A couple who rejected abortion twice for their unborn daughter after a poor prenatal diagnosis is encouraging other parents not to lose hope.
Courtney and Andrew are the parents of a happy, healthy 2-year-old daughter named Josie, Aleteia reports. But about three years ago, they received some of the worst possible news that any parent can hear: their unborn child was sick and might die.
Like many parents who receive such devastating news, they were urged to consider an abortion.
Pregnant with their first child, the young couple told the Christian publication that the bad news came during their first ultrasound. According to the report, the ultrasound found very little amniotic fluid in Courtney’s womb, and a second ultrasound confirmed the problem.
A doctor told the couple that their baby likely would die in the womb or shortly after birth, and she encouraged them to have an abortion, the couple said.
“We said, ‘No, God gave us this baby, and God will take the baby if He wants to,’” Courtney said.
But the doctor continued to press them.
“She pointed out that if we changed our mind, we only had a few weeks, because I was at 22 weeks and abortion is legal through 24 weeks in Pennsylvania,” Courtney said. “The doctor didn’t use the word abortion. She said ‘terminate.’ It was worded like it would be less of a hassle to just ‘terminate’ than to have her.”
The couple continued to refuse, and they asked their friends and family to pray with them for their baby’s health, the report states.
Here’s more from the report:
Fr. Gus (Augustine) Fernando of St. Killian’s parish, Farmingdale, Long Island, heard about the crisis pregnancy. As he prayed for a healthy baby he heard the words, “The baby will be OK and will be a blessing to them.” This beautiful message along with all the prayers brought hope to Courtney and Andrew.
Baby Josie was born on March 17, 2018, but her parents were told to prepare for the worst, because the infant couldn’t breath on her own. A grief counselor came to tell the new parents that Josie probably wouldn’t survive. Meanwhile Josie was put on an oscillator ventilator that resulted in torn lungs, had elevated blood pressure and an enlarged heart. Facing a grim outcome, the word went out that more prayer was desperately needed. Fr. Gus again sensed the baby would be fine, and relayed to the couple, “Jesus will take care of Josie.”
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Their prayers were answered. Josie began to improve over the next several hours, and by the next day, her blood pressure had declined and her lungs were healing, her parents said. Two days later, she was able to breathe on her own, according to the report.
Today, Josie is 2 years old and healthy, her parents said. They expressed hope that their family’s story will help others choose life for their babies.
“What I think about is pregnant women that aren’t in as good a situation as I was in (married, with jobs and supportive families, etc.) and could be talked into aborting their child by a doctor saying it’s a good idea,” Courtney said.
She urged pregnant mothers not to give into the pressure to have an abortion, even if their unborn baby has a poor diagnosis.
“You’ll always be glad you had your child!” she said.