When Scottish mom Taylor Barnes found out that her unborn son had health problems, she refused to consider aborting him.
Like most families whose unborn babies are diagnosed with a disability, Barnes, of Port Glasgow, Scotland, was offered an abortion, according to the Greenock Telegraph.
She was 21 weeks pregnant at the time, and her unborn son, Presley, just had been diagnosed with club foot and kidney problems. Doctors said he possibly could have Edwards syndrome, a fatal genetic disorder, as well, Barnes said.
“I was so upset as Edwards means that a baby could be still born or would only live for a few months,” the 22-year-old mother said. “I was asked if I wanted a termination but obviously I didn’t. I just had a gut instinct that he was going to be okay.”
Barnes gave birth to Presley in March. Though he had club foot and kidney problems, he did not show signs of Edwards syndrome, according to the report.
“When I had him, everything was fine and the labour was fine,” she remembered. “We already knew he had talipes [club foot] but then he was taken away and he never came back to my bedside as he was put in special baby care.
“We didn’t know what was going on with his kidneys,” she continued. “They had to blood tests and they put him on antibiotics. I was traumatised for not having him beside me.”
Presley thrived in the hospital under the doctors’ care, and after four weeks, he grew well enough to go home, his mother said. While he was in the hospital, Barnes said she and her 3-year-old, Harper, stayed at the Ronald McDonald House so they could visit Presley every day.
“What they did for me, I’ll never forget,” she said. “They helped turn what seemed a horrific lonely time into a time where I could have Harper by my side while I looked after Presley.”
At home, Presley takes antibiotics regularly to help his kidneys function, and he wears braces on his legs, the report states. But Barnes has high hopes for her son’s future.
“Steven Gerrard the Rangers manager and Liverpool legend was born with club feet so that has given me hope,” she said. “I’m so proud of Presley and everything he has been through in these first weeks of his life.”
Parents frequently are offered an abortion as a “solution” for unborn babies with disabilities, but abortion is not a cure or an act of compassion toward an ill child. Every unborn baby deserves a right to life, no matter what their abilities, just as every born person does.