“This is not viable. Dispose of it.”

On a Christian radio station in Chicago, I recently heard an interview with William Young, author of the popular and controversial Christian book, The Shack. Haven’t read the book, but I was intrigued by Young’s story of how his mother came to read the book. She was offended by her son’s portrayal of God as a black woman and didn’t want to read the book, until a friend of hers talked her into reading it. The friend of hers, Howard Nunn (if I recall the name correctly), is a minister who owes his life to Young’s mother, and that’s the story I wanted to mention.

Young’s mother was a nurse helping to deliver babies at a hospital in the fifties. A woman there needed a C-section. The doctor took out the tiny, premature infant, barely one pound in weight, and handed it to Young’s mother with these words (if I remember correctly): “This is not viable. Dispose of it.” Back then, they didn’t have the advanced neonatal support systems we have today, and a baby that premature simply had no chance, or so they thought. The nurse didn’t have the heart to carry out the normal procedures and wrapped the hopeless infant up and set it on a window sill (as I recall). The doctor then announced to the family that he was sorry, the baby was too premature and was dead.

When the nurse checked a couple hours later and found the infant was still alive, she was shocked and began caring for it. It was returned to the mother and grew up just fine, apparently, for Howard Nunn would later become a Protestant missionary and work in West Africa and elsewhere.

The doctor was outraged that his orders has been questioned and disobeyed, and treated Young’s mother like dirt after that.

Just a reminder about the miracle of life and the horror of our society’s massive money-making machine known as the abortion industry. The reality is that many of the fetuses killed in later-term abortions could be viable, even those tiny one-pound creatures like Howard Nunn.

(Corrections are welcome if I’ve got details wrong – this is based on memory from a radio program I heard a few days ago.)


Author: Jeff Lindsay

13 thoughts on ““This is not viable. Dispose of it.”

  1. Good story. I was never set on a windowsill as a baby, but my mother’s doctor told her I would probably be born a mongoloid. The doctor encouraged her to have an abortion.

    Needless to say, my parents got a new doctor. And Einstein I ain’t, but I sure as heck wasn’t born a mongoloid, either. My mom attributes this to a priesthood blessing she received from my dad before I was born.

  2. It’s interesting that next week, wards in CA will have a letter from the First Presidency read to them telling them how important it is to insert themselves into the political process to stamp out or dispose of same sex marriages. If they’re not convinced that such marriages are inviable they mean to make them impossible.

  3. There’s hardly anything that disugsts me more than abortion. And that doctors, who should understand the incredible nature of human life more than anyone could so easily “dispose” of it makes it all the more atrocious.
    I’m convinced that it’s probably one of the most, if not THE most wicked and evil things ever to plague the earth.

  4. “First Presidency read to them telling them how important it is to insert themselves into the political process…”

    I hate to see it is necessary to insert ourselves into politics but now that about 60 million abortions
    have taken place I could easly see where God would send His judgement upon the United States. There is no way a doctor does not know. Depending on the age and situation, it is still hard to understand how they can not know. I pray for Christ’s return.

  5. The saddest part is how adoptive parents spend years waiting for crack babies and half-starved refugees, spending tens of thousands of dollars in the process. How many teen mothers would be willing to finish carrying that unwanted baby they started in return for $10,000? Or even just free medical care for the duration? Adoptive parents already do pay the baby’s medical bills if the mother didn’t (and crack baby = NICU = $$$$).

    I fully agree that a market for parents to sell their unwanted babies is begging for abuse, but I don’t see how it’s any less ethical than abortion (= a market for killing unwanted babies) or adoption*** (= a market for selling someone else’s unwanted babies). The only difference is whether the doctor, the state, or the mother makes money out of the transaction.

    *** Disclaimer: I think adoption is a wonderful thing that should be encouraged, but the hoops and fleecing adoptive parents get put through disgusts me.

  6. What about the hypocratic oath and above all else do no harm?

    Not much of a miracle worker if the doctor decides he doesn’t even want to try on the hard ones.

    Thank heavens the nurse wasn’t as cold-hearted.

  7. what an interesting story. thanks for sharing it. i think ryan makes a good point. a few years ago i was able to take part in a friend carrying her baby to full term and giving her baby up for adoption to a couple from lds family services and i saw it as a beautiful experience. (i actually just posted about it yesterday) though, i’ve recently been reading a blog of an old friend and her husband who has been waiting for over a year to adopt the child they want. this is not through lds family services and it has been horrendous for them. an emotional rollercoaster with all the various testing and credentials and the birth mother changing her mind.

    i actually came upon your blog last week while searching for other lds blogs. and i’m glad i did, i enjoy your writing.

  8. My sister was told to abort her baby because the chances of him being born were almost nil and, if born, would probably need full-time care for severe disabilities. My sister’s response to her doctor was: “You don’t have to care for him, I do. You’re not killing my baby.” She changed to a doctor who sympathized with and encouraged her to carry her baby full term. Sadly, the baby was still-born, the umbilical cord having wrapped around his head and killing him. The point of the story is that we need to do what is morally right, trusting fully in God regardless of what the outcome might be, because we who believe in Christ are a moral people with faith in Him–even if we don’t understand why God does things.

  9. My wife and I adopted our son one year ago right after he was born. We used LDS Family Services. His birth mother was a foster care product who was then adopted by an LDS family. Even though she ran away from home when she was sixteen and has continued to make big mistakes in life including leaving the church, she remembered what she was taught in Primary that the church taught good principles. She wanted an LDS family to adopt her son even though she didn’t necessarily believe. I can only image what our lives would be like now without our son had he been aborted. It just goes to show you that, even though sometimes sharing the gospel or teaching a difficult person at church can seem pointless, you never know what the long term effects will be.

    I do have one comment for Ryan from what he said earlier about adoptive families footing the bill. I am not sure if that is the case (I think that it depends on individual state laws to avoid the appearance of buying babies), but we didn’t pay for any medical expenses. In fact we all did, thanks to Medicaid. It is true, though that people can wait a long time. We waited one year and had two different situations follow through. In fact, it was so hard that my wife asked me to have our profile taken down so we wouldn’t have to deal with it any more. We didn’t do it too quickly and were then contacted by the birth mother. I guess you never know what will happen.

  10. Touching story, Hans! I’m glad you and your wife didn’t give up!
    And God bless all the birth mothers who make the harder, but wiser choice to give their babies the hope of a better life.. and life itself!!

  11. Hans,

    My wife’s best friend just adopted a baby in CA and they got saddled with the medical bills. Not the delivery itself, but all the (premature, drug-addled) baby’s NICU bills for the weeks between birth and adoption.

    The bad part was, the doctors didn’t disclose that the baby had some sort of autoimmune disorder until a couple weeks after they had signed on the dotted line. They already knew the baby was deaf, and probably brain-damaged, and love her to pieces anyway, but the continuing expense of this latest surprise will be a real burden on them for the foreseeable future.


    The Hippocratic oath has been mangled a bit since the Greeks invented it. It started out saying:

    I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody who asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect. Similarly I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy.

    The modern version still said the following as recently as the 1980’s:

    I will maintain the utmost respect for human life, from the time of its conception, even under threat

    Now it just says:

    I will maintain the utmost respect for human life

    At the rate they’re going, by about 2012 the whole sentence will just be gone.

  12. Society has made pre-marital pregnancy into some horrible disease, such that these teens are freaking out when they get pregnant, and assuming that their life will be over if they have to raise a child. The attitude that it’s bad is what’s REALLY devaluing the life of that little fetus, because the teen carrying it is suddenly thinking of it as a ‘sin’ (or a mistake or a catalyst or whatever) instead of a blessing.

  13. Ryan,

    I see what you mean about adoptive fees. I thought that you meant fees for birth and etc. I am surprised that the doctors did not disclose any medical problems as that is usually required by state law. I realize that if we had similar circumstances, we also would have been on the hook for medical expenses.

    To anonymous @ 4:07

    I can see where you are coming from but it is a stretch blaming society for abortions because of stigmatism. I agree that there is some unfairness in how society treats these situations, especially with some of the zealots out there, but in fairness should we not condemn society on the other hand for advocating consequence-free sex which lets kids think that it is ok to be sexually active when they are (usually) at an immature place in their life? Things can, obviously, still work out for the mother, but people are usually concerned for these girls because when they are 15, they are not exactly in a position financially nor emotionally to handle the burden of a child. Not only that, but the child will often lack the benefit of a stable home with a father. You can’t honestly think that it is a blessing for the child to grow up in a home where there is no teenage father and mother (due to flipping hamburgers or striving to make ends meet) vs. a home where there is more stability. Again, I am saying this is generally what happens and that very often things work out well for mother and child. But the odds are greatly against them.

    Let me use one more example and I’ll finish. My adopted son was born to a 16 year old, twice divorced girl, and his father was in Afghanistan (now in Iraq). She has/had no job and hooks up with the next GI on base after she breaks up with the other. My wife and I have a stable home where we can raise him together and where we are fortunate that my wife can stay in the home. Which is the better situation for our son? His birth mother was wise enough, among all her bad decisions, to see that he would have a better chance as well as she improving her future. This is not always the situation as the facts are always different in every situation, but I think that it is similar to other situations. Do you think that “society’s pressue” on her being pregnant at 16 as a high-school drop out devalues the life of my son in the way that abortion does? Again, I respect where you come from and so am interested to see what you think. I try to see both sides and so await your response.

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