It is now one day before the birth of Mary's baby boy. For health reasons, the doctor has advised cesarean delivery. Dr. Jones enters the room with a very serious expression on his face. He needs to make Mary aware of a complication that has just been discovered. While the baby will be delivered successfully as planned, he will be physically and possibly mentally deformed. He makes Mary aware that this birth will mean a lifetime of special needs care, expense and heartache. Understandably, Mary is immediately distraught. Severe depression seems to set in and the doctor fears for her mental health. Her mental health is at risk. To help Mary, Dr. Jones begins to explain that the option to abort still exists. While Dr. Jones does not directly try to convince her, Mary is able to see abortion as a way to avoid the lifetime sentence of expense, heartache and perhaps stigma that she now faces. Yes, she decides, yes. Problem solved.

It is now the day of the birth of Sue's baby boy. After hearing the wonderful first cry of her newborn baby, the baby is handed to Sue. Something is obviously wrong. While the baby is alive and in no danger, he is far less than the perfect little boy she had hoped for. Unable to control her disappointment, she wants nothing to do with the baby. She lets go of the child, and the baby falls to the floor and dies instantly. Problem solved.

Not quite. In a few days, Mary has begun to start over. She understandably has to deal with the grief of losing what she had hoped to be her healthy, normal baby boy, but she indeed gets to go home and begin anew. It is different for Sue. She also must deal with the obvious grief, but she may face criminal charges. Mary legally aborted … Sue illegally, unintentionally, killed. If only she had known a day earlier!

When is it OK to kill a baby? Here is what I think: never. God allowed that life to begin at conception. That baby, normal or not, conceived in love or not, that baby has never done one thing wrong, and it deserves whatever life God intended, regardless whether we understand or not.

My wife and I have a severely handicapped child. He is now 47. We know full well the heartache and expense involved, and we will understand why only when God explains it to us. In the meantime, we live. There have been plenty of struggles, admittedly more for my wife, but we are both so grateful for that life that God entrusted to us.

I believe abortion is a choice … a very bad and wrong choice! As Mary, Sue and Dr. Jones in my hypothetical, I thank God for the love, forgiveness and redemption that he offers to all.

Dan Bardeen is a resident of the Town of Canandaigua.