Monday, October 17, 2011

Lessons from a Mother's Sacrifice

This morning I woke up to see an article about a mother who made a deliberate decision to sacrifice herself in order to have her baby.  The story is tragic, but there's also something very beautiful about the way it expresses motherhood: A mother giving her life to ensure that the child within her would simply have a chance at life.  When you think about it, its almost strange that this article would be newsworthy; Isn't it a given that a mother, or indeed any parent, would sacrifice themselves to save their children?  Deep down, I think most people know this is how it should be:

When Stacie Crimm found out that she had finally gotten pregnant at 41, she was overjoyed. So overjoyed that she knew exactly what to do when faced with the decision of whether to save her life or her unborn baby's, reports.
After she was diagnosed with neck cancer, Crimm decided to refuse chemotherapy. The heroic mom survived long enough to deliver her 2-pound, 1 ounce daughter, Dottie Mae, and hold the baby in her arms, just once.

“This baby was everything she had in this world," Crimson's brother, Ray Phillips told the news outlet.

Unfortunately, this isn't just a tragic-yet-inspirational story.  Every time I'm directed to a HuffPo story I can't help but scroll down and view the comments.  Most of the comments are what you would hope to see, but there's a noticeable number that aren't.  Here are some:

That's not a selfless decision. Now she has left a motherless child, her own parents have lost a child and her husband has lost a wife. I would say that that was a selfish decision. I bet the people would have rather had her get treatment and keep her around then give birth to an undersized baby that will probably have health issues itself.
this was an incredibly selfish this child will be motherless with a considerably lesser chance of a fair shake in society...­a terminatio­n in this case would have been appropriat­e.
That woman is an idiot. She could have lived longer and had another child or adopted a child. Instead she was selfish, kept the baby knowing she needed treatment and now the baby will grow up without a mother.
 That's just ridiculous. Why don't you get better then try to conceive again.

There are many more posts that are like these, but most can't be taken out of the context of the thread they're in.  By no means is this how a majority of people are choosing to express themselves, but (as stated above) its significant enough to make one uncomfortable.  One comment from a particularly terrible serial poster caught my eye:

But when I bring up how the anti-choice crowd uses these stories as propaganda­, suddenly I'm the one bringing in politics..­...sheeeee­eeeeeeeees­h.........­..

It's simply impossible to get away from politics on this issue.  Why?  Because in an age where women are encouraged to kill their unborn children when they are considered an inconvenience, Stacie Crimm's story is incredible.  The woman who posted that comment missed the glaring flaw in her argument:  Pro-Choicers believe that the Unborn are fetuses, not human beings.  When you approach the situation from that perspective then the only logical conclusion is that Stacie Crimm didn't make a heroic decision, but chose to commit suicide.  It's natural for elements of the Pro-Choice crowd to be mystified by this decision since Stacie chose to give up a human life (her own) for a bundle of cells.  That's the logical thought process if you use their perspective, and it also reveals them to be Pro-Abortion, not Pro-Choice. 

Stacie's decision emphasizes the value of the Unborn's life, and calls into question the notion that the Unborn are not people worthy of protection.  The question isn't "Does a mother have a right to abort her child if her life is at risk?",  its something far more fundamental to the entire debate: "Is this unborn child a human being?".  Stacie obviously decided her daughter was a person who deserved a mother's love and protection and a chance at life.


  1. I do not agree with Stacie's decision. A mother is a fundamental part in a child's life; I think she should have terminated the pregnancy and had treatment. Women are supposed to protect their children but bringing a motherless child into the world is not quite protection. Let alone abandoning the rest of your family.

    I can see how it is heroic but a 2 pound baby has a slim chance at surviving and can be facing life long issues due to the birthweight. Had the husband lost both of them during labor she could have completely ruined countless lives all in the name of a chance.

    I think it would be more responsible to get an abortion, accept treatment and try again. I think most people would feel this way; it is newsworthy because it is shocking. The idea that someone would chose to end their own lives for a fetus is shocking. Imagine what a grim life that child will have. I dont think it is easy to celebrate life in the name of death and it is a tragedy in the sense that women have to make that decision and have to feel pressure from men (who will never ever ever ever ever have to make that decision). Either way I feel as though she made the wrong decision.

  2. I think it is actually quite selfish. A single mother delivers a now motherless baby into the world to be raised by her brother "Bubba" in his home with his wife Jenn and their four children. What a happy ending! A 2 pound baby has the odds stacked against it to begin with; so realistically she could have been ending her life while also losing the baby. The baby could have been faced with life long problems. This is just propaganda and one more way for people to feel as though children are a women's domain and valued higher then women.

  3. What I think really doesn't matter...what we all think really doesnt matter to be exact. This is a dead end argument. Everything that is said can be debated and proved different otherwise actually. Thats why we are called individuals, we all have different moral beliefs, views and opinions. Of course the internet allows us to share them, w.e, one day we'll all get over the comments people post that rub us the wrong way, right? The big thing is that her story was talked about & it should be. Negative or positive whatever way it is taken this will help people affirm their views.

    I certainly don't think this woman should be called selfish though. Giving up your own life in anyway can not be considered selfish. Selfless maybe, but she had her own reasons behind that i am sure. And i certainly don't think it is apropriate to call someone who is dead stupid! If we are here writing, we are not dead and have not faced decisions like hers. As human our will to live is extremely strong. I'm not going to give my opinion about what she did though cuz i think enough of that has flown around! But i would like to say that I am proud of the evolution of technology, & also that doctors have a duty to enform their patient with the truth. With that being said a 2 pound baby CAN live. There is risks, and possibilities, but a blogger can not determine that it might not and if so may have future health problems. It has been done with no future consequences so is just assumptions that feed you flames.

    Touching. Controversial. & A lesson (whichever way you choose to take it)

    I will say though reading stories like this & reading comments like these it amazes me the words people choose to use that reek of disrespect. freedom of speech is not the equivelant of bashing is it?!?