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FIRST-PERSON: Doc aborts the ‘wrong’ baby

ALEXANDRIA, La. (BP)–While several thousand abortions take place every day in the United States, for the most part, the grisly procedure is out-of-sight, out-of-mind for most Americans. But every now and again something goes so wrong in the procedure that it forces the ugly reality of abortion to the surface for all to see.

In 2006, a Florida doctor mistakenly aborted the “wrong” child while performing a “selective termination,” a variety of sources has reported. As a result, he has had his license to practice medicine revoked.

Selective termination is performed during a multiple pregnancy when a doctor aborts one or more of the unborn babies while leaving the other babies in the womb. Among the reasons given for the procedure: concern for a woman taking a multiple pregnancy to term safely and potential physical problems with one or more of the babies.

The Florida case involved a woman, identified only as K.M., who was carrying twins. She came to Dr. Matthew J. Kachinas when she was approximately 16 weeks pregnant.

After discovering that one of the twins, a male, had some potential problems including a possible heart defect and Down syndrome, K.M. was told “selective termination” was an option, the St. Petersburg Times reported. The remaining twin, a female, appeared to be normal.

K.M. opted to terminate her unborn son, but Kachinas botched the procedure and aborted the girl instead. K.M. discovered the mistake a little over a week later when she had an ultrasound. A few days later she had the remaining twin aborted, too.

Perhaps what is most sad about the whole situation is that had the doctor not made a mistake, the story would never have been public. It would have just been another abortion out of the thousands that take place every day in America.

However, the Florida mistake did happen and it puts on display the precarious plight of the unborn in the United States.

Every time abortion is discussed, defenders of the practice always introduce a mother’s health, rape and incest as reasons it should be legal. These so-called reasons are nothing more than red-herrings. The Florida case highlights why abortions actually take place.

No report that I read indicated that K.M.’s life was in any danger. She was carrying twins normally. It was discovered that one twin had possible health problems — specifically a heart defect and Down syndrome. When K.M. was told that the “defected” baby could be terminated, leaving the healthy baby unharmed, she opted to abort it.

While K.M. offered no reasons for aborting the unhealthy twin, it is safe to speculate that she did not want to be burdened with rearing a child with potential health issues.

A 2004 study by the pro-choice Guttmacher Institute showed that nearly 90 percent of all abortions take place as a matter of convenience. A woman, or couple, does not want a child at a particular time in life or they do not want a special needs child.

A tragic and sobering statistic is that 90 percent of unborn children diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted.

When it comes to having a baby, no parent knows the future and what might happen in a child’s life over time. As a child develops he or she might develop psychological issues or behavioral problems. Debilitating illness and injury are also possible.

It may seem farfetched, but what if a pre-natal test is one day developed that could predict if a child could have possible future mental problems or be accident prone? Will some children be aborted because the parent does not want to deal with potential difficulties?

In the best of circumstances parenting is a difficult proposition and anything but easy. It is full of joy and pain. There are no guarantees. A parent should never throw a child a way just because life becomes tough.

What makes this story so tragic is that the outrage in this case is aroused by the fact the “wrong” baby was aborted.

Sadly, thousands of babies will be aborted today. And most Americans won’t give it much thought. And until they do, the grisly reality of abortion will continue unabated.
Kelly Boggs is a weekly columnist for Baptist Press and editor of the Baptist Message (www.baptistmessage.com), newsjournal of the Louisiana Baptist Convention.

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  • Kelly Boggs