We live in a country where most people will yell it from the tallest rooftops, “We have freedom to choose! It’s my RIGHT!” “It’s my life and I can make my own decisions!” “Nobody can tell me what to do with my family.” “This country was founded on the principles that people have the freedom to choose, and don’t you even think about telling me what I can or cannot do with my life.” They’ll make signs and stand on the corners of streets making their statement and supporting a cause close to their hearts.
This is America and they’ll tell you that it’s our democratic right to CHOOSE. We make our own choices every day. We choose whether we will vaccinate our children or not. We choose whether we will eat organic food or not. Circumcision, tattoos, piercings—they’re all our choices. We choose whether we will educate our children by homeschooling, private school, or public school. We choose whom we will marry and where we will live. A woman can walk into any Planned Parenthood and demand an abortion-even in the second trimester. Questions don’t get asked. Apparently it’s her right to choose that too. And how dare anybody tell her differently! “It’s MY body and I’ll do with it as I choose!” I read a bumper sticker the other day. It said, “If it’s not your body, it’s not your choice.”
And so it was rather shocking to us when we received a letter in the mail last week. A letter from the clinic where I am scheduled to do our embryo transfer in December. “Therefore, before considering or requesting to transfer more than two embryos, we ask our patients to agree in writing that they would have a selection reduction to a more safe twin pregnancy if triplets should result. This must be an ironclad decision made before any transfer of more than two embryos.” Who knew that there was a new, more PC way to talk about ABORTION? Not me.
I called the clinic to make sure that I was understanding their requirements correctly. Indeed, if we transferred more than two embryos into my womb and they all survived, and IF by some miracle (a 1 in 300 chance, I believe) we were pregnant with triplets, one baby would have to be “selectively reduced.” Seriously?! Really, really!
So what about MY right to choose what’s best for MY babies and MY family in MY body? Perhaps that only applies when you want to destroy life, not GIVE life!
For days Anthony and I prayed and sought God on this. It’s a crazy thing, really. So sadly ironic. Here we are trying to give four precious babies who have been waiting for a family for ten years a chance to LIVE, and a fertility clinic (of all things!) believes that it’s completely within its right to demand that I sign a letter stating that I will kill one or two (or more if the cells divide!) of my children if there are too many survivors.
Our adoption agency called the clinic and asked them if, perhaps, they would be willing to meet us halfway and instead allow us to sign a waiver (which is what most clinics do). A waiver stating that we are fully aware of the risks of triplets and will never hold the clinic liable (because it’s all about liability, you know). We would be MORE than willing to sign a waiver! But there is no way on God’s green earth that we will ever, ever sign an “ironclad” statement saying that we would abort a child. Never!
All four of our embryos are frozen in one straw. That means that they have to be thawed at the same time. Because they have been frozen for so many years and were slow frozen (as opposed to the quick freeze methods they use these days), we have been advised many times that one or two may not survive the thaw. Of course there’s also a possibility that none of them survive or all of them may miraculously survive the thaw. After much prayer we have absolute peace to transfer all of the embryos that do survive the thaw. Could be one. Could be two. Goodness, could even be all of them. God knows.
Our peace lies in the fact that our Almighty Father—the One who holds these babies’ destinies in the palm of His hand knows who is to have life here on earth and who is to have life in heaven. We trust His sovereignty. Completely. I’ll let the Author of Life decide the outcome of this.
“Selective reduction can be done best and with greatest safety to the pregnancy and the patient at institutions we can recommend outside of our area and can reduce a triplet or quadruplet pregnancy to twins at a early stage resulting in a safer twin pregnancy.” Oh my goodness! Safely?! What can possibly be “safe” about aborting a child? Nothing! Absolutely nothing!
What if God were to entrust us with triplets? What if He allows three babies to survive in my womb? Just what if? How then would they enforce their “selective reduction” rule? Do they wait until they can see three beating hearts and then come after me, hold me down and force me to abort my child (or two!)? There’s no way they can enforce it! It’s just a dumb scare tactic or “warning” as I was told. A stupid letter. There is nothing they can do to enforce such a thing. Why send it in the first place?!
Unless we sign their heinous letter, they will not transfer more than two embryos. I lost my right to choose what’s best for me and my family somewhere along the line. If three embryos survive the thaw, we would have to refreeze one and then go through the whole process again, and there’s the strong possibility once again that our one remaining baby may not survive being thawed. There are no back-up embryos (as is common with some clinics) to thaw in case we have a scheduled transfer date and no surviving embryos of our own. Not doing it! We will not be signing their piece of paper. Even though we know that they cannot enforce their threat, this is a matter of principle. If I sign that document, I’m telling them that we would be willing to abort. We are not and never will be.
Some have said, “Just sign it, there is nothing they can do about it.” Nope! Telling them that I would be willing to do it when we have less than zero intention of following through with it is just plain dishonest. Cannot do that either.
And so we’re trusting and believing that God will make a way through this obstacle too. He is a faithful Father who loves these babies so much more than we ever could and He will show us the way in every decision we need to make. We will continue to choose to honor the Name above all names, defender of the unborn, the One who loves justice and hates evil.
And we will proclaim it at every opportunity……EVERY child is precious in His sight and deserves a chance at LIFE.
When we agreed to adopt these children I gave God and their genetic mother my absolute word……I would do EVERYTHING I could to ensure their survival. And I meant it.
“For I know the plans that I have for you [four precious embryos]. Plans to prosper you and NOT TO HARM YOU. Plans to give you hope and a future.” (emphasis mine) ~~ Jeremiah 29:11