I came across this video via a Facebook friend. (The host site, Godvine, doesn’t allow embedding, sorry.) It’s a sweet story, but the way the site presents it troubles me. To summarize, a young mother tells her story with a series of statements on slips of notebook paper while inspirational-sounding Christian music plays. I’ve never understood this style of video, but I could see how it is more effective than just writing out the story, and also easier for people who might not want to talk on video (for my part, I have no problem speaking directly to a group of people, but I tend to seize up in front of a camera.)
I should note that this woman is a natural in front of the camera, beaming with joy as an ecstatic new mother, then shifting towards obvious pain when the story turns to her son’s difficulties. And this is all done without saying a word.
She tells the story of falling in love and getting married, and her pregnancy with her son, Christian. She learned during the pregnancy that something was wrong, although she does not say exactly how much they knew. He was born with a cleft palate and cleft eye sockets. I’m unclear on the latter problem, but it meant that he was born without eyes. She’s a mother and she loves her child, and you can tell that she will defend her child to the ends of the earth (that’s the benefit of this style of video, I now realize.) Unfortunately, people are assholes, so she endured stares, whispers, and “what’s wrong with your kid?” questions. She also says that:
One girl even told me I was a horrible person for not aborting Christian in utero.
That’s at around the 4:40 mark. I hope everyone can understand what a horrible, repulsive thing that is to say. I mean really, I actually hope this mother smacked that girl in the face, then stepped on her. No one is going to mess with Christian on this mother’s watch.
I don’t know exactly how this video came to be on the Godvine site, but the site presents the video as a bit more than just an inspiring story of a mother and her son. The site introduces the video as follows:
People ask her why she didn’t choose to abort her boy. They stare at both of them. They talk behind their back. But none of that matters because this mother knows that her boy is beautiful just the way he is. What a great video.
It goes on to say:
For those without children, it’s hard to understand a mother’s love. As Christians, we try to walk in other people’s shoes and not judge them. But if you were to see this mother and child, you wouldn’t judge them harshly.
This wonderful woman didn’t abort her child when others thought she should and she brought her baby boy into the world. Although he is blind, that doesn’t mean he isn’t beautiful and his life isn’t filled with joy. You need to see this video!
I want to address the word play. Do you see what they did? The mother said that one girl said she should have had an abortion. The description of the video says that people and others ask why she didn’t have an abortion. It even implies that people suggested she should have an abortion while she was still pregnant, when there is no reason at all to conclude that based on what is in the video. It’s actually pretty clever. Her account of one misguided asshole becomes widespread societal pressure. It’s quite a straw man.
This is not an overtly explicit anti-choice message, but it’s close. I doubt very much, based on what I saw in the video, that she would have chosen to have an abortion had she known the extent of the birth defects (if it’s even fair to call them that). Anyone who would suggest to a mother in her position that she should have had an abortion deserves all the scorn and ostracism they can get. The point is, she had a choice, and she made that choice. To take this sweet story and use it to try to keep that choice from others strikes me as shameful.
I thought MSN introduced the video much more fairly:
In this so-inspiring-we-feel-dizzy video, a young mother describes her experience as the mom of Christian, a baby born with severe disabilities, including no eyes. What takes our breath away is the love she shows for her child as she shares her heartwrenching story, and how that love for her “miracle” has helped deflect the taunts from heartless strangers. At the end of the clip, the beaming beauty turns her baby around to face the camera and confirms our own position on the matter: We love Christian, too.