Writer: No Regret for Aborting My Twin Baby Boy at 23 Weeks

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 21, 2013   |   2:09PM   |   Washington, DC

A writer in the New York Times today shared her shocking story of have an abortion of her twin unborn baby boy at 23 weeks.

Judy Nicastro, a former member of the Seattle city council, begins her piece this way:

I believe that parenthood starts before conception, at the moment you decide you want a child, and are ready and able to create a safe and loving home for her or him. I support abortion rights, but I reject the false distinction between the terms “pro-choice” and “pro-life.”

Nicastro goes on to explain that she and her husband learned they were pregnant with a wanted child at 6 weeks, and found out they were carrying twins — a boy and a girl.

But in my 20th week, during an ultrasound, the technician looked concerned, and we got the first hint that something might be wrong. The next day, a Friday, my obstetrician called to say that the technician had had a hard time seeing the heart of the male fetus. “It is probably just the position,” she reassured me. I wasn’t reassured.

On Monday, I had a second ultrasound and my husband and I spent two hours — it felt like an eternity — with a different doctor and technician. “It looks as if the boy has a herniated diaphragm,” they told us. “All the organs are in his chest and not developing.”

I began sobbing. What did that mean? Would the organs move? Was my baby “fixable”? The clinic staff members were reluctant to tell us how bad it was. They said I needed an M.R.I., which would provide more details.

My world stopped. I loved being pregnant with twins and trying to figure out which one was where in my uterus. Sometimes it felt like a party in there, with eight limbs moving. The thought of losing one child was unbearable.

The M.R.I., at Seattle Children’s Hospital, confirmed our fears: the organs were pushed up into our boy’s chest and not developing properly. We were in the 22nd week. In Washington State, abortion is legal until the 24th week.

After a discussion with her husband about her child’s condition, they agree to have an abortion.

The next day, at a clinic near my home, I felt my son’s budding life end as a doctor inserted a needle through my belly into his tiny heart. She had trouble finding it because of its abnormal position. As horrible as that moment was — it will live with me forever — I am grateful. We made sure our son was not born only to suffer. He died in a warm and loving place, inside me.

Nicastro goes on to admit the abortion could have killed or injured her daughter, too.

In having the abortion, we took a risk that my body would expel both fetuses, and that we would lose our daughter too. In fact, I asked if we could postpone the abortion until the third trimester, by which time my daughter would have been almost fully developed; my doctor pointed out that abortions after 24 weeks were illegal. Thankfully, Kaitlyn was born, healthy and beautiful, on March 2, 2011, and we love her to pieces. My little boy partially dissolved into me, and I like to think his soul is in his sister.

The writer defends abortion and oppose the late-term abortion ban the House approved this week.

But when it comes to aborting a twin, she might consider Claire’s story. She is the survivor of an abortion on her twin.

Claire Culwell knows what it’s like to be a survivor. At the age of 13, her mother learned she was pregnant and decided to have an abortion, though she didn’t know she was pregnant with twins.



After she had an abortion of Claire’s brother, she returned to the abortion clinic after realizing she still had a growing and developing baby inside of her. Told she was too late to have a second abortion, she gave birth to Claire, who struggled on life support as she dealt with a myriad of medical issues following her birth.

Despite the obstacles she has had to overcome, Claire is actively sharing her story — urging people to choose life instead of abortion.

Nicastro should also consider Courtney. Seventeen years ago this week, Courtney was born after her twin brother was aborted earlier in their birthmother’s pregnancy.  After the abortion was completed and her twin lost his life, Courtney’s birthmother chose life for her, after it was discovered that she was carrying her.