Woman Defends Having an Abortion at 35 Weeks: “I Didn’t Want My Baby to Suffer”

Opinion   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Dec 22, 2016   |   3:57PM   |   Washington, DC

A Canadian women who aborted her nearly full-term unborn baby defended her actions in a new interview on Thursday after several news outlets broke the story earlier this week.

The unnamed woman’s story gained wide-spread attention recently after she consulted a lawyer about two hospitals that refused her demand for a late-term abortion, the National Post reports.

A spokesperson for the McGill University Health Centre, one of the hospitals, cited the Quebec College of Physicians’ guidelines as the reason for its refusal, according to the Post. The guidelines state that abortions after 23 weeks are reserved for “serious congenital anomalies” or “exceptional clinical situations.”

The Montreal woman sought to abort her unborn baby at 30 weeks of pregnancy, when the baby easily could have survived outside the womb. The woman said her unborn child, a boy, was diagnosed with skeletal abnormalities, and she did not want him to suffer. She eventually found a third hospital that aborted her unborn son at 35 weeks of pregnancy, according to the report.

In an interview with the Windsor Star, the woman said she has been unjustly criticized for aborting her son so late in her pregnancy.

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She said her ultrasound visit at 20 weeks did not detect any problems with their unborn son, her and her husband’s first child. However, when doctors did an ultrasound at 30 weeks (7 months) of pregnancy, they noticed that her unborn son was abnormally small and had skeletal malformations, according to the report. A second doctor told them that their son may never walk, she said.

“It was really a shock to us. They said it’s a rare disease and that he may need operations of the spine, medical interventions, operations… but they couldn’t say which operations,” she told the Star. “We researched and watched videos of other cases, and there aren’t many.

“We couldn’t stand it that our baby would suffer like these babies. Our termination choice was serious,” she added.

Here’s more from the report:

The woman, who asked that her name not be used, said reaction to news reports Wednesday of her late-term abortion provoked dozens of comments on social media, with some calling her a baby killer.

She dismissed suggestions she should have given the child up for adoption rather than abort. “Those people missed the point: I don’t want my baby to suffer,” she said. “No one was living what we were living and they can’t judge us.”

“It didn’t happen just like that, for silly reasons,” she said. “We want everyone to know the baby was having serious problems and it got worse right up to the termination.”

The baby boy’s medical condition apparently was not severe enough for two hospitals to justify ending his life. Unfortunately, the Quebec College of Physicians said it plans to update its guidelines, in light of the recent case, to allow abortions for any reason through all nine months, according to the report.

There is a general misconception in the public that late-term abortions always are performed in extremely rare cases where the unborn child or mother has a life-threatening medical problem. However, this is not the case, as this story and many others indicate.

“Legally, every woman — and it’s a Supreme Court decision — has a right to an abortion at anytime before she gives birth,” Quebec Health Minister Gaetan Barrette said, commenting on the Montreal case. “On the other hand, we cannot force a doctor to proceed with late abortions.”

Late-term abortions are permitted for any reason through all nine months of pregnancy in Canada and the United States. Many times they are used to discriminate against babies with disabilities, no matter the severity.

Late-term abortions are suggested to parents even when the baby has very minor medical problems, such as cleft lips. Others are aborted late-term for “purely elective,” non-medical reasons, abortion practitioners have admitted.

An image of an unborn baby at 36 weeks appears below: