The Mighty Logo

To Those Who Advised Me to Abort My Son With Complex Disabilities

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

You knew — as did we — that his head was small, his brain undeveloped. You knew the prognosis, though unknown, wasn’t good. You knew the doctors thought he would never walk, talk or feed himself. You knew he would likely die at birth. But you also knew he had lived 38 weeks in my womb. You knew he was alive and functioning. Kicking and swallowing. Loving and being loved.

Alex Davey and her son, Benjamin.
Alex and her son.

With the best of intentions, you advised us to abort him. You wanted to protect us and our other children from hardship. But you saw only the hardship. You didn’t think of him.

You said you would respect our decision and support us. But you pitted me and my husband against one another when we needed to stand together. You made us feel weak when we needed to be strong. You made us feel guilt when we needed to love.

I wish I could forgive, forget, let go. But I can’t see you holding my son without holding my breath. I can’t let you help us, however much you now want to, because I dare not show weakness. I don’t want you to be able to say, “We told you so.”

Alex Davey's son, Benjamin.
Alex’s son.

I wish you would say, “We’re sorry, we were wrong.” I hope you have learned something from my son: his positivity, his persistence, his joy.

So when we’re with you, I hold my son just a little bit closer, a little bit longer. I whisper that he is precious, that he has always been precious to me, since the time when I was the only one who knew him. That I will always love him and protect him. That I fought for him, harder than I have ever fought for anything, and I will fight for him again and again.

And, secretly, I am grateful to you for keeping the fight in me burning.

Follow this journey at The Long Chain.

The Mighty is asking the following: What’s one thing people might not know about your experience with disability, disease or mental illness, and what would you say to teach them? If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to Please include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio. Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.

Originally published: April 1, 2016
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home