Facing potential unwanted abortion


#1

Hey all,

My husband and I are converts to the Catholic Faith (almost three years Catholic!!!). We have been married for eight years but still have no children. During the early years of our marriage, while we were Protestant, we used contraception. When we started investigating the Catholic Church that was one of the first things that we stopped. But, since we were living in different cities for a year and a half due to my PhD program requirements, we used NFP to avoid pregnancy.

Now, we are hoping to get pregnant but a year ago I was diagnosed with a bicornuate uterus with non-communicating horn (in essence, I have two uteri but only one communicates with the outside world). The doctors have told me that if I get pregnant in the non-communicating horn they will have to abort the pregnancy because that horn almost always ruptures by the second trimester, and would cause the death of both me an the baby. Surgery to remove the horn could potentially result in what the surgeon called "catastrophic loss" e.g. an uncontrolled bleed resulting in a whole hysterectomy. So, we decided against surgery.

We really want a child, but I am secretly frightened that I will be faced with the question of deciding whether or not to abort to save my life. I have told my mother, who isn't Catholic, that if I were to get pregnant in the non-communicating horn, I want to try to give the baby a fighting chance. Even though it is rare, some women do get through their entire pregnancies fine and give birth through C-section. My mom says that I shouldn't gamble with my life. I can't wait to be a mommy, if God wills, but I am scared. Any advice would be appreciated!!!!!!


#2

[quote="nsm, post:1, topic:206437"]
We really want a child, but I am secretly frightened that I will be faced with the question of deciding whether or not to abort to save my life.

[/quote]

Direct abortions are never permitted: "Can. 1398 A person who procures a completed abortion incurs a latae sententiae [roughly, 'by the act itself'] excommunication." If the baby dies as a result of trying to fix your preexisting condition, it is not a a direct abortion. This is what happened to my sibling, who died as a result of an ectopic pregnancy, not a direct abortion. Read about the principle of double-effect, and please do not despair or lose hope.[bibledrb]Luke 18:27[/bibledrb]

[quote="nsm, post:1, topic:206437"]
My mom says that I shouldn't gamble with my life.

[/quote]

Nor should you with your baby's life

[quote="nsm, post:1, topic:206437"]
I can't wait to be a mommy, if God wills, but I am scared. Any advice would be appreciated!!!!!!

[/quote]

Pray for the intercession of St. Gianna Beretta Molla (1922-1962); the church I attend is the only one named after her; she is very inspiring, and will definitely ask the Child Jesus to grant you the necessary courage. I will pray for you, too. :gopray:

Also, it is imperative that you talk to your priest and/or bishop about this. They will also be of invaluable assistance. See also the on abortion*Catechism on the Catholic Church*.


#3

I'm sure I'll be corrected by other posters if I'm wrong, but as a Catholic you aren't allowed to get an abortion under any circumstances. In the case of an ectopic pregnancy where the baby implants in the fallopian tubes, you are allowed to remove the tube, thus preventing rupture and saving the life of the mother. The death of the baby is a horrible result but it is not the point of the surgery--saving the mother's life when there is no way to save the baby. I googled your condition and it seems that rupture really is a very real danger with what you have. I would imagine that if you were to get pregnant and it was on the wrong side of your uterus, your obligation as a Catholic would be to closely watch the pregnancy and if a rupture was eminent, then a hysterectomy would be called for (removing the rupturing organ--not aborting the baby--although the baby would die).

If I were in your shoes, I would get a second and third opinion and see if you can get this surgically fixed even if you run the risk of a hysterectomy. I think I could live with a hysterectomy when I wasn't pregnant much better than a hysterectomy that resulted in the death of a baby.

I'm so sorry that you have this cross. I'll be praying for you guys!

KG

P.S. Perhaps God is calling you to open your arms to a family through adoption. :hug1:


#4

Get a second opinion. Find the best doctor you can, or best surgeon you can find. Explain that you are against abortion to the doctor. If it is highly likely that your uterus can be treated or repaired, reconsider surgery. If you can repair your uterus it will be healthier for you and the baby should you conceive. Discuss options with your doctor, husband and priest. They will want what is best for you and any babies you might conceive.


#5

[quote="kevinsgirl, post:3, topic:206437"]
as a Catholic you aren't allowed to get an abortion under any circumstances

[/quote]

Yes, and if you do, God forbid, you are automatically excommunicated.


#6

This is why when the doctor said that I would have to abort I automatically recoiled. A part of me is afraid to go to a obgyn when I do get pregnant because if they see a baby growing in the non-communicating horn, they will automatically council termination aka a nice way to say "murder." Both my husband and I are students and are on the HMO offered through our graduate school (we go to the same school now). But, my condition requires specialists and with specialists come prohibitive fees. I am not opposed to adoption at all, in fact, my uncle adopted his beautiful son. The only problem is the adoption process usually costs quite a bit of money. While I know that having a child will be more expensive than we are living now, it does not require such an outlay of money all at once. I have seriously considered not seeking medical care when I get pregnant, because another doctor I saw told me about his sister-in-law, who had the exact same problem as I did but they didn't catch it until her third trimester and she delivered a healthy baby (one that they would have automatically recommended abortion had the baby been caught sooner).

Sorry about my stream of consciousness. I guess it has been on my mind because I have been having some very sharp pains on the side with the non-communicating horn that I can not explain and we have been ttc. I want to get a good catholic doctor, someone who doesn't roll their eyes when I say that I am catholic and can't do certain things, but our insurance covers very little.


#7

I don't have any advice for you, but I just wanted to let you know that a rosary will be prayed for you tonight. God bless


#8

[quote="jenlovesyu, post:7, topic:206437"]
I don't have any advice for you, but I just wanted to let you know that a rosary will be prayed for you tonight. God bless

[/quote]

Thank you so much!


#9

[quote="jenlovesyu, post:7, topic:206437"]
I don't have any advice for you, but I just wanted to let you know that a rosary will be prayed for you tonight. God bless

[/quote]

Make that two rosaries... and may the Peace of Christ be upon you and your husband.


#10

[quote="nsm, post:6, topic:206437"]
I have seriously considered not seeking medical care when I get pregnant, because another doctor I saw told me about his sister-in-law, who had the exact same problem as I did but they didn't catch it until her third trimester and she delivered a healthy baby (one that they would have automatically recommended abortion had the baby been caught sooner).

[/quote]

Do not go through a pregnancy without medical care -especially because you are high risk. Doctors can recommend courses of treatment but they can not force an abortion on you period. All you have to tell them is that is not an option. If you become pregnant than you need to have the courage to up stand for your baby. Your baby will have the best odds with proper medical care. You have to get over your fear of being looked at as a stupid religious zealot by bigotted doctors in order to protect your life and your baby's to the best of your ability.

This is not communist China, no one can make you abort. Just keep repeating that is not an option I am willing to consider.


#11

[quote="rayne89, post:10, topic:206437"]
Do not go through a pregnancy without medical care -especially because you are high risk. Doctors can recommend courses of treatment but they can not force an abortion on you period. All you have to tell them is that is not an option. If you become pregnant than you need to have the courage to up stand for your baby. Your baby will have the best odds with proper medical care. You have to get over your fear of being looked at as a stupid religious zealot by bigotted doctors in order to protect your life and your baby's to the best of your ability.

This is not communist China, no one can make you abort. Just keep repeating that is not an option I am willing to consider.

[/quote]

And pray to St Gianna - firstly now, to find a good doctor who understands your wish to have a baby but not an abortion, and can recommend something that will treat your condition, and secondly if you do fall pregnant to intercede for you and the baby.


#12

Contact One More Soul, where you may be able to find a prolife ObGyn who will help you with this, or contact the Paul 6th Institute, which may be able to advise.


#13

So as I understand it, if you concieve and the pregnancy is in the wrong horn, there is a high chance of a rupture. Removing the horn surgecally also has a high chance fg hemmorage? Do you have any statistics on how likely it is the implantation will happen in the non-communicating horn? And how many such pregnancies come to term?

I assume the baby has to be delivered through c-section?

I would talk to your priest, and see if he can recommend someone to talk to who has some knowledge of the medical issues. You need a clear picture of what the options would be apart from abortion so you can decide what to do.

I would also consider putting ttc on hold until you have an answer.

Assuming the chance of pregnancy in the non-communicating horn was fairly likely, my personal inclination would be to avoid pregnancy and look at other means of raising a family. Adoption of an older child or even becoming a foster parent would be things I might consider.


#14

You might consider contacting the national catholic bioethics center. The website is ncbcenter.org

My understanding is you can email them your question or issue and they will get back to you in about a week.

This is just copy/pasted from their contact us page on their website.

By Telephone:
215-877-2660 By Fax:
215-877-2688 By Email
[EMAIL="info@ncbcenter.org"]info@ncbcenter.org[/EMAIL]

To submit a consultation request via our website, please click to navigate to our consultation page. The NCBC provides free consultation services to individuals facing difficult ethical decisions related to health care. In emergency situations, an NCBC ethicist is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling 215-877-2660. NCBC ethicists do not provide legal or medical advice.

Obviously, as others have mentioned, an abortion is never a moral option, but maybe they will have some advice no one here has mentioned.

God Bless,

RyanL's Wife


#15

It's not worth the risk of getting pregnant. This is what I read: Pregnancy in a non communicating rudimentary horn occurs through transperitoneal migration of sperm or fertilized ovum [5]. It is associated with a high rate of spontaneous abortion, preterm labour, intrauterine growth retardation, intraperitoneal haemorrhage and uterine rupture.
High rate of maternal mortality. (death)

They can only diagnose if the pregnancy is in the non communicating horn by laparotmy. They can't diagnose by ultraound.

I also read 90% of cases rupture by 2nd trimester and 10% by the 3rd.

humrep.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/13/12/3566.pdf there was another link also for the top info but I didn't copy it.


#16

When my mom was pregnant with me, the dr's wanted her to abort me because they told her that I wasn't alive and that she would die she wouldn't abort me right right away. She told them "Then it's God's will". Apparently I am alive, and the Dr's were wrong.

Please get a second opinion.

I will be praying for you

Remember, O Most Gracious Virgin Mary,
that never was it known that anyone who fled to Thy protection,
implored Thy help or sought Thy intercession,
was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence,
I fly unto Thee, O Virgin of Virgins, my Mother;
to Thee do I come, before thee I kneel, sinful and sorrowful.
O Mother of the Word Incarnate,
despise not my petitions,
but in Thy clemency, hear and answer me.
Amen.


#17

This. :thumbsup:

And if you are pregnant this cycle, please seek a 2nd and 3rd opinion.

Prayers,

KG


#18

I agree with the others, get a second, even third medical opinion and keep in mind that NO doctor can force you to abort your child. You need to make it very clear to them up front that IT IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN when they bring it up. End of Story. Don't ever let a doctor intimidate you into fear or silence when it comes to your body.

Imo, it is not a good idea to purposely get pregnant knowing you have a condition that could very likely kill you and the baby. If surgery to correct your condition isn't possible, maybe it's time to consider adoption? I'm pretty sure that there is financial assistance out there if you decide to go that route.


#19

I agree with teh getting a second opinion. I've cared for a few women with duel utereus with all sorts of different forms, one woman had two uteruses and four fallopioan tubes with four ovaries, but only one uterus was connected to teh tubes and ovaries.

While bleeds are a risk with any surgery, they can be pre-empted.

You will be in my prayers.


#20

Thank you all for the wonderful suggestions and for your outpouring of prayer. I was able to get an appointment with a Catholic reproductive center and am very hopeful!!!


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