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Perinatal Hospice, the Most Loving Option

Bradley Mattes   |   April 18, 2024

Few things in life derail a parent’s world more than being informed that the unborn baby they were excitedly anticipating has an illness deemed “incompatible with life” or “a life-limiting condition.” Perinatal hospice is the most loving option.   

At times like these medical professionals should proceed with great sensitivity and compassion, realizing that even though this child’s life will likely be short, she is a gift from God. Her brief presence on this earth will serve a purpose often known only to the Creator.  

Sadly, at this fragile moment, doctors often matter-of-factly advise an abortion. The procedure is wrapped in soft, benign-sounding euphemisms intended to paint images of comfort and peace. They call the abortion “early induction, interruption of pregnancy,” or “compassionate termination.” Whatever they call it the reality is the same. An abortion intentionally ends the life of their unborn baby. Killing the child is never part of God’s plan.  

In the long term, the grief of abortion is added to the anguish of their child’s condition. 

New research shows there’s a much more positive approach to a tragic pregnancy that serves the unborn child and leaves her parents with lasting positive memories. The study, Titled Perinatal Hospice: A Compassionate, Life-Affirming Option, surveyed 82 mothers facing pregnancies with grim diagnoses and served by one of 11 perinatal hospice programs.  

Tragically, 55% of these mothers were offered abortions at that vulnerable moment of shock and devastation. A majority of them were advised multiple times to abort their babies. A disappointing 13 percent of doctors advised the mothers to carry their babies to term. And a paltry 19% were given information regarding perinatal hospice.  

The compassionate, life-affirming option of perinatal hospice offers an array of services. These include counseling, sonograms, photos or mementos of the baby, support groups, a birth plan, a burial plan, and the all-important tool of prayer.

An overwhelming 83 percent said the level of emotional support they received was “very supportive.” And 79 percent could not point to anything in the program that wasn’t helpful to them.  

Further, 86 percent were highly confident that they made the right choice to give birth to their babies. Over a third of the mothers said that carrying their babies to term made them more pro-life. 

Choosing life is always the right choice, even when circumstances are devastating. The Lord has a perfect plan for every life conceived, even though we may not know what it is.  

Get the Word Out 

Mothers responding to the survey were predominantly more affluent white women. Younger, low-income women and racial minorities would greatly benefit from perinatal hospice and are worthy of our attention. 

The survey revealed that healthcare professionals are reluctant to recommend perinatal hospice or are unaware of the services. Educating them, pastors/priests, policymakers, and the general public will help ensure that women are aware of this vital, much-needed service.  

Defending Mothers and Their Babies, 

Brad Mattes,

President, Life Issues Institute

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2 thoughts on “Perinatal Hospice, the Most Loving Option

  1. Is perinatal hospice available in NZ? Is this part of our Hospice service and under the same umbrella/roof?

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