A Northern Ireland woman is urging her lawmakers to legalize late-term abortions after her baby was diagnosed with a fatal anomaly and died at birth several years ago.
Northern Ireland prohibits abortions and protects unborn babies from the moment of conception, but abortion activists are pressuring it to change its laws.
Ashleigh Topley, 30, recently added her voice to those calling for the legalization of abortion. Topley told the BBC that she had not really thought much about abortion laws in Northern Ireland until she learned that she was carrying an unborn child who probably would die at birth.
It was on Valentine’s Day in 2013 when Topley said she learned the news that her unborn daughter had a fatal anomaly. She was 4 ½ months pregnant at the time.
“At that point, my whole world came crashing down,” she told Newsbeat.
Understandably, Topley and her husband were heartbroken. However, she also said she felt “totally horrified” that she was not allowed to have an abortion.
“I couldn’t believe they wanted to put us through the torture of knowing that a baby, our baby, wasn’t going to survive, but I was still going to have to be pregnant and continue with the pregnancy for an unknown length of time,” she told the news outlet.
Had she been able to have an abortion, though, her unborn baby likely would have suffered a torturous premature death. Instead, because of Northern Ireland laws, the baby girl lived until her natural death.
Here’s more from the report:
Feeling the baby hiccup is supposed to be a delight to expectant mothers, but not for her.
“I was just wishing it would come to an end. And that was extremely difficult, because part of me was wishing for the death of her because we knew that was inevitable,” she says.
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Eventually, in May 2013, at 35 weeks pregnant, Ashleigh went into labour and the baby’s heart stopped.
The day was one of mixed emotions for her and her husband. “All I felt was a massive relief that finally, the 15 weeks of waking up every morning of thinking, ‘Will this be the day?'”
Topley and her husband named their daughter Katy, and grieved her death. But now, they are using the tragic loss of their child to lobby for the abortion deaths of other unborn children.
“I would like to say to Northern Ireland’s politicians that you need to trust women to have control of our own bodies,” Topley said, hoping her story will prompt lawmakers to legalize abortion.
What happened to the Topleys and their daughter is tragic, but it would have been even more tragic if their daughter had been aborted. Their daughter died, but not all babies with fatal diagnoses do. Sometimes, diagnoses are wrong, and babies survive birth and live for years because their parents chose life. Abortion destroys any possibility of that happening.
But more than anything else, it should not matter how long a child is expected to live. A fatal diagnosis should not be a death sentence for babies in the womb any more than it should be for children outside the womb. Both are valuable human beings who deserve to live and be protected and cared for until their natural death.