I stared down vigilantly at the car seat, panic and heartache among my emotions. One day ago, I was pregnant and excited to welcome my baby into this world. But this day we were driving our brand new baby to the emergency room. The thirty minute ride to the hospital seemed to never end, like a nightmare where you are running but getting nowhere.
The ER doctor took one look at our purple baby and rushed us in. “Come this way!” The doctor started jogging down the hallway and calling out to others. I was walking as fast as I could to keep up with him, but I had just given birth and I was carefully cradling my 6-pound girl. While we were rushing down the hallway, the doctor bumped into me hard, but I was able to maintain my balance and not fall. He didn’t apologize or even seem to notice. That’s when I realized how grave my daughter’s situation was.
We hurried into the large trauma room where I placed my newborn into the small isolette. Medical staff swarmed around her, giving her oxygen and assessing her. Tears were streaming down my face—what was wrong with my baby?
My husband and I were both surprised by the amount of staff in the room. It seemed like the staff of the entire hospital left their posts and were in the trauma room with us. I counted 22 people, with others coming and going. It was organized yet frantic. Pharmacists and doctors yelled medication names and doses back and forth to each other as they administered antibiotics.
And then the worst happened. I was stroking Azalea’s tiny head; her form was blurry through my tears. I was too weak from birth to stand, but a chair had been pulled close for me. Suddenly, two doctors came near and started rubbing and stimulating her, saying, “Come on, girl, wake up. Breathe!” I wiped my eyes to see her turning purple again. The oxygen wasn’t enough. The trauma room erupted in activity as the doctors rushed to intubate her.
Within an hour, Azalea was airlifted to UC Davis to receive the best medical care available. My husband and I drove there and spent two weeks with her while she recovered. While we were at UC Davis, we drove past Planned Parenthood B Street, a late term abortion facility. At California clinics like this one, women can have an abortion after 24 weeks gestation if they claim the abortion is for their health. “Health” can be defined as mental, emotional, familial or financial health.
When Azalea was just one day old, she was seen as a precious human being worth fighting for by every medical professional on her team; and she received the best care. But just one day before she was born, I could have legally aborted Azalea. One day before her birth, she had no rights to such life-saving, world-class medical care. She had no rights at all. Her father also had no rights and could not have legally stopped me from aborting her.
How is it that Azalea is a “choice” one day, and a precious, irreplaceable, beautiful girl the next day? How is it that our culture does not see value in a human the day before they are born, but assigns intrinsic value to that human the very next day?
If she was precious the day she was born, she was precious the day before she was born. And she was precious the day she was conceived.
I pray that one day, the whole world will believe that.