Alexis Miller and her husband very much wanted their unborn baby boy.
But when they found out that he had a potentially fatal disability, they decided to abort him at 20 weeks and three days into the pregnancy.
In a column for Mott from Time Magazine, Miller said she aborted her unborn son because she did not want him to suffer. She wrote her piece to oppose the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would prohibit abortions after 20 weeks when strong scientific evidence indicates unborn babies can feel pain. The U.S. House is scheduled to vote on the bill today.
Miller said everything about her unborn son looked normal up until week 19 of her pregnancy. It was then that an ultrasound technician detected a problem. A doctor later informed them that their unborn son had a Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH), which could jeopardize his life.
A few days later, “we got the worst news possible,” Miller wrote. “Essentially, our baby’s right lung had failed to develop, and the left lung was significantly underdeveloped.”
“In addition to being intubated immediately after birth, our baby would also go on ECMO, a treatment to provide blood through an artificial lung. We would not be able to hold him. I would not be able to breastfeed. He would be immediately taken away from us to go into the NICU. We’d then have to wait for the answer of whether our boy could ever be strong enough to undergo surgery. Even if he was, he still might not survive or recover.
“If I had been forced to carry my baby to term, my husband and I would have to endure watching my belly grow, feeling our baby kick, receiving congratulations from friends and strangers and spending four months getting ready to watch our infant son die.”
Miller said she aborted her unborn son at 20 weeks and three days because she did not want him to suffer.
“As a woman who ended her wanted pregnancy, I know firsthand that the sacrifice and decision I made to protect my unborn child from real pain is excruciating,” she wrote. “Parents do not want their children to ever have to suffer.”
An abortion may have saved Miller from the pain of having to watch her son undergo numerous medical procedures and possibly even die, but it almost certainly did not prevent him from suffering an excruciatingly painful death.
According to various researchers, unborn babies at 20 weeks react to painful stimuli, and their hormonal reactions are consistent with those of born human beings who feel pain.
Maureen Condic, Ph.D., an Associate Professor of Neurobiology and Anatomy at the University of Utah, said there is evidence that unborn babies may feel pain as early as eight weeks of pregnancy.
“The neural circuitry responsible for the most primitive response to pain, the spinal reflex, is in place by 8 weeks of development,” she told Congress in 2013. “This is the earliest point at which the fetus experiences pain in any capacity.”
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Dr. Ray Paschall, an anesthesiology expert at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said surgical teams preparing for surgery on an unborn baby routinely administer anesthesia to the baby. Paschall said he is certain unborn babies can feel pain before viability (currently about 22-23 weeks).
But Miller echoed abortion activists’ disputes of this evidence to defend her late-term abortion. She claimed there is “no scientific proof” that unborn babies at 20 weeks feel pain.
But even without 100-percent proof, one would think that strong evidence of a child experiencing excruciating pain would prompt a mother to protect her child from it. Sadly, the abortion industry has convinced too many parents that it is better for a sick unborn baby to be dismembered, poisoned or cut into pieces in a brutal abortion than given the chance to live.
Certainly, Miller and her husband were in a difficult situation that no parent ever wants to be in. No parent wants their child to suffer. But killing a human being is not the answer to preventing suffering.
At the end of the piece, Miller revealed her real beliefs about abortion. She argued that women should be allowed to abort their unborn babies for any reason up to birth — including when even abortion activists must admit that unborn babies feel pain.
“Lawmakers should strike down this bill and respect women’s right to make the best decisions for themselves at every stage of their pregnancy,” Miller wrote.
Miller’s baby boy – and every unborn baby who has been aborted – deserved the chance to live. Maybe he would have pulled through the complications and grown up to be a healthy child, or maybe he would have died several weeks or months after his birth. Either way, it makes no difference. No matter how short a human being’s life is or what disabilities they have, they are valuable and deserving of protections under the law.