When an unborn baby exhibits signs of less than perfect health, many families report that their doctors are quick to suggest an abortion.
One Australia family experienced the situation last year after their unborn son was diagnosed with a rare but correctable condition. The Daily Mail reports Holly and Stephen Hodgson learned that their unborn son’s intestines were growing outside of his body during their 12-week ultrasound appointment.
“The radiologist said it would be fine but then when I went to see my doctor he told me that I should terminate because he had only seen three other cases who all terminated,” Holly told Kidspot.
The Brisbane mom said she went home and began researching her son’s condition, gastroschisis. This was her first child, and she wanted to research the doctor’s advice. It was only after doing her own research that she learned that between 90 percent and 95 percent of babies with the condition survive the pregnancy, she said.
Here’s more from Kidspot:
“It makes me sick and angry when I look back on what he said.”
Holly has decided to tell her story in case other parents find themselves in the same situation and don’t realise that many little ones can go onto live normal lives after they are born with gastroschisis.
“I was still upset with that he said even though I wasn’t prepared to terminate because I hadn’t read anything about babies being terminated so I didn’t think it was possible. It was a silly thing to have said.”
When Holly got a second opinion it was confirmed that she had made the right decision in keeping her child – there was no mention of terminating, just very close monitoring.
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Teddy was born in December with both his small and large intestines outside of his body. Doctors performed surgery and placed the organs back inside his stomach; and eight weeks after his birth, his parents took him home, according to the report.
Teddy turned 7-months-old in August, and he is doing well, his mother said.
“He’s such a happy boy,” Hodgson said. “He always smiles, giggles and squeaks at people he doesn’t even know – it’s very cute.”
The Hodgsons said they emailed the doctor a few months ago with a photo of their son.
“He just responded with ‘Congratulations – I’m glad all went’. He didn’t say sorry, or that he would take it on board for next time.”
The Hodgsons’ experience is not rare.
Last October, a British journalist shared how a doctor called his unborn son “disgusting” because he had a cleft lip and said they should abort him. Fortunately, they did not. Their son had corrective surgery, and today is a healthy child.
In June, a Florida mother whose daughter has Down syndrome said her doctor repeatedly pressured her to consider abortion. More than a year after her daughter was born, the mother wrote a letter to her doctor to explain how valuable her daughter is and how wrong it is to pressure anyone to have an abortion.
Unborn children with disabilities often are singled out for abortions across the world. The eugenic push has prompted several U.S. states to pass bills banning these discriminatory abortions. This spring, Indiana became the second state to pass a law banning abortions based on a genetic disorder, race or sex. North Dakota was the first in 2013.