One of the things Oprah does with OWN, her television network, is a feature called “Where Are They Now.” She finds people you haven’t thought of in a while – Italian model Fabio, once-famous lawyer Erin Brokovich – and catches up with them.
Last week, after a long talk with Lindsay Lohan about addiction, Oprah turned the focus of “Where Are They Now” to a video she covered some time ago, called “99 Balloons.” It’s a mother’s and father’s tribute to their son, Eliot, who was born with Trisomy-18. Parents Matt and Ginny wrote a letter to their precious baby boy for every day he lived – a total of ninety-nine letters, far more than the fifteen doctors had expected.
You can watch the video here. Have a box of tissues handy.
I’d like to think that this video gave Oprah something to think about. After all, the mega-star and “women’s empowerment” icon vocally supported Barack Obama, who said in 2008 that he didn’t want his daughters “punished with a baby” if “they make a mistake.” Obama has decked his career in abortion support, from opposing born-alive infant protections to being the first sitting president to address (and attempt to invoke God’s blessing for) Planned Parenthood, America’s largest abortion corporation.
Oprah herself, in talking about her tragic miscarriage at fourteen years old, called the death of her baby “my second chance.” Having come from a childhood fraught with abuse, it might be understandable for a distraught fourteen-year-old girl to feel this way about her baby.
But what does Oprah think about abortion now? What about when she watches “99 Balloons”? When there is proof before her eyes that even an “imperfect” child deserves love – that even a baby with “fetal abnormalities” can leave this Earth, after 99 short days, and still fill his parents with hope, joy, and gratitude – does Oprah still consider the tragic death of her baby nothing more than a “second chance”? Does she still consider our extreme pro-abortion president “The One”?
That there are people out there who consider these irreplaceable, invaluable little human beings worthless. Jezebel recently showcased a video similar to “99 Balloons,” in which a baby’s father documented one second of every day of the child’s life for a year. Even this completely healthy little boy was dehumanized by Jezebel as a “high needs pet.” How much more, then, would the pro-abortion side strip the humanity from baby Eliot, whose “abnormalities” did not stop him from lighting up his parents’ lives?
Eliot’s story speaks powerfully to the “hard cases” narrative abortion proponents so often appeal to. He was going to die anyway, so his life was not worth living.
No one will say that raising a child with special needs is easy – but since when is raising any child easy? And should we call a person – unique, irreplaceable, and totally dependent – not human because he doesn’t meet some arbitrary standard of “perfection”?
Oprah did at least show Eliot’s story, and that gives me a glimmer of hope. But I also hope that she really watched the video, really listened to those letters.
Baby Eliot, the light of Matt’s and Ginny’s life, is not “The One.” No, he is one of many, many precious children who deserve the same love and respect as any other human being, yet who are brutally torn from their mother’s wombs in the hundreds of thousands every year. These people are valuable, and yet we kill them.
I don’t expect Jezebel and other abortion zealots to admit that babies like little Eliot are human persons, with human rights, from the moment they’re conceived. But maybe Oprah will.
Lila Rose is the president and founder of Live Action.