Hypothetical - What would you do?

Iridescent - posted on 06/08/2010 ( 166 moms have responded )

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This is not an abortion debate. This is a hypothetical question.

If you carry a serious genetic defect and were pregnant, with a 100% chance that this baby would pass away at birth, in pain, would you continue the pregnancy? You do the research, you know the facts. You may have another child with this same defect already that has passed away right after birth (quite common when finding these).

So many are saying in the abortion debate thread that abortion is wrong in all cases unless it will kill the mother, despite what other facts there are. So what is your view in this situation? It is not using abortion as birth control.

Would you want the baby born regardless? Would you prefer to abort as you face the death of the child either way, and this way while you will suffer, your baby will not nor will any other children you may have, or other family members, as they won't necessarily even be aware? Why?

Do not be mean, just be honest.

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Trish - posted on 06/10/2010

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I am a well educated nurse. This is a very controversial topic. No one ever seems to ask the parents. Babies feel pain! When it is born only to die the suffering is cruel for the baby and the mother and family. If you know you have the defect and the child will die no matter what modern medicine has to offer there is no shame in terminating the pregnancy. Research shows the mother who carries a non-viable, meaning a child with no chance for survival suffers irreparable emotional harm that can destroy her self esteem, marriage, and has even led to suicide due to guilt and grief. My heart goes out to anyone who has to make this very difficult decision because it has got to be the most difficult one anybody could have to make. People are so judgemental, they need to spend time in that pregnant womans shoes, feel her anguish, pain, sorrow, guilt, loss, failure, depression and be supportive. Not judgemental! Stand by her during this difficult time, give her a shoulder to lean on and cry with her and for her, pray with her and for her and give her your love, If you need that person I will be there for you. Trish

Sarah - posted on 06/09/2010

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i believe in my faith and that from the moment of conception its a human life and should not be killed intentionally! would you kill someone that had terminal cancer before their "time" was up? more than likely you wouldn't even consider it! if you knew 100% that your child would suffer and die soon after birth you should do anything and everything possible so you don't become pregnant in the 1st place! even if that means getting your tubes tied! and if you happened to get pregnant before you knew then it was fate! it was meant to be and no life... no matter how small should be thrown away without a chance to make it! miracles can happen! my husband was told my numerous doctors he could not have children... that being said we are expecting our 1st child! now doctors can be wrong about things! i would hate to have a child and be told its going to die, then terminate it only to find out the doctors were wrong and he/she may have been able to survive!

Tracy - posted on 06/08/2010

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Nope. Why let the child suffer needlessly? Why put that enormous strain on the relationship between my partner and myself? Why is it merciful to put an animal down, but not a suffering, terminal human? (pulling up my flame retardant panties)

Jennifer - posted on 08/10/2012

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I believe every woman has the right, but I NEVER fully believe a statistic. I was told my daughter would have an 80% of never being able to walk and would be disabled. I refused to believe it, my daughter was crawling by 4 months and walking by 9. I think that any life is a blessing. So yes I would allow nature to take its course so to speak.

Deborah - posted on 06/18/2010

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If I knew for a fact that my child would life a painful short pitiful existance, then I would do the right thing for them, which would be to put them out of their misery before it starts.

Having a child that you know 100% is going to die at birth in pain is just plain selfishness on the mothers part imo. Save the poor thing the suffering that you're supposed to protect them from.

Like said before if there was any chance, no matter how slim, that they could live a normal happy life then I would take the chance.

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Alyssa - posted on 08/11/2012

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I think that getting ripped apart would be more painful...they do feel PAIN. Just like you and me...even if I knew my child would die shortly after birth. I would carry them...and give them a chance...maybe a miracle would come about? Even if it didn't, I would rather see, and hold my baby for one second and in one piece, then have it live a life time in my memory in pieces.

Hanny - posted on 08/05/2012

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I am against abortion. There are always exceptions, like this situation, where abortion is understandable and if I would find myself in this particular situation, i would not continue the pregnancy. However, I do want to add this: I am not sure why you are asking this question? Is this a situation you are facing or experiencing in your circle? People who are against abortion, are always faced with extreme situations and asked "what if". What if you got raped, what if ...what if.....There are always exceptions, as with any rule. If you want me to be honest: The situation you describe is an awful one. I hope it is not your situation and choice to make. Then again, if you are describing this situation to mindboggle people who are against abortion, calling on emotions and creating another "what if"question, I think that's of a different level....

Ashley - posted on 06/18/2010

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I would have an abortion. The fetus gets an injection of Digoxin to stop it's heart before the abortion is carried out if it is past a certain point, so when you "deliver" it, it is already dead. I would also get my tubes tied so it wouldn't happen again, and would then adopt if we wanted children.
Here is a good website about women who chose to end the pregnancy for poor fetal diagnosis: www.aheartbreakingchoice.com
It would not be easy, as it would be a wanted pregnancy, but I couldn't watch my baby suffer and die in my arms because of my choice knowing the outcome beforehand.

Debbie - posted on 06/18/2010

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Shannon....I would allow pain meds most likely. If God is going to take my child in this situation, and I know it, then I would not allow any 'heroic' measures other than to comfort the pain. My response was greared toward the fact that I personally would NOT abort. I would not want have the burden of MY CHOICE being the deciding factor on when my child lived or died. I agree that man can do many things to prolong and interfere with the death of an individual...however I feel that aborting a child that hasn't already 'passed away' while in the womb is simply wrong. This is my opinion, I do not look down on those who have or would choose abortion however it is not for me.

Franca - posted on 06/15/2010

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I too am pro choice..... That would be an aweful experience to go through.... Just the thought of it breaks my heart so why go through the whole pregnancy feeling that way.....

Ashley - posted on 06/15/2010

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is anyone thinking that you would not know about this defect until mid pregnancy and do you know how they abort a baby later into the pregnancy. They basically use scissors to open the babies head and suck the brain out then you have to deliver that baby. So you to say you would not want to cause the baby pain imagine the pain that child would feel being killed. We are not talking about something you could find out early on in the pregnancy because a doctor could not determine something until the genetic anatomy scan which is usually done 18-20 wks.

Chontay - posted on 06/14/2010

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I wouldn't continue the pregnancy, and I couldn't understand a persons to choice to put them though that emotional pain, and knowing the suffering that would come in the end.

Cookie_slacker - posted on 06/14/2010

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No, I wouldn't continue the pregnancy. It would be a hard decision, but that's the one I'd make. I've carried a baby to 20 weeks and for some unknown reason, he died in utero. My other two children were born normal and healthy for which I'm grateful. Losing that first baby in such a manner was the most heart-wrenching thing I've ever been through, and it has affected my life since then so no, I wouldn't want the heartache of KNOWING the baby would die and in pain, and mostly, I wouldn't want the baby to suffer either. I'd also probably not try to have children and would adopt if I really wanted childrenof my own or be very invovled with the children of my friends and family.

Ashley - posted on 06/14/2010

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I dont see how people are saying that could not let their child suffer and die when born because when you have an abortion you yourself will be the one who is killing this child. I have learned first hand that nothing is 100% and my beautiful children are proof seeing as I was told I couldnt have children.

Melanie - posted on 06/14/2010

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I think that as a parent my life mission is to love, protect and cherich my children. So even though the decision would be extemely difficult, I think that terminating the pregnancy in those circomstances would be the right thing to do, I could not live with the thought that I let my child suffer.

Heather - posted on 06/14/2010

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@ Sarah Dreier
i didn't read any of the comments until i answered but i'm with you. if the parent already knew before pregnancy that there was this terrible genetic defect so bad that they might have to abort an unborn child the best thing to do would indeed be to seek alternate ways to create a family. I mean there ARE children & babies all over the world that have no family to take care of them. if the parent(s) knew of the defect but really wanted a family they should seek alternate ways to make a family. i agree 100%!!!

Heather - posted on 06/14/2010

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if it was a 100% that the baby would carry it & pass away at birth in pain i would abort... but not before it was proven that the baby had whatever genetic defect that would make it suffer & then die anyways... if there was even a 1% chance that the baby could survive i would not abort but i would certainly be on my knees praying CONSTANTLY

Sarah - posted on 06/14/2010

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tough question i think until your in that situation you really wouldnt be able to answer i think i would have an abortion but reading some of the replies i feel unsure so i dont know!!! not a good reply i know but truthfully answered!

Zoe - posted on 06/14/2010

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thank god iam not in this situation, if i was i would hope to have the strenth to termenat the pregnency as soon as possibel to ease the pane for all.

Sarah - posted on 06/14/2010

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Earlier I posed the hypothetical reponse in respone to the hypothetical question and asked why parents who were aware of carrying a gene that had the potential to cause a terrible death/defect to their offspring might not consider a vasectomy or tubal ligation to prevent future pregnancies or abortions. My suggestion was called "irrational" on the grounds that sometimes people "beat the odds".... I object to that. First, because this is a hypothetical debate. Second, I don't feel that it would be appropriate for parents who are already aware that they carry a genetic defect to become pregnant in the hopes that they might "beat the odds" but also might choose to abort their unborn child if it was found to have a horrible defect. Perhaps it boils down to how people feel about abortion--what they feel in their heart is right or wrong, what some people consider to be selfish or not... And obviously that varies from person to person. However, my feeling was simply that if a parent was aware beforehand that they might pass this on and potentially have to abort, might it not be better to spare themselves and their unborn child this pain and seek alternate ways to create a family? Though you may disagree and it may not be the choice you would make, this is NOT an "irrational" viewpoint.

Claire - posted on 06/14/2010

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i would hate my baby to be in any pain. yes i am part of the majority that are strongly against abortion, i feel every baby deserves a chance regardless of the odds. i've read stories where parents are told they baby will not survive outside the safe and comfort of the womb but they then go on to lead a full life because the parents gave that baby a chance. i fully believe that until you are in this situation you cannot judge or comment as a mother i know that we know what is right for our child(ren). thats motherly instinct for you. A baby should never be put in harms way but a mothers gotta do what she gotta do. my heart goes to anyone who this has happened to * a tear for the lost babies* that were giving a chance but didn't make it ....x

Becky - posted on 06/14/2010

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This is such a hard question and a heartbreaking situation, and I would never judge a family for the decision they made, whatever it might be. Personally, I do not think I could abort the baby. I would want whatever time I could have with my child, even if the baby were not born alive, the chance to hold him or her and say goodbye. Also, I don't really believe there is any 100%. Dr's and medical tests can be wrong. Friends of mine found out before their daughter's birth that she had holoproscencephaly (a brain malformation) and a serious heart defect. They were told she would most likely not make it to birth alive, and if she did, she would die shortly after. They did not believe in abortion and continued the pregnancy. Long story short, she is now a beautiful, thriving 1 1/2 year old. She has had to have some heart surgeries, and she has some developmental delays, but she continuously amazes her doctors and everyone who knows her. And I know that even though no one really knows her prognosis or how long they have with her, her parents would not trade a single moment they have had with her.
As to the person who asked about aborting a child because they had Down's Syndrome, no, NEVER! We were put in this situation. We were told our second son had a marker for Down's. We declined any further testing because honestly, we didn't care. I mean, yes, we cared, but bottom line, this was our baby. It didn't matter if he had Downs, or Spina bifida, or whatever, he was our baby. I have PCOS, I thought I'd never even have kids, and here I was pregnant with our second, so to us, he was a blessing no matter what. And he is now an adorable, perfect, and healthy 9 month old, without Downs. Imagine what I could've missed out on!

Melinda - posted on 06/13/2010

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I do not belive in abortion. I have heard how they terminate the baby. If you don't want to get pregnant use some sort of birth control. (not intending to be rude) Two of my kids were unplaned, but that was our fault. I wouldn't trade them for anything. We lost our first. He was stillborn. Even if I knew that would happen I wouldn't of destroyed him. He was given a name and he was very much loved. I still cry when I think of him of him. But he is my little boy. I have had difficult pregnancies and was even told by the dr I shouldn't have anymore. We don't plan on having anymore and we are being very carful. But if I were to get pregnant I would still have it whatever the outcome.

Dana - posted on 06/13/2010

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I've never heard of anyone giving pain medication to an infant when it was born and they knew it would die soon, maybe only after a few struggling breaths. I think pro choice means respecting anothers choice and the why's even if it isn't right for you. I personally can't imagine going through months of pregnancy knowing there was no baby at the end, listening to the well wishes or having to explain everyday. Going home and crying myself to sleep. The hours of labor, the hearing of the struggles for breath and seeing that child die. What would it do to the rest of my family and other children. Would it hurt my chances of giving life to more children. What about the other children I could have conceived in that time frame that could have been healthy. Would that be giving up those lives for a principal. I just don't think it would be worth it. If God doesn't give you more than you can handle, then how do you know the abortion isn't what you have to handle. It's hard for my to see the difference between ending a life early, and bringing a life into the world knowing it's going to be ended shortly there after.

Linda - posted on 06/13/2010

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I would never have an abortion. Pain medication can be administered to alleviate the baby's pain. Even if he dies at birth or shortly thereafter, I would at least be able to hold him in my arms for a short time. It would be hard, but I could live with my baby dying. I couldn't live with the fact that I killed him myself--and usually they don't administer pain medications to the baby during abortions (and the nervous system is developed by 3 months gestation).

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Debbie you say leave the matter of death up to God...... What sort of medical interventions Would you allow the hospital to use? Medical interventions that might help a baby in this situation are not a thing of God they are man made. But if you believe they are ok to use then abortion should be seen as the same as man has created these things???

Jaime - posted on 06/13/2010

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i would have an abortion... i wouldn't put myself threw the labour just for the baby to pass away i wouldn't want 2 put any more pressure on my body just because i'm thinking it would mess with your mind so why the extra stress on yourself

Debbie - posted on 06/13/2010

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CONGRATS on the twins, Ashley! God is good, and He knows what is best for us no matter what the situation might be....and I agree that we should leave the matter of death up to Him.

I cherish the time that I had with my son, and I know that you embrace the time you had with yours. His short life, a funeral, and all the things that go along with the loss of a child (no matter what they might be) gives you/me unbelievable strength in our future.

Ashley - posted on 06/13/2010

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I agree with Debbie as being one that lost my first son and being told I could possibly not be able to carry a child I did get pregnant and did carry twins who are now healthy 2 1/2 year olds.

Andrea - posted on 06/13/2010

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Wow, Amy, that is a great community! Good thing you got life insurance when you did as I know how difficult it can be to get when you have a pre-existing medical condition. My parents paid for my son's casket and since my dad is a funeral director his work covered the service costs. We just had to pay for the actual burial.

Julia - posted on 06/13/2010

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I am also pro choice. In this situation I think I would also abort, to put a baby through any pain even for just a few minutes would not be worth it for me.

Sandra - posted on 06/13/2010

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Yes I would continue the pregnancy. Sometimes things are different than you were told at birth. Doctors are in infalable.

Iridescent - posted on 06/13/2010

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Funeral costs never crossed my mind except when we weren't so stressed and were able to think of something other than the "now" of everything. Honestly, at least in our area, children that require a funeral often have much of what is needed donated to cover the expense of burial. It's very possible this is rare overall, and we live in an excellent community, but I'd hope it is true in more areas than just ours. I am simply grateful I applied for the Gerber Life Insurance plan for her when she was 4 weeks old, because there is no way she can get life (or health) insurance now.

Andrea - posted on 06/13/2010

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Aborting a baby because you can't afford funeral costs? If that is a big issue, how would you afford the child if it lived? A baby costs money dead or alive. Funeral costs are not even in your mind when you are facing this decision (in my personal experience anyway).

Lisa - posted on 06/13/2010

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If it were me, and I knew 100% sure that the baby had SERIOUS defects and would most likely pass away after birth, then I would not continue the pregnancy.
I am pro-choice by the way.

Rae - posted on 06/13/2010

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tbh no i couldnt have an abortion, i would feel to much guilt that i took my baby's life. i would rather, what will be, will be. Think i said before in another post, that i was offered an abortion for my second son, which i didnt take.

Shaye - posted on 06/13/2010

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If faced with this my mind might change but if it had happened before and i knew 100% it would i would have to abort. i couldnt deal with giving brith and not having a baby to take home. i think i would drive my self crazy with a memory like that. so i would chosse to end it a safe way. i think the pain of an abortion would be easyer to get over than seeing my child and nothing that it would be the last time i ever would. this may seem like im only thinking of myself, but knowing that i will be the only one having to still live my life, i would have to chosse Me

Patricia - posted on 06/12/2010

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Now this really depends on how far along you are? I don't know how far pg you have to be to have a funeral. If it is first trimester i would seriously think of aborting the baby. Then again I have heard of so called horror tests that developed into perfect babies= doctors screwed up or mislabeled the name on tests. I don't believe you will burn in hell for aborting a child with or without medical problems. I think every child should be loved and I;ve seen first hand the ones who were brought into the world and abused or damaged by parents not mentally or mature enough to parent. I don't want more children in foster care who are caught in a vicious cycle of parents ill prepared for parenthood.

Debbie - posted on 06/12/2010

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The guilt of going through the rest of my life knowing that I chose to end the life of my child, regardless of the situation, would be more emotionally damaging to me than being allowed a few precious moments alone with my child at his or her birth.

With that being said, I will share that I delivered a full term stillborn son who was perfect in every way.....ten fingers, ten toes, and all the things you look for when your child is born except for the breathes that he would never take outside the womb. I would NEVER trade the moments of stillness as he entered this world for anything. It was our time with him. A time of closeness and love and so much more. It was, when I was able to look back clearly, a time that God gave me to cherish and hold dear to my heart......and believe it or not help me with closure to what has been the most devastating thing in my life. Was it easy...NO. But I know that I have a very special memory of that precious baby boy who had black hair and a beautiful face and the love of two parents that held him, sang to him, touched him, and made him a very real part of their family.

Don't abort. I knew my son would be stillborn. I found out at my doctors appointment the day before his birth. My heart aches to this day, but the ache is for the child I do not have here on this earth and not for a life that I terminated.

(JUST A SIDENOTE ON THE HAPPIER SIDE...Fast forward a bit): Today I have a 3 year old and a 4 week old. Both of our children are adopted, both were results of teen pregnancies, both were in our custody immediately after birth. Both of their biological mothers could have chosen to abort, but God bless them for the chance to give these two precious little ones life.......we will always have a special place in our hearts for them both.

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As much as i would choose the abortion in this case i aslo don't lieke the idea of What Katherine is describing. I think there is natural gender selection for a reason and if we could choose then i believe we would kill ourselves off by over populating with one sex or the other. I'm sorry to anyone who has had to be faced with Amy's situation but i also believe that these things happen for a reason and again it comes down to natural selection.

Natalie - posted on 06/12/2010

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Oh okay, I thought you were saying that you do think it can prevent everything. But I completely agree with you. I feel it is unfair and not natural choosing the way your child is. No body should play the role of God.

Katherine - posted on 06/12/2010

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I'm sorry, I agree there are things they wouldn't be able to prevent, sorry long day.

Katherine - posted on 06/12/2010

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I don't believe in 'manufacturing' children. Maybe the disease part, but not eye color, hair color, body shape etc... It is like playing God.

Katherine - posted on 06/12/2010

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I'm playing devil's advocate, I certainly would NOT agree with that.

Natalie - posted on 06/12/2010

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In a sense yes, problem is solved. But there are still disorders that don't always have to be genetic like Anencephaly. They still wouldn't be able to prevent that and I'm sure a few others.

Katherine - posted on 06/12/2010

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How about this: You have a genetically perfect child. This is happening right now. They are going to make it an option. You can pick eye color, hair color, anything you want. Problem solved.

Natalie - posted on 06/12/2010

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But there are always possibilities of having a child who does turn out okay. Sometimes people defeat the odds. I just think it's a little irrational to say they should consider a vasectomy or tubal ligation just because they carry the gene. Unless it's a situation in which they will have a child that will have that dominant allele no matter what..and if it's 100% unavoidable then maybe they should consider those options. Otherwise that's just jumping to conclusions way too quickly.

Sarah - posted on 06/12/2010

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Not to answer a question with a question, but since it's all hypothetical, why wouldn't parents who already know they carry this horrible gene consider a vasectomy or tubal ligation to prevent pregnancy and save themselves the agony of these decisions? That's what I would do.

Natalie - posted on 06/12/2010

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There doesn't necessarily have to be funeral costs. It's a decision of the parents whether they want a funeral or not. Many do but they are not obligated to.

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