New Year’s Eve is a holiday that is notorious for excessive drinking. It is easy to get carried away when you are out having a good time, and it’s also difficult to realize when you’ve had too much. Unfortunately, I have spoken with many women who drank or did drugs while celebrating only to find out later that they are pregnant. Many of these same women wonder if they should get an abortion because their baby will be hurt by what they have done.
To begin with, if you know that you’re pregnant, it’s not worth it to risk your health or your baby’s health. During pregnancy you should refrain from drugs and alcohol. It is better to be safe than sorry.
If you have accidentally done drugs or have had alcohol, don’t jump to the worst-case scenario. I have spoken with women who immediately wanted an abortion without taking a minute to think through their situation. If you drink or do drugs during pregnancy that does not necessarily mean that your child is going to have developmental issues. There are a lot of factors that come into play and the association between drinking and drugs causing developmental issues is not as black and white as we make it out to be in our minds.
How can you know if what you have done has hurt your baby? There isn’t really a good way to know. Doctor’s opinions on this vary greatly and even if you were to have testing done in utero, the test may not be accurate. It is true, that some babies who have been given a poor prognosis from a doctor have pulled through just fine. My nephew is an example of this. He was given a 0% chance of living and his mother was told to have an abortion. My nephew is now five-years-old and is a healthy, wonderful child! Furthermore, sometimes in utero testing can be more harmful to the baby than the drugs or alcohol that you consumed. There is nothing wrong with seeing a doctor, but it would be wise to get a variety of doctor’s opinions.
What is the worst-case scenario? It is very difficult to know if you have hurt your baby by taking foreign substances—even after your baby is born. However, if a person could know for sure that they have hurt their child, it does not mean that the child is not worthy of life. A child with a disability, whether born or unborn, is a human being, and having a disability does not make a human being any less worthy of life.
If you believe that you have hurt your child through the use of drugs and alcohol and feel that the most loving choice is to end their life now, consider what true compassion really is. “True ‘compassion’ leads to sharing another’s pain; it does not kill the person whose suffering we cannot bear.” Everyone deserves the right to life.
Even if you made some bad choices while celebrating the New Year, it’s not too late to begin making good choices. Mistakes are in the past and what matters is what you choose to do about those mistakes in the present. You don’t have to live in shame and regret. You can hold your head high and know that now is your time to do what is right.
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