“My first daughter was born very prematurely. They rushed her from the Tyler Texas hospital, where she was born, over to a hospital in Shreveport with the highest level of neonatal intensive care. My wife could not leave the hospital in Tyler, but she urged me to go do all I could for our daughter. The neonatologist in Shreveport encouraged me to caress her, talk to her. He said though she cannot see you well, she knows your voice from in the womb and it will comfort her. As I touched her hand, she grabbed my finger and held it for hours.
“When the doctor returned a couple of hours later, he asked if I had noticed the electronic monitors. I looked up, and her breathing was still shallow but was stable and even. Her heart rate was still fast, but it was no longer erratic. He said she is drawing strength and life from you. It was so clear as she clung to life – she wanted to live, and I certainly wanted her to live.
“That premature child who held onto my finger, and I held in my hands, was nurtured by her mother and me, and by the grace of God has grown up to be a beautiful, brilliant woman. The thought of anyone willingly taking a child – born or unborn – at the same stage and size as that beautiful, cherished child of ours, and scrambling her brain or crushing her precious head is so repugnant — so abhorrent — that it is absolutely nauseating.
“Life is precious. Each and every child deserves a chance to breathe for the first time and to keep breathing, following his or her natural course, without the child being intentionally ripped from the warmth and safety of the womb then cruelly destroyed. Every life, whether born or unborn, is a gift from God and should be cherished as such.”
CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK