When doctors asked Julia Coleman if she would consider killing one of her twin sons to give the other a better chance at life, she immediately said no.
Of course, the doctors did not say “kill,” but Coleman and her husband, Jacob, recognize abortion for what it is – the killing of an innocent child.
In an interview with The Catholic Spirit, the young Minnesota lawmaker shared about the struggles her family faced with their twin sons, James and Charles, who were born prematurely in May.
Coleman, 29, of Chanhassen, is the youngest lawmaker in the Minnesota Senate; she also is a pro-life Republican and a devout Catholic.
While pregnant with her sons, Coleman said her doctors recommended a selective abortion, meaning one of her sons would be aborted and the other spared. It is not an uncommon suggestion to women pregnant with more than one baby.
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“At one point, doctors told us we could increase James’ chance of survival if we killed Charles,” she told The Catholic Spirit. “Jacob and I both insistently said, ‘That’s not on the table.’ We were never going to choose between our kids. We’re incredibly pro-life. That’s when you lean on your faith and you trust that God has a bigger plan.”
The Colemans waited and prayed, and, in May, Julia gave birth to the twins by cesarean section at 33 weeks of pregnancy, according to the report.
At first, James and Charles struggled to survive. Julia said they did not know if the twins would live more than a few hours after they were born.
“The doctor has since told me that there were times she looked at their scans and didn’t think they’d ever make it home,” she said. “I’m so grateful, and I’m going to remember that when I’m up at 2 and 4 this morning.”
She told the news outlet that the twins spent 27 days in the neonatal intensive care unit at the Children’s Hospital of Minneapolis before they were well enough to go home.
Coleman said their faith has been their comfort and peace throughout their struggles.
“In times of real struggle, my husband and I turn to the Infant Jesus of Prague novena,” Coleman said. “It has helped us focus on putting our faith in God and surrendering, saying, ‘I trust in you,’ and then shutting off the worry. Prayer is an essential part of motherhood.”
The Colemans lead a busy life. They now are parents to three boys, all under the age of 2, including the twins’ big brother, Adam. Jacob works as a firefighter and Julia spends half of the year working in the state Senate.
Being a mother, Julia said she thinks a lot about the future implications of her actions as a lawmaker.
“I think about the world I want my children to inherit, and I want to fight like the mama bear I am to bring that about,” she said. “That means being willing to go against cultural norms and speak for the values I want them to inherit.”