By Niki Devereaux
Two countries, two families, two babies and two very different outcomes.
Last November a woman in Texas who was 14 weeks pregnant experienced a suspected pulmonary embolism. About a month later, a woman in Victoria, British Columbia suffered from a fluke random blood leak into her brain – she was also pregnant.
The family of the Texas woman, the Munoz family, engaged in a heart-wrenching legal battle with the hospital: the family wanted to have their wife, mother and daughter removed from life support, but the hospital argued that they had a legal responsibility to keep Mrs. Munoz on life support, so long as the preborn child was viable. On Sunday, January 26, the family won their legal battle. Mrs. Munoz was taken off life support which ended both her life and the life of her preborn child.
Meanwhile, a family in similar circumstances chose a different path.
Dylan Benson chose to keep his wife on life support in order to sustain the life of his unborn child, who became known around the world as ‘Baby Iver’. In a blog post, dated January 28, Mr. Benson writes,
“Amazingly things are still remaining healthy as far as my wife’s body goes”.
He recognized that although his wife had been declared “legally brain dead”, there was a miracle of life growing inside of his wife’s body, his own son.
I think it can be easy for those of us in the pro-life movement to make blanket statements about how a situation should be handled. These two examples have given me a lot to think about as I reflect on the way we view the rights of preborn children. The Munoz story has been used by people on both sides of the abortion issue to give weight to their arguments. I am simply reminded of the grace needed when dealing with situations that are beyond my comprehension. I cannot imagine the heartbreak that either the Munoz or Benson families have experienced in the loss of their wives and the mothers of their children. What I do know is this: Mr. Benson has the opportunity to share the beautiful story of the start of his son’s life and the choice he made to protect that – what an incredible gift from a father to a child.