Susan Michelle Tyrell

Stunning photos of baby Nathan, miscarried at 14 weeks, prove the humanity of the unborn

Susan Michelle Tyrell
By Susan Michelle Tyrell
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September 23, 2013 (LiveActionNews.org) - According to Texas law he wasn’t old enough or heavy enough to need a death certificate, but he got a proper burial anyway.

Allison’s son was 13 weeks and 4 days when she lost him. Her husband Daniel, 2 ½ year old son Matthew, along with their family, laid Nathan Isaiah to rest on September 12.

Nathan’s story is one of life and death—and ultimately life. Allison and Daniel, both 28, rejoiced in the news of their pregnancy and looked forward to February 28, 2014, their due date. After suffering a miscarriage about a year after Matthew’s first birthday, they knew they wanted more children, despite the pain of losing Matthew’s younger brother a day after discovering their pregnancy. “I did not have time to even get used to the fact that I was pregnant before blood and pain flooded our happy reality with loss,” Allison said.

Then in June, joy returned as they learned that Nathan was on his way. Excitedly they shared the news with their toddler. “We asked my son, Matthew, which he wanted, a little brother or a little sister, to which he quickly replied, ‘I want a pickle.’  (He had been on a pickle kick.)  So the nickname stuck and Nathan became known as, ‘our little pickle.’”

Allison endured an exceptional case of morning sickness that left her in bed often for two months, but was delighted when the small baby bump formed in her belly; they rejoiced at seeing this life develop.

Seeing a Certified Nurse Midwife at about 12 weeks, Allison and Daniel were thankful for the views of this pro-life provider:

“She was almost just as excited to see his little life on the ultrasound for the first time as we were, and was so passionate about what she was doing.  She affirmed to us privately, during our first ultrasound, how she could not understand how others did not see babies this young in the womb as a life.  Little did we know that her view on this would become so important to us.  She rejoiced with us when we saw him squirming around and kicking his legs and saw his heart beating so quickly—and grieved with us when we lost him.”

Allison recalls how she fell in love so early with the precious life inside her:

“He was so active that he would hardly stay still for her to get a steady reading of his heartbeat.  I cried when we saw him for the first time.  I loved him from the moment I knew he was mine, but then I heard his heartbeat with my sister-in-law’s Doppler, and he burrowed himself a little deeper into my heart, and then I saw his face on the ultrasound and his tiny feet and beating heart and was head over heels.”

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The turning point for them came at 15 weeks when, visiting with Allison’s sister-in-law, they repeated an oft-requested favor—to listen to Nathan’s heartbeat on the Doppler, only this time something was different. Nathan, who was already seemingly prepping for a soccer career, had gone strangely silent. For 20 minutes she searched, but could not find the heartbeat.

After trying again the next day, Allison’s worries could not be appeased through the weekend. Feeling no symptoms of miscarriage like before, she and Daniel went to the emergency room anyway, because “I could not wait any longer to find out what was going on with my baby.”

And the news wasn’t good:

“After hours of waiting for an ultrasound, the doctor finally came in and told Daniel and I that our baby was not moving and had no heartbeat.  He said that although I should be 15 weeks along, the baby was measuring 13 weeks and 4 days. No preparation could have been enough.  I felt as though my heart stopped beating with my baby’s.”

She was sent home abruptly:

“The doctor told us that since I had no signs of miscarriage or infection that we were free to go home and follow up with our obstetrics provider on Monday.  Just like that.  No funeral home, no casket; just me, my husband, and our dead child in my womb were to drive home and wait until normal office hours.”

Allison was sustained not only by her family, but by her faith. “I know that the Lord gave me a peace beyond my understanding during this time, and there was such a stillness and a quietness before the Lord.  I did not know what to expect.  I didn’t know what is usually done in this situation.  All I knew is that I didn’t want to rush the hand of God.  I didn’t want to move out of fear or doubt, but out of trust in Him.  I knew He was right there with me.  I knew that He was weeping with me.  I knew that I could trust Him. “

Still the issue of Nathan’s death was a physically present one because after a miscarriage, the baby has to be removed from the mother’s body. Allison didn’t understand everything, but she knew two things:

“From that moment I only had two requests from the Lord.  I didn’t know what to expect and how things would go, but I knew that I absolutely did not want my baby ripped apart in an abortion-like procedure and discarded in some trashcan like he was worthless.  I wanted to have my baby and take him home and give him the dignity of a burial. “

Her doctor confirmed the miscarriage the next week and, unlike in the ER, allowed them to see pictures on the ultrasound of Nathan, revealing the features of the life of her son.  The experience in the exam room further proved the power of unborn life to the family. Allison added, “A young nursing student was in the room with us, and as we saw our little baby and wept over his loss in the exam room.  This awakened, even more, a roar inside my heart for others to see Nathan’s little life.  To know of his significance, to understand that he was our son, a baby, fashioned in my womb by his Creator, fearfully and wonderfully made.”

Cherishing life is part of Allison’s family, and her sister Amy recalls,

“She said she didn’t want someone to just ‘suck her baby’s body out of her,’ that this little one deserved to be honored more than that. She understands sometimes that is necessary but she, we all, prayed it wouldn’t be her necessity.

And then the answer came:

“They told me that a DNC is not as effective after 13 weeks in removing everything that needed to be removed and that I would need to be induced and have the baby in the hospital in Labor and Delivery, and that I would be able to take my baby home and bury him.  A surge of validation, satisfaction, thankfulness, and relief flooded my heart!  Just four days sooner and my baby’s body would have possibly been subjected to unspeakable horrors and possibly discarded like waste.  How could such a thing be? “

The next day, they went to the delivery room where Allison was induced, but refused pain medications. “I wanted to feel the pain and to let the reality of it wash over me,” she said.  “I wanted to be very present and to feel every contraction.  I felt it was my honor to labor for my son.” After over 9 hours of labor, Nathan’s body came out of the womb.   He was named Nathan Isaiah because “Nathan means, ‘gift of God’ because Nathan was a great gift from our Lord, and Isaiah means ‘salvation,’ because the greatest gift God has given us is salvation through His only son, Jesus."

But the most stunning witness of life was their perfectly formed son. Allison said, “His little body was so perfect with ten tiny fingers and ten tiny toes.  He had a nose, a mouth, two little eyes and ears.”

And the family wanted him buried properly.  As Amy notes, “You see, until 20 weeks gestation a baby doesn’t require a death certificate or to be legally buried in a cemetery.”

In fact, Texas law says:

“A fetal death certificate must be filed for any fetus weighing 350 grams or more, or if the weight is unknown, a fetus aged twenty weeks or more; the certificate must be filed with the local registrar within five days of the date of fetal death by the institution or person who is responsible for the disposition of the fetal remains. “

Since Nathan, at 13 weeks and 4 days and  6 oz., was neither 20 weeks nor 350 grams, they were free to take him home and bury him on a spot of land where Allison and Amy grew up in East Texas.  Reading the Bible, praying, worshiping they thanked God for the life they had gotten to know in the womb and had gotten to hold after death . “It was simple and beautiful,” Allison said. “It honored the Lord and Nathan.  It shouted significance about a life that many would disregard. “

Amy adds, “My heart is heavy. He was so perfectly formed. No one can deny that 13 week and 4 day old baby wasn’t a baby. He is delicately put together. You can see every detail. I know God will use him to bring glory to His kingdom and for that, I am thankful."

As the family grieves, the pictures of the life they lost tells the story no one with eyes can clearly deny, even at a time when abortion is legal and common, the blob many see is actually a life.

Nathan Isaiah will always be remembered, and the entire family’s prayer is that his life would remind others of the value of all life.

Reprinted with permission from LiveActionNews.org. 


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Although it is widely believed that people with Down syndrome are doomed to a life of suffering, in one large survey 99% of respondents with Down syndrome described themselves as "happy." Shutterstock
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‘Sick and twisted’: Down’s advocates, pro-life leaders slam Richard Dawkins’ abortion remarks

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By Dustin Siggins

Advocates on behalf of individuals with Down syndrome, as well as pro-life leaders, are slamming famed atheist Richard Dawkin’s statements made on Twitter earlier today that parents have a moral responsibility to abort babies diagnosed in utero with Down’s.

During a shocking Twitter rant, Dawkins responded to questioners saying that it was "civilised" to abort Down Syndrome babies, and that it would be "immoral" to choose not to abort babies diagnosed with the condition.

He said that his goal is to "reduce suffering wherever you can," indicating that unborn children cannot suffer, and that unborn children don't "have human feelings."

In addition to being scientifically challenged - unborn children can feel both pain and emotions - Dawkins' comments drew criticism for his callousness towards children with disabilities.  

"A true civilization – a civilization of love – does not engage in such cold and ultimately suicidal calculus"

“It's sick and twisted for anyone to advocate for the killing of children with disabilities,” Live Action President Lila Rose told LifeSiteNews. “Dawkins's ignorant comments serve only to further stigmatize people with Down syndrome.

“While many people with Down syndrome, their families, and advocacy groups are fighting discrimination on a daily basis, Dawkins calls for their murder before they are even born,” she said. “Those with Down syndrome are human beings, with innate human dignity, and they, along with the whole human family, deserve our respect and protection.”

Carol Boys, chief executive of the Down's Syndrome Association, told MailOnline that, contrary to Dawkins’ assertion, “People with Down’s syndrome can and do live full and rewarding lives, they also make a valuable contribution to our society.”

A spokesperson for the UK disabilities charity Scope lamented that during the “difficult and confusing time” when parents find out they are expecting a child with disabilities, they often experience “negative attitudes.”

“What parents really need at this time is sensitive and thorough advice and information,” the spokesperson said.

Charlotte Lozier Institute president Chuck Donovan agreed with Rose’s assessment. "Advocates of abortion for those 'weaker' than others, or of less physical or intellectual dexterity, should remember that each of us is 'lesser' in some or most respects," he said.

According to Donovan, "we deliver a death sentence on all of humanity by such cruel logic."

"A true civilization – a civilization of love – does not engage in such cold and ultimately suicidal calculus" he said.

One family who has a child with Down syndrome said Dawkins was far from the mark when he suggested that aborting babies with Down syndrome is a good way to eliminate suffering.

Jan Lucas, whose son Kevin has Down syndrome, said that far from suffering, Kevin has brought enormous joy to the family, and "is so loving. He just has a million hugs."

She described how Kevin was asked to be an honorary deacon at the hurch they attend in New Jersey, “because he is so encouraging to everyone. At church, he asks people how their families are, says he'll pray for them, and follows up to let them know that he has been praying for them."

It's not just strangers for whom Kevin prays. "My husband and I were separated for a time, and Kevin kept asking people to pray for his dad," said Jan. "They didn't believe that Kevin's prayers would be answered. Kevin didn't lose hope, and asking people, and our marriage now is better than ever before. We attribute it to Kevin's prayers, and how he drew on the prayers of everyone."

"I don't know what we'd do without him," said Jan.

Speaking with LifeSiteNews, Kevin said that his favorite things to do are "spending time with my family, and keeping God in prayer." He said that he "always knows God," which helps him to "always keep praying for my friends."

"I love my church," said Kevin.

Although it is widely believed that people with Down syndrome are doomed to a life of suffering, in one large survey 99% of respondents with Down syndrome described themselves as "happy." At the same time, 99% percent of parents said they loved their child with Down syndrome, and 97 percent said they were proud of them.

Only 4 percent of parents who responded said they regretted having their child.

Despite this, it is estimated that in many Western countries the abortion rate of children diagnosed in utero with Down syndrome is 90%, or even higher. The development of new and more accurate tests for the condition has raised concerns among Down syndrome advocates that that number could rise even higher. 


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Asked about Iraq on his return flight from South Korea, Francis replied that 'it is legitimate to halt the unjust aggressor.' Shutterstock
Steve Weatherbe

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Pope Francis: steps must be taken to halt ‘unjust aggressor’ in Iraq

Steve Weatherbe
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Pope Francis and his emissary to Iraq’s persecuted non-Muslim minorities, Cardinal Fernando Filoni, have both called on the United Nations to act in concert to protect Iraqis Christian and Yazidi minorities from the radical Islamic forces of ISIS.

Asked about Iraq on his return flight from South Korea, Francis replied that “it is legitimate to halt the unjust aggressor.”

He added, however, that “halt” does not mean to “bomb” and lamented “how many times with the excuse of halting the unjust aggressor…have powerful nations taken possession of peoples and waged a war of conquest!”

He also cautioned that no single nation could determine the right measures. Any intervention must be multilateral and preferably by the United Nations, he said.

Meanwhile, Cardinal Foloni, who is visiting Iraq on behalf of Pope Francis, issued a joint statement this week with Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako and the Iraqi bishops that urged the international community to “liberate the villages and other places that have been occupied as soon as possible and with a permanent result.”

The statement also urged efforts to “assure that there is international protection for these villages and so to encourage these families to go back to their homes and to continue to live a normal life in security and peace.”

Archbishop Giorgio Lingua, the Vatican nuncio to Iraq, was also asked by Vatican Radio earlier this month about the U.S. airstrikes in Iraq.

“This is something that had to be done, otherwise [the Islamic State] could not be stopped,” the archbishop said. 

Although Pope Francis’ own remarks about an intervention in the war-torn country were carefully guarded, Catholic commentator Robert Spencer, author of such bestselling exposes of Islam as “The Truth About Muhammad: Founder of the World's Most Intolerant Religion,” told LifeSiteNews he believes the pope was clearly calling for an “armed intervention, though a very limited one.”  

“Only a fool would think there is another way to stop an ‘unjust aggressor,’” he said.

Spencer expressed concerns that both Francis and Pope John Paul II before him have both referred to Islam a “religion of peace,” which Spencer says is “completely false.” However, he suggested that Francis’ remarks calling for action in Iraq are a sign of a more realistic attitude towards Islam.   

On this, Spencer would likely have the support of Amel Nona, the Chaldean Catholic archbishop of Mosul, who issued a letter last week warning the West in stark terms about the encroaching threat of Islam.

“Our sufferings today are the prelude of those you, Europeans and Western Christians, will also suffer,” Nona warned. “Your liberal and democratic principles are worth nothing here.

“You must consider again our reality in the Middle East, because you are welcoming in your countries an ever growing number of Muslims. Also you are in danger. You must take strong and courageous decisions, even at the cost of contradicting your principles,” he said

“You think all men are equal, but that is not true: Islam does not say that all men are equal. Your values are not their values. If you do not understand this soon enough, you will become the victims of the enemy you have welcomed in your home.”


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'Apparently I'm a horrid monster for recommending WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS to the great majority of Down Syndrome fetuses,' said Dawkins. 'They are aborted.' Shutterstock
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Richard Dawkins: it’s ‘immoral’ NOT to abort babies with Down syndrome

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By Dustin Siggins

In a bizarre rant on Twitter earlier today, atheist Richard Dawkins wrote that choosing not to abort a child with Down Syndrome would be "immoral."

The conversation started when Dawkins tweeted that "Ireland is a civilised country except in this 1 area." The area was abortion, which until last year was illegal in all cases.

A Twitter user then asked Dawkins if "994 human beings with Down's Syndrome [having been] deliberately killed before birth in England and Wales in 2012" was "civilised."

Dawkins replied "yes, it is very civilised. These are fetuses, diagnosed before they have human feelings."

Later, Dawkins said that "the question is not ‘is it 'human'?’ but ‘can it SUFFER?’"

In perhaps the most shocking moment, one Twitter user wrote that he or she "honestly [doesn't] know what I would do if I were pregnant with a kid with Down Syndrome. Real ethical dilemma."

Dawkins advised the writer to "abort it and try again. It would be immoral to bring it into the world if you have the choice."

According to Dawkins, the issue of who should be born comes down to a calculation based upon possible suffering. "Yes. Suffering should be avoided. [The abortion] cause[s] no suffering. Reduce suffering wherever you can."

Later, however, he said that people on the autism spectrum "have a great deal to contribute, Maybe even an enhanced ability in some respects. [Down Syndrome] not enhanced."

When Dawkins received some blowback from Twitter followers, he replied: "Apparently I'm a horrid monster for recommending WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS to the great majority of Down Syndrome fetuses. They are aborted."

It is estimated that in many Western countries the abortion rate of children diagnosed in utero with Down syndrome is 90%, or even higher. The development of new and more accurate tests for the condition has raised concerns among Down syndrome advocates that that number could rise even higher. 

Although it is widely believed that people with Down syndrome are doomed to a life of suffering, in one large survey 99% of respondents with Down syndrome said they were "happy." At the same time, 99% percent of parents said they loved their child with Down syndrome, and 97 percent said they were proud of them.

Only 4 percent of parents who responded said they regretted having their child. 

A number of Dawkins' statements in the Twitter thread about fetal development are at odds with scientific realities. For example, it is well-established that 20 weeks into a pregnancy, unborn children can feel pain. Likewise, unborn children have emotional reactions to external stimuli -- such as a mother's stress levels -- months before being born. 

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