Woman 8 Months Pregnant Defends Aborting Her Baby With a “Brain Malformation”

National   |   Sarah Zagorski   |   May 6, 2015   |   1:32PM   |   Washington, DC

Late abortion is considered very controversial because after 20-weeks, not only can babies feel pain— they can potentially live outside the womb. This is especially true for unborn babies who are between 35-37 weeks. In fact, doctors only consider these babies mildly preterm because over 95% of these babies survive.

But why would a woman have an abortion this late in pregnancy anyway? Well, apparently, if you have a baby with a severe fetal abnormality abortion is justifiable at this stage of pregnancy. This was made clear in a recent article in Yahoo Parenting by a mother named Kate who shared her story about aborting her baby at 35-weeks.

In 2012, Kate and her husband were thrilled to be expecting their second daughter. However, at their 18-week fetal scan their technician thought she noticed something that didn’t seem quite right. Kate explained, “At my 18-week fetal scan, a technician thought she saw something – she wasn’t sure what, exactly — so they sent me for a Level 2 ultrasound at a local teaching hospital. “Level 2” meant that it would be more detailed than the standard sonogram, and a maternal fetal medicine (MFM) specialist would look at it. When I went for that test, the MFM specialist said the baby was healthy. I was worried, but when I expressed my concern to the hospital’s genetic counselor, she said, “His job is on the line. He must be completely confident.”

Although Kate was told there was nothing to worry about, at 35-weeks she went for a “peace of mind” ultrasound because she felt like something was wrong.

Here is what happened next:

I went to the appointment alone, on a Wednesday in May. I was so chatty with the technician while I was lying on the table. Towards the end, I said to her, “It’s funny, I keep picturing the baby I already have, but I know this one will be different.” And she looked right at me, with these serious eyes, and said, “This baby will be different. They are all different.”

While I waited for the doctor, I worked on the sweater I was knitting for my little girl. When two doctors came in, one of them asked me about it. Was I making it for the baby? I told her I was, and, with tears in her eyes, she said, “It’s beautiful.”

Then she continued. “The things they couldn’t find the last time you were here, we are seeing those things today. Your baby has brain malformation.” Right away, she said, “We might be able to arrange an abortion, we just don’t know. We can arrange an adoption if that’s what you want.”

I’m grateful that she led with that. It told me it was safe to talk to her about options, and it told me that something was very wrong. That was the only thing she said that got through to me. Everything else came up against that denial wall. Of course, she told me about keeping the baby, too.

Kate found out that her baby had a condition called Dandy-Walker syndrome, which is a congenital brain malformation involving the cerebellum and the fluid-filled spaces around it. Kate said, “I remember asking, ‘Are babies with this ever normal?’ and she said that sometimes they were. She told me they couldn’t know the severity of the situation until after I had an MRI. That’s how they would determine if my baby would be OK or if she would be ‘incompatible with life.’ Those are the words they used. Incompatible with life.”



So Kate and her husband scheduled an MRI and it revealed their baby had the most severe form of the syndrome. Additionally, a neurologist told them that their baby had agenesis of the corpus callosum, which meant the bridge between the two hemispheres of her brain didn’t grow. Their doctor said, “We expect your baby to have moderate to severe mental retardation; she’s going to have moderate to severe physical disability; she is probably never going to walk or talk; she will possibly never be able to lift her head; she is going to have seizures all of the time.”

I’m not going to sugar coat it; the prognosis was grim and the situation they were in was unimaginable. Kate said, “When it comes to a decision like this, there is no good option. What you want is a happy, healthy baby. The doctor asked if we had any questions, and I said, “What does a baby like this do? Does she just sleep all day?” The doctor looked so uncomfortable. He said, ‘Babies like this one are not generally comfortable enough to sleep.’ That’s when we thanked him and left.”

Unfortunately, after that appointment Kate started searching for a doctor who would perform an abortion at 35-weeks. Dr. Warren Hern, an abortionist in Colorado, was the only one who was available but they had to fly from Boston to see him. They also had to have the abortion within the week since abortionists won’t perform them after 36-weeks and come up with $25,000.

Kate explained, “We scheduled everything we needed to, but then I had to get money. I called my parents. I told my mom everything, and when I told her I wanted to get the abortion, she said, ‘That is what I would do, too.’

It was such a relief to hear those words. It’s one thing to get an abortion, it’s another thing to get an abortion at eight months. I felt like such an outcast. It’s so heavily tabooed that I was afraid to even tell my mother. But once I knew I had her support, I blurted out, ‘I need money.’ My parents took it out of their retirement fund, which is probably what we would have done if we’d had more time. But you can’t do much with no business days.”

Tragically, Kate flew to Colorado and Warren Hern performed an induction abortion. This type of abortion usually takes 3-4 days to complete and the abortionist administers a lethal dose of the heart medication Digoxin into the child’s heart to “euthanize” the baby.

While this is one of the most heartbreaking stories I’ve ever heard, it’s incredibly important that we remember the facts about Kate’s abortion. The truth is there is absolutely no difference between what Kate did and if she or a doctor killed her baby outside the womb.

Regardless of how Kate justifies is, she basically hired an assassin to kill her baby and says it was what she had to because her baby would’ve faced a life of suffering. But if she had done that only a few weeks later, after her baby was born, society wouldn’t have accepted it and she definitely wouldn’t be writing about it in Yahoo Parenting.