Op-Ed: Case of teen on hospital lock-down proves abortion advocates just don´t get it

What do you get when you mix abortion supporters with news that a girl is on lock-down in a hospital receiving forced cancer treatments?  Answer: lunacy.

In a piece entitled,You Can Murder Your Child, But You Can’t Make Medical Decisions For Her,” The Blaze author Matt Walsh tackles the core problems surrounding the case of Connecticuit teen “Cassandra C.”  Last September, Cassandra was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma and refused to undergo a complete chemotherapy treatment because she felt that chemotherapy was “poison.”  Cassandra was so firm in her resolution to reject treatment that she ran away from home.  Eventually she came back, and her parents agreed to respect Cassandra’s wishes to reject treatment, even though her cancer was extremely curable (with an 85% projected success rate if she completed the chemotherapy protocol).

But the Connecticut Department of Families (CDF) intervened, obtaining custody of the 17-year-old. Cassandra’s mom filed an appeal to the Supreme Court, but lost.  “Again,” Walsh states, “in case you weren’t paying attention, she is being locked away in a hospital and cut open without the consent of her or her parents.”

Cassandra now lives on lock-down in a hospital where she has undergone surgery and chemotherapy to treat her cancer.  Cassandra was not even allowed to use her own cell phone during lock-down until recently.  Although Cassandra initially opposed the treatment, she stated last week that she is glad she underwent chemotherapy because the treatment worked.  Her cancer has cleared and she is now in remission, but the teen remains on lock-down as she finishes out the remaining weeks of treatment.  Cassandra’s lawyer will petition a court to allow the teen to return home for the final leg of treatment, arguing that even if she fails to travel to the hospital for her weekly treatments there is still a high percentage that she will survive.  

Abortion rights groups are outraged that this girl’s right to “bodily autonomy” (a right they paradoxically demand for women under the auspices of abortion access, but deny for the preborn victims of abortion) is not being respected.  Many Pro-Life advocates agree that the situation is unjust and unthinkable.  But in his article, Walsh notes the absurdity of the abortion industry’s incredulity over Cassandra’s condition when they do not support parents’ rights to be involved in a young woman’s abortion decision.

The CDF’s reason for intervening?  “Even if the decision might result in criticism, we have an obligation to protect the life of the child.”  (Emphasis added.)  An obligation to protect the life of the child?  Walsh points out the insanity of this statement, since the Connecticut government would also allow Cassandra to undergo an abortion without parental consent.  She cannot, however, put her own life “in jeopardy” by leaving cancer untreated with or without the consent of her parents.

Inconsistencies on the right to Life abound within state and federal government, where the “obligation to protect” Life is used as rationale for decisions like the one made on Cassandra’s behalf, but is wholly trampled by laws that allow the violent destruction of the preborn by abortion.

A similar disconnect exists within the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which approves the use of the abortion-inducing RU-e86 drugs (a combination of pills that, after being ingested by a pregnant mother, starve to death and then expel her preborn child).  In spite of the drugs’ severe side effects on women – and their fatal effects on preborn children – the FDA permits the drugs’ use.

The same government entity places unbelievably stringent barriers on the use of the acne drug isotretinoin (“Accutane”), whichcan cause birth defects if taken by a woman who becomes pregnant.  The FDA protocol for prescribing the drug to a woman of reproductive age includes mandated monthly blood tests, urine pregnancy tests, and frequent physician consultation to ensure that women on the drug do not become pregnant.  In addition, she must call the FDA regularly to confirm that she is using two distinct forms of contraception and divulge what these two forms are.  Whether she is sexually active has no bearing on the mandate; she must be prescribed and purchase birth control in order to receive the only effective pharmaceutical treatment that currently exists for her condition.  And all of this because the FDA feigns concern for the possibility of birth defects in the children of women who could become pregnant while on the drug.

Without the belief that the right to Life is sacred in all cases, there is no ground upon which to logically oppose circumstances like Cassandra’s.  Walsh states: “This is what I’ve been trying to explain to pro-choicers for years now.  The pro-choice position is death.  Not just death to babies, but death to your own intelligence.  You are forced to blatantly contradict yourself, or else you’re forced to become a slave to some very specific and very troubling principles, namely the following: 1) Life has no intrinsic value.  2) We have an absolute and unequivocal right to do whatever we want with our own bodies.”


Lauren Enriquez is a freelance writer, wife, and mother. She is a graduate of Ave Maria University, where she studied Classics and Early Christian Literature. Over the last seven years, Lauren has worked with Texas Right to Life in the capacities of intern, student fellow, legislative associate, and communications consultant. She specializes in helping Pro-Life organizes maximize their written and media presence.