Emilyâ€™s Voice was recently contacted by a midwife who works in a Queensland hospital. Sue* has been grappling with changes to her job after abortion law in the state changed late last year, meaning women can access abortion, no questions asked up to 22 weeks, and to full term with the sign-off of two doctors
Sue asked that we suppress her identity as she is certain she would be sacked if her employer linked this story to her. However, she also felt strongly that people should consider what itâ€™s like for people at the coalface. When abortion law is opened wide, like in Queensland last year (and mooted for South Australia and New South Wales), itâ€™s not the politicians and the activists who must act on the implications. Itâ€™s the doctors and the midwives. Their job description was once all about the preservation of life. Suddenly, it also includes the taking of life.
*not her real name
â€œMy profession is amazing.
When I tell people Iâ€™m a midwife, theyâ€™reÂ so excited.
“Wow arenâ€™t you lucky!â€
â€œSo cool you get to be there for a babyâ€™s birth.â€
â€œYou must never get sick of seeing life.â€
All true sentiments.
My job was not amazing this weekend.Â Into my birth unit came a woman aborting a healthy 17-week gestation baby. Perfect. Healthy. Full of potential.
Maybe she was an accident. Maybe mum was recently single. Maybe Mum had no money. Maybe she was using drugs.Â I donâ€™t know. What I do know is that my beautiful profession was now involved in the taking of life. Ending a babyâ€™s future.
With the core of our being, midwives sustain life. Over two decades I have battled besides a re-sus cot working with a neonatal team to save a premature baby. Weâ€™ve worked for hours. Weâ€™ve raced women to theatres to desperately try to deliver their babies surgically, as their tiny heart beat fails. We give everything we have to deliver a live baby.
Iâ€™ve told women, “Iâ€™m sorry, I canâ€™t find your babyâ€™s heartbeatâ€¦â€ and held them while they sob a most devastated cry of disbelief and grief. Iâ€™ve helped hundreds of women powerfully birth their babies, a baby welcomed into stunned, amazed, joyful arms.
How is it that my unit is now performing abortions?Â How did this happen? Find me a politician who will insert the medication to end a babyâ€™s life. Which politician will look into the womanâ€™s eyes while she consents to this procedure?Â Tell me whoâ€™s going to dispose of life in the bin?Â This weekend it was 17 weeks.Â What about 27 weeks? What about 37 weeks?
In one room, thereâ€™s life and just next door we end it.
Iâ€™ve just written a letter explaining to my boss that I canâ€™t be involved in this horror. This stain on my profession.Â For how long will I be able to refuse?
â€œThere wonâ€™t be that many,â€ management say. Wonâ€™t there? Isnâ€™t the ending of just one life, one too many?
Abortion is now in the health system. Free. Available at any gestation. Paid for by Queenslanders. Performed by caring health professionals. The murder of babies has become part of my profession.
My heart breaks today, as surely Godâ€™s does too.â€
What can you do?
If you’re anything like us, you’ve been truly affected by this story. That’s good. When we cease to be moved by the horrors of our day, we cease to recognise that action is needed. So please, consider doing one (or all!) of these actionable steps so that we can together change the culture of life in Australia.
- Share this article. Copy the url and paste it into a Facebook post, an email, your Twitter feed or whatever other platform you occupy. Never underestimate the influence you have in your unique networks.
- Contact your MP. Share this story with them and tell them the concerns it raised for you.
- Share your own story. Can you relate to this article? Why not share your own experience so that we can paint a truthful picture of the life issue. Email your story to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be in touch.
- Encourage others. Engage in meaningful discussions about life and ask the hard questions: what can we do? Encourage midwives in your midst – they are probably dealing with similar situations.
- Join the Movement for Life. We’ll keep you updated on how you can continue to be a voice for life.