Madeline Mann, born at only 26 weeks [Photo by Loyola U Health System]
The smallest and fourth smallest premature babies ever delivered were born and treated at Loyola University Medical Center in Chicago. Madeline, born in 1989 at 9.9 ounces held the record until Ramaisa stole it in 2004, weighing in a 9.2 ounces.
Both girls are doing extremely well. Madeline is an honor student in college and Ramaisa is an active 7-year-old.
The story of their survival is heartwarming. But for a pro-life activist is it also a dramatic reminder of the humanity of the baby before she is born, and the tragedy of late-term abortion.
Loyola University Medical Center is located about fifteen miles from the Albany abortion clinic on Chicago’s north side, where babies the same gestational age as Ramaisa and Madeline are routinely killed in a two-day or three-day procedure.
Albany advertises that it provides abortions up to 23.5 weeks, although sidewalk counselors have spoken to several women who were 24 to 27 weeks pregnant and scheduled for abortions at Albany. Babies born at 21 weeks have survived with no physical or mental ill effects.
What is wrong with a society and a medical profession that cannot see how immoral it is to take the life of a child who could survive if born at the same stage? Of course, we in the pro-life movement admit of absolutely no excuse for ever taking a baby’s life.
Certainly those who spend years studying human anatomy and human development must recoil at the reality that thousands of babies are aborted every year in the fifth and sixth months of gestation. Think of the pain these children suffer!
What are their mothers being told in order to “justify” such a course of action? And what must those mothers think when they read articles like those in the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times on Monday.
I can’t help but wonder how long our society can continue to be so schizophrenic in its attitudes about the value of human life. At some time in the hopefully not-too-distant future, when we have eradicated abortion, people are going to look back on the mid-twentieth and early twenty-first centuries and marvel at the cruelty and blindness of a society that murders its tiniest members. God help us.
How can we, each Christmas, year after year, rejoice at the birth of the Christ Child and not realize that His coming as a tiny baby should remind us of the value of every tiny child who spends his first nine months in his mother’s womb.
Thank God for doctors like those at Loyola who devote their healing skills to helping those tiny babies to survive. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all doctors had the same reverence for life?