By Hilary White
NASHVILLE, March 2, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) – On Thursday, February 15, at the age of 31, Jennifer Ann Carlisle gave up her life to cancer after refusing an abortion that doctors told her might have extended her life.
Jennifer had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2005. At two months gestation, long before any chance of saving the child's life outside the womb, Jennifer was told that she would die from the soccer ball-sized tumor if she did not abort the baby.
"Even though the doctors did say it would extend her life to have the abortion, she and her husband made the decision to let God choose," said Carol Day, Jennifer's mother.
"They decided God would make that decision, not her," Jennifer's aunt, Jackie Murdock, told the Niles Daily Star. "She wouldn't decide somebody else's life."
Murdock recalled her niece saying, "Whether she lives or dies she will not abort her baby."
Gabriel Carlisle was born in January 2006 and Jennifer underwent aggressive chemotherapy but after a brief summer remission, her condition worsened. She attended church services Sunday February 11, and died the following week.
"I told her that I loved her," Joshua said, recalling when his wife died in his arms surrounded by family. "And I told her that she needed to go on, that God was calling her home." They had been married ten years.
"I held her and she took her last breath. There was a peace at that last minute that's just indescribable," Joshua told Nashville's TV News Channel 5.
The Carlisles' church and community are rallying to assist the family. A benefit auction and concert to help pay for medical expenses were held at Christ Community Church in Franklin Tennessee.
Joshua told local news media, "I'm hoping that we don't get any more doctor bills but they're still coming in."
"I guess she knew the secret of life and it is not in receiving but giving," Joshua said.
"In Cordibus Jesu et Mariae"