Julia Schoch’s adopted daughter Jaelyn was conceived in rape when her birth mother was only 13 years old. Their story was told in Feminists for Life’s magazine, “The American Feminist.” Jaelyn’s birth mother was coerced into a late-term abortion. Staff at the abortion business told her that because of the circumstances of her child’s conception, no one would want her baby. Schoch explained:
She said she was told by the abortion clinic staff that “No one will want a biracial, rapist’s baby.” They refused to let her see the ultrasound picture and, although she was 20 weeks pregnant, told her that her baby wasn’t formed yet. They also told her that she was “too young” and would die if she tried to have the baby.
She gave in, believing she would die trying to have a baby no one would even want.
The abortionist started the procedure, but the young mother was in so much pain that she thrashed around on the table and made the abortion difficult:
The doctor began a second trimester abortion under only local anesthesia. They never explained fetal development, the procedure, risks, options, etc. She was in so much pain that the doctor stopped and rescheduled the abortion, telling her mom to bring more money for general anesthesia because “She is making my job too difficult.”
After the attempted abortion, Jaelyn’s birth mother stood up for herself and her baby and refused to go back to the facility. She chose Julie and her husband Andy to parent her daughter. Schoch described the scene in the delivery room:
I was in the room when my daughter was born…. The birth mother’s own mother, who initially wanted the baby aborted, instantly fell in love with this little girl…. [O]ut came this fat cheeked, curly-haired little thing with the prettiest green eyes – everyone was crying tears of joy! I went straight to the young birth mother and just held her and cried. I said, “You did it! You did it! She is here!” She replied, “Thank you! You are right. She is worth it.”
The documentary “Pro-Life without Exception” picks up the story at this point.
Because of the attempted abortion, Jaelyn is disabled. Her adoptive mother Julie said, “So, she’s got the rape hard case, she’s got the ‘something is wrong with your baby’ hard case, and she’s got life of the mother [hard case] but add that she also has special needs. She’s an abortion survivor.”
Schoch said that Jaelyn has taught her and her family many things:
[O]h my goodness, the things that we have learned.… We know we have a lot more strength than we gave us credit for. Our other children, they are learning … that life, all life, is really valuable. That it doesn’t make any difference if the child is rape-conceived or special needs or of a different race or their abilities – anything – none of that makes any difference. They are worthy of respect and dignity. Their life is valuable because they are made in the image of God. And I could’ve told them that all day [but] they are living that now. They have learned empathy in a way they never would’ve if they hadn’t had this opportunity. They’re learning to have a tenderness toward their sister and her friends that are also special needs.
Schoch describes Jaelyn as a happy child, who loves to go to church and sing:
Jaelyn loves to go to church. She loves to sing as loud as possible. You could hear her over the entire crowd belting it out and she’ll go up front, throw her hands up in the air and sing.
She also gravitates toward other children with special needs:
She has a heart for other special needs children. She can pick them out of a crowd. We’re at a birthday party, and there’s all these other kids around and she’s not paying any attention to them. And a mother comes walking through the yard and she’s carrying her child on her hip. And my daughter goes right up to her, and the little girl turns around and she has Downs. And my daughter’s like, “Hi. What’s your name? And that’s who she stuck with the entire time.
She has one particularly close friend with a disability:
Her best friend in school is a little boy named Judah and he is the adopted son of friends of ours, and he’s a victim of shaken baby syndrome. He’s blind. He’s mostly deaf. He’s in a wheelchair. And Jaelyn loves him to pieces. And he can hear the tone of her voice, and she sings to him, and he laughs and smiles.
Jaelyn’s life is a testimony to the fact that every human being has inherent value and worth, despite the way they were conceived or their abilities.
“Julia Schoch” The American Feminist 2012
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