Parents of Baby With Anencephaly Reject Abortion After Doctor Suggests Killing Their Daughter

National   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   May 26, 2017   |   4:41PM   |   Washington, DC

To Brandi and Michael Rogers, their daughter Emersyn is no less valuable than their other children just because she is in the womb.

The Effingham, South Carolina family recently refused their doctors’ advice to abort Emersyn after tests revealed she had a fatal condition called anencephaly, the Daily Mail reports.

The Rogers said Emersyn will live and be loved until her natural death. When she dies, they said they hope to donate her organs to help other children who are suffering.

“It’s for Emersyn,” Brandi Rogers told ABC News. “She’s a sister and she’s a daughter and it’s not just for organ donation. It gets a lot deeper than that.”

Doctors initially detected fluid on unborn baby Emersyn’s brain and predicted that she had a good chance of survival, according to the report. Later, though, the doctors discovered that the unborn baby girl had anencephaly, which typically is fatal.

Brandi and Michael said they felt devastated when they heard the news. Brandi was 20 weeks pregnant at the time, and her doctors suggested that she could have an abortion.

“You’re in a room and you’re listening to your baby’s heartbeat and then you go into another room and they say, ‘Well, you can stop it,’ – that’s extremely hard,” Brandi said. “We decided on the spot that it wasn’t something we were going to do.”

How long Emersyn will live is unknown. The reports do not indicate when her due date is.

Anencephaly is a rare, typically fatal condition where the unborn baby’s brain and skull do not form properly. Most babies who have anencephaly die in the womb or a few days after birth. There are a few cases, such as Jaxon Buell’s, where children live for months or even years with anencephaly. Buell defied all predictions and recently celebrated his second birthday.

After their 20-week appointment, Brandi said they went home and began researching the condition online.

“… I was looking for a voice of someone who went full term and didn’t regret it,” she said. “I want to be that voice. It’s OK to celebrate Emersyn even though she’s not going to survive. She’s still our third child and she’s still very much loved.”

The Rogers family said they want their daughter’s story to be a message of hope for other families.

Many couples feel pressured to abort unborn babies who have been diagnosed with fatal conditions or disabilities. Fortunately, many families are choosing life for their babies and publicly sharing how valuable their babies’ lives are, no matter how long they live.

This spring, an Oklahoma couple also chose life for their baby girl, Eva, who also had anencephaly. Eva was stillborn, and her parents, Royce and Keri Young, also chose for her to be an organ donor. In April, they learned that Eva’s eyes were donated to help someone who needs them to see.

“I can’t ever hold my daughter again,” her father, Royce, wrote in April. “I can’t ever talk to her or hear her giggle. But I can dream about looking into her eyes for the first time one day, and finding out what color they are.”