I dedicate this newest post to all mothers and fathers who have ever lost a child, born or unborn. In light of the death of Walter Fretz and numerous posts on the place of miscarriage in America, I would like to add my voice to all those men and women (both parents and not) who believe that all children deserve to be mourned when they pass away, even when our country doesn’t believe that these little children deserve life as long as they remain in the womb. In a country that allows abortion, those who mourn the loss of their unborn child are a voice that cry out to the world for the dignity of life, contradicting what our culture teaches about unborn life. These children deserve to be mourned too.
Two weeks ago, 19 week old Walter Fretz brought the reality of miscarriage to the forefront of many people’s minds. Photos of him went viral, showing up at the top of Facebook news feeds and encouraging several blog posts about the topic of miscarriage. There were photos of him with his older sisters, and cradled in his mother’s arms. Some of the photos showed serious faces, while others featured tears. Why would a mother cry on what should be one of the happiest days of her life? Because 19 week old Walter would only live for a few minutes, and she already knew that. She was already preparing to say goodbye to her firstborn son.
Walter Fretz did not develop an illness that led to his premature death. He did not have a deadly disease. He did not die after his frightened parents rushed him to the Emergency Room after 19 happy weeks together. Last year, Walter Fretz died in the Emergency Room after his frightened mother delivered him prematurely. She was able to feel his little heart beating, though there were no other signs of life. Walter died surrounded by his family, a perfect, fully-formed little boy who was incredibly loved. To his parents, Walter was their perfect son. To his sisters, he was their new favorite brother. But to many people, Walter was just a clump of cells. He was not a human being, and his death could not be mourned because he had never lived.
Lexi Fretz had miscarried; her body had rejected the foreign clump of tissues in her uterus, preventing it from developing into a little human being. Lexi had only been 19 weeks pregnant. When she went into premature labor, she knew that she was going to lose her child, but he was still her son. He had never been, nor would ever be, just a clump of cells to her. But that’s how our society views him. Any country that allows abortion has to believe that any unborn child is just a clump of cells. As soon as you acknowledge that it’s human, you have to admit the truth of abortion: it’s murder. But we can’t admit the truth. We can’t admit that mothers who choose to abort their children are choosing to kill them. We can’t admit that doctors who perform abortions are actually murdering human beings. We hide from the truth because we don’t want to face it, but we’re also ignoring the fact that it’s slowly killing us.
Any society that permits the murder of its children will always be suicidal. Our society tries to tell us that unborn children are just tissue. They are just clumps of cells. They’re not human beings. They don’t have dignity. They don’t have rights. They aren’t living persons, so their deaths cannot be mourned. Not the way that you would mourn a lost child at least. Most of our society would aim to console mothers who have miscarried, but can they really understand their pain? Can they really mourn with her, mourn the loss of her child? You cannot truly mourn the loss of a life that you don’t actually believe was ever lived.
We will never be able to truly support women who have suffered miscarriages as long as we allow abortion. You cannot tell a mother that she can kill the life in her womb, and simultaneously tell another mother that you’re sorry for her loss. A fetus cannot simultaneously be a clump of cells that can be eliminated and a child with a name that can be mourned. This is not a both/and situation. A fetus is either a clump of cells or a child. It cannot be both. We cannot decide if the life within us is a human person or not. We do not have that power. Mothers suffering from the effects of a miscarriage will have a much harder time recovering if the world tells her that children can be aborted because they don’t have dignity. What is the life of her child to the world then? It means very little. But the world is wrong. The unborn child is a human person, and he deserves to be treated with dignity. He should be protected and loved at all costs. And if his time in this world is too short, he deserves to be mourned.
Mary Help of Christians, pray for us!