Abigail Rose Beutler’s birth has been met with significantly less fanfare than that of the royal baby, Prince George Alexander Louis Mountbatten-Windsor, but it was every bit as miraculous: Despite being given a prenatal diagnosis generally considered a death sentence, Abigail was born weighing two pounds, 12 ounces at 28 weeks’ gestation and has survived two weeks.
Abigail, the daughter of Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA), was diagnosed with Potter’s Syndrome in utero. Her condition was characterized by kidney problems, and the resultant total lack of amniotic fluid would normally mean that a baby would be born with underdeveloped lungs. When the strongly pro-life Herrera Beutler announced on her Facebook page that their baby had been diagnosed with Potter’s Syndrome, she stated that “there is no medical solution available to us.”
The Beutlers were told by “multiple doctors” that Abigail’s “condition was incompatible with life and that, if she survived to term, she would be unable to breathe and live only moments after birth. [They] were also told that dialysis or transplant were not possible. The options [they] were offered were termination or ‘expectant management,’ that is, waiting for her to die. Instead, [they] chose to pray earnestly for a miracle.”
After this frightening diagnosis, Herrera Beutler received saline injections into her uterus once a week for five weeks, a therapy called amnioinfusion, at Johns Hopkins Hospital. The saline injections seem to have helped baby Abigail’s lungs “practice,” removed pressure from her head and chest, and allowed her clubbed feet to straighten.
In short, it would appear that the congresswoman and her husband have gotten their miracle. Two weeks ago, Abigail Rose was born with no kidneys but well-formed lungs. She is currently receiving dialysis and will eventually need a kidney transplant, but Huffington Post reports that her doctors are “cautiously optimistic about her future” and that she may be the first child to survive after a diagnosis with Potter’s Syndrome.
Little Abigail’s case should give pause to those who advocate the abortion of unborn children with physical problems. And thanks be to God for this happy ending and beginning!