The Anchoress tells the stories of two mothers with cancer who declined treatment in order to give birth to healthy babies:
Really, I guess what it it comes down to is faith, and trust that in sacrificing oneself, one is not leaving the rest un-tended to, un-nurtured, un-watched. It comes down to the great Mystery that we are all invited to explore, if we are only open to it. And the key to the Mystery is Love.
For some reason, all of this makes me think of the Parable of the Two Sons: Jesus asked, “What is your opinion? A man had two sons. He came to the first and said, ‘Son, go out and work in the vineyard today. The son said in reply, ‘I will not,’ but afterwards he changed his mind and went. The man came to the other son and gave the same order. He said in reply, ‘Yes, sir,’ but did not go. Which of the two did his father’s will?” They answered, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Amen, I say to you, tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God before you.”
[Some women who make this choice might be] staunch secularist[s] who - urged and instructed by Love - hooked into the Mystery and made [their] choice. But in doing so, [they have] also hooked into the message of the Christ: Greater love hath no man than to lay down his life for another. Does it matter whether or not [such a mother] is Christian? Not really. What mattered [is being] open to Love, in its coming and it its going.