments just after her daughter’s birth, she said: “I can’t speak for other parents, but I had no idea of the gut-wrenching depths of love that I felt for this tiny, helpless baby.”
After just six weeks, Marybeth was able to take her daughter home.
She concludes: “It has not been easy at all, and I honestly am surprised, even with God’s grace, that my husband and I were able to do as well as we have.
“But looking at my beautiful daughter, I am so very glad that we chose life, and fully embraced the challenge and joy that raising our daughter has been.”
To hear more stories of people whose lives were affected by abortion, visit our Choose Life page.