Hospital Told Mom: Be Glad We’re “Allowing” You to Not Abort Your Disabled Baby

State   |   Sarah Zagorski   |   Jun 3, 2015   |   1:16PM   |   Madison, WI

The Wisconsin Legislature has introduced the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (SB 179), which would ban abortions after 20-weeks based on scientific research that shows that unborn babies at this age can feel pain. As LifeNews previously reported, pro-life governor Scott Walker has already promised to sign the legislation into law if it reaches his desk this session.

Sponsor of the bill, Rep. Jesse Kremer (R-Kewaskum), said the following about the legislation: “I believe we have a duty and a moral obligation to protect these children from the horrific procedures used to snuff out their lives. The barbaric and painful mutilation of little children is something that no humane and compassionate society should tolerate.”

Wisconsin Right to Life strongly supports SB 179 and applauded the lawmakers who are behind it. In fact, they recently shared a story on their blog about a woman who chose life for her baby late in pregnancy even though her child was diagnosed with a life-threating condition.

In September 2011, Kari Adamson had her 20-week ultrasound and found out that her daughter had some abnormalities including bilateral clubfeet, clenched hands, a heart defect and a single umbilical artery. Although she didn’t know what this meant, she knew that they were “markers” and her doctor urged her to have an amniocentesis test.

The amniocentesis test came back positive for Edwards Syndrome, which is a condition caused by an error in cell division and occurs in only 1 out of every 2500 pregnancies in the United States and about 1 in 6000 live births. Although the condition is usually fatal, there have been some babies that have survived past birth. For example, Rick Santorum’s daughter, Bella, has Edwards Syndrome and recently turned seven.

Unfortunately, Kari was given the option to have an abortion and was met with resistance when she refused. Kari explained, “We decided to seek out a second opinion and went to a larger hospital for a more detailed scan. They told me that they had never sent a child home with Trisomy 18 that had lived for more than a day. We called 2 other hospitals and we were told that I should be happy that my doctor was even “allowing us” to continue the pregnancy since I had gestational diabetes.”



Then, since hope seemed dim, Kari and her husband started preparing for their daughter’s death. They met with perinatal hospice, their pastor and even contacted a funeral home about planning a ceremony.

However, Kari’s pregnancy continued and at 34-weeks they decided to switch gears and seek treatment options for their daughter after she was born. But once again they were met with opposition and told that it was unlikely that she would survive. Kari explained, “We were again told that she was “not compatible with life” and no lifesaving acts would be done. We were then told that our insurance wouldn’t even cover the NICU. I knew time was running out.”


Thankfully, they eventually found a neonatologist and an Ob-Gyn who would work with them. Now their daughter, Leila Hope, is three-years-old and is living a full life with her family. Kari strongly supports the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act because she realizes that some moms don’t make the same choice she did for her baby after receiving a life-threatening diagnosis.

Here’s more on Leila’s miraculous story:

Leila Hope was born at 34 weeks, 6 days weighing 4 lbs 12 oz, which is very large for a Trisomy 18 baby. She was intubated and taken to the NICU. At 4 weeks of age, we requested a transfer to the Children’s Hospital for an ENT consult and G-tube. When we got there, we were met by a very unsupportive neonatologist who could not understand why we would even consider doing surgery on a child like ours. He told us to take her home and let her die. When we refused and I forbid him from turning down her high flow support that was keeping her airway open, we found ourselves having to defend our decisions to the ethics board of the hospital. Fortunately, our case for our daughter’s life won out.

While there will still doubters after our daughter was born, I am very proud to say that Leila Hope will be turning 4 years old on the 28th of December. She is proving the medical community wrong by living and thriving with full Trisomy 18. And she’s not the only Trisomy child to do so!

Sometimes, a prenatal diagnosis is incorrect. And sometimes, it is correct. In Leila’s case, her diagnosis was correct, but far from a death sentence.

It would have broken my heart if I had lost my daughter to a painful abortion. I would never have had a chance to treasure the time I have with her, and she would never have had a chance at life.

There are so many unborn babies, capable of feeling pain from abortion, who deserve a chance at life. I am so glad the Wisconsin Legislature is considering the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act that would protect unborn babies just like Leila, and support parents like me who may need help from perinatal hospice. I sincerely hope that the pain bill is passed quickly, so that no family or child has to experience the pain of abortion.