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Too premature to survive, but so human to upset. Just a few moments that are worth a life, that can amaze, open discussions, challenge our certainties. This was the earthly existence of the little Walter Joshua Fretz, the baby that is changing the abortion debate. The parents of Walter, Lexi and Joshua Fretz, had already two children, but looked forward to the third one, a little boy. Then the mother started to have strange bleeding after 19 weeks of gestation. Worried, she immediately called her gynecologist, who advised her to go immediately to the emergency department.

But then the first obstacle: Lexi saw that other pregnant women, who had arrived after her, were taken directly to the infirmary, while she had to wait. The explanation was simple, her pregnancy had not yet reached the 20th week, the legal limit, according to which the fetus is considered a human being. So according to the rules, she had to remain in the hospital ward. After about an hour Lexi could finally hear the heartbeat of her baby and calmed down a bit. But then the irreparable happened, there arrived those pains so familiar, the contractions: Walter was arriving. Five hours after the arrive at the hospital, she gave birth to her baby. Too soon.

The point is that Walter briefly managed to live, without machines. “He was completely formed and everything was in its place, I could see his heart beating in his small chest”, his mother said, and added that she was “crying, but he was perfect.” A slap to those who believe they can establish the beginning of a life, to those who believe that every conception is not in itself the spark of a new existence.

Then Joshua’s dad, proud of his little baby, decided to take the camera to capture those important seconds, that made a premature fetus become a watershed that could also save the lives of many more “unwanted” children. At the beginning, Lexi did not want to let him be photographed, but then the pictures spread on the Internet, arousing emotion and raising reflections. They reached mothers in mourning and helped them to cope with the loss of their children, but they were also used to help women choosing life for their unborn children. Some have also commented the pictures on the blog that Lexi opened: “I used to think that there were reasons to justify some abortions. But now, seeing Walter lying on his chest I’m ashamed of my past opinions and are sorry for any woman who decides to have an abortion without understanding the value of the life that she carries within herself ”

So now the parents of Walter invite you to spread these photos, because they reveal the humanity of the unborn baby, and prove beyond doubt that he is a person, and not a particle. And all this raises a question that is rather awkward: “Why is legally allowed to end the life of an unborn human being?”. “Just because the baby in the belly of the mother cannot be seen by us does, it not mean that he/she is just a pile of cells,” Lexi wrote. “Walter was perfectly formed and very active in the womb”.

If only he had one more week, he would still fight for life. “In the midst of our pain – Lexi concluded – I’m happy because from all this something positive can derive. I pray that the Lord will continue to use the photos of Walter to hit many people”.

Translation provided by Maria Rosaria Mastropaolo

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