Woman Whose 6-Day-Old Disabled Baby Died in Her Arms: I Should Have Been Able to Abort Her

Opinion   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Oct 6, 2016   |   3:44PM   |   Dublin, Ireland

For six days, Irish mom Annie Roche held and sang to her newborn daughter knowing that the tiny infant was suffering and probably would never leave the hospital.

Before her birth, baby Aishling Roche’s parents did not know that she was suffering from fatal heart conditions, according to the Evening Echo. Annie Roche said she and her husband had to watch their daughter suffer for six days before she died. Because of her family’s painful experience, Roche said she believes abortion should be an option for Irish families when they learn that their unborn babies are suffering from a fatal condition.

Roche recently began telling her heartbreaking story publicly to urge Irish legislators to legalize abortion. Currently, Ireland protects unborn babies’ lives and bans abortions; but abortion activists, largely funded by some of the richest men in the world, are putting intense pressure on the country to change its laws.

Roche said she wants Ireland to legalize abortion so women in similar situations do not have to travel outside the country to have their babies aborted.

“But I would not have wanted to bring a baby into the world to go through what I witnessed. Families should have the choice to be induced in Irish hospitals, not UK ones,” she told the news outlet. “Once the reality that your baby can’t be saved sets in, your priority becomes wanting to protect them from suffering.”

The Cork woman said she gave birth to Aishling in 2010, and quickly learned that something was terribly wrong with her baby.

Roche told the newspaper:

“She went blue and when they checked her blood oxygen levels they were going down to a dangerously low level. When they listened to her chest they realised it sounded like there was a problem with her heart,” said Annie.

After a whirlwind of tests and tubes and wires, the doctors revealed baby Aishling had a number of complex heart diseases and recommended she be brought to Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital in Crumlin for further treatment.

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“Within 10 minutes of being in the intensive care unit a nurse said to us would you like to have her christened. We just stood there with our mouths open,” explained Annie.

She said she and her husband, Ciaran, waited and prayed, hoping that the doctors would be able to save their daughter’s life. After tests were done, the doctors told them that their newborn child would not survive: her heart problems were too severe.

“For four of her six days of life, she suffered. We watched her discomfort, her face distorted in distress, looking like she was crying but no noise because of the tubes,” Annie said.

The Roches decided to have the medical staff withdraw their daughter’s life support and allow her to die, according to the report.

She remembered: “That evening I sat and held her as they pulled out everything that was keeping her alive. I sang to her, you are my sunshine I hugged her to my chest, finally free of tubes. She went unconscious. It took her one hour and 15 minutes to die in my arms. The moment I knew she was gone my overwhelming feeling was relief. I had been horrified at the idea of it taking days for her to die… Watching her die was the most traumatic event of my life.”

No one wants a loved-one to suffer, especially not a child. Sadly, though, the abortion industry has succeeded in convincing some of the most vulnerable, heartbroken parents that it is more compassionate to kill their unborn child than to provide the child with care and pain relief until they die naturally.

An abortion would not have prevented the Roches’ baby from suffering, despite what abortion activists claim. It only would have prevented them from having to watch Aishling suffer. Abortions are always brutal and often painful procedures for unborn babies. Fatal fetal abnormalities, disabilities and other problems often are not diagnosed until the 20th week of pregnancy, and strong scientific evidence indicates that unborn babies at this stage can feel excruciating pain.

In January, an extensively researched document on the science of fetal pain was published by the Family Research Council. The report cites more than 30 scientific studies, testimonies, medical evidence and real-life experiences in its exposition of the science of fetal pain as the weeks advance post-fertilization.

Families like the Roches have other, life-affirming options to help themselves and their baby through the trauma. Perinatal hospice programs offer physical and emotional support to babies with fatal diagnoses and their families, including counseling, help with funeral arrangements, photographers to take family photos with the baby at the hospital, mementos to remember the baby by, and more.