TheyToldMeToAbort.com – UPDATED!

Ever had a prenatal ultrasound?  Ever had a false diagnosis based on that ultrasound?  In the course of nine pregnancies, I sure have.  Doctors have told me the baby’s development was weeks behind gestational age; that there was a life-threatening hematoma forming; that the baby’s organs were forming improperly.

In my case, I had good doctors who ordered follow-up ultrasounds, and we were all glad to see that nothing was wrong.

Many women aren’t so lucky.  Here’s something that happens all the time:

[UK mom Sarah] Hagan says that, after a 24-week ultrasound scan of her unborn baby, doctors told her that her son Aaron was “brain dead,” had just one eye and no chance of survival.

The mother of two says physicians advised her to take an abortion drug, even though the mifepristone abortion pill is only authorized to be used to destroy the life of an unborn baby much earlier in pregnancy.

When the abortion drug didn’t work, another doctor informed Hagan her baby needed to be delivered immediately and she gave birth to Aaron, who was born at 1lb 7oz with both eyes  and healthy other than the fact that he was born prematurely — which has left him with chronic lung problems he wouldn’t have had otherwise.

They told her to abort based on ONE ULTRASOUND.  They didn’t even bother to do a follow-up ultrasound, or ask for a second opinion.  The only defects he was born with were the direct result, according to his mother, of his premature birth, which was caused by the unsuccessful abortion attempt.  Here is Hagan with her baby boy:

Hagan is right to sue.  If her story is accurate, her doctors were wildly, grossly irresponsible to counsel abortion and to administer the abortion drug.  It’s just too damn easy for them to say, “Ehh, something looks off here.  Better get rid of this one and try again later.”  They’re afraid they’re going to be sued for “wrongful birth” if they miss diagnosing some problem, and the parents are angry that they got saddled with an imperfect child.

It’s unfortunate doctors have to take legal pressures into consideration when they counsel patients, but at least there should be pressure from both sides, not just pressure to “be safe” and counsel abortion.

There are two ways to combat this horrible trend.  One is to make it harder for doctors to blithely counsel abortion when, even for people with the most utilitarian view of pregnancy, it’s simply not warranted.

Two is to give women a reason to fight back when a doctor is pressuring her to abort.  Here’s where you guys come in.

Anyone want to start a blog or website called Theytoldmetoabort.com?  I’m picturing something very simple:  people submit their brief descriptions of why their doctors told them they ought to abort, and then post a picture of the child they decided to give birth to.  Here’s what they said; here’s how it turned out.

I’ve been lucky.  No doctor ever had the nerve to suggest abortion to me; and if they did, I’d have the support of my husband, my family, and of course my faith.  But so many women do not.  So many women are carrying babies that they love and want to protect, but they are surrounded by people who tell them it’s stupid, it’s irresponsible, it’s actually wrong to give birth to a baby who might have a defect of some kind.

I want to show pictures of babies who were supposed to be imperfect, and turned out not to be . . . and I want to show pictures of babies who were supposed to be imperfect, and are imperfect — but they are still loved and cherished.  It could also include pictures of developmentally normal babies who were in danger of abortion simply because their mothers weren’t married, or were teenagers — but their moms decided not to bear and raise them anyway, or give them to another family.

I think the site should include a page of resources, such as benotafraid.net, for women looking for support in carrying a baby in difficult circumstances.  The idea is not to make arguments or supply all the information.  The idea is just to show the world that doctors say “abort” all the time, and that so many women are glad they did not listen.  Stories, pictures, and links for more information.

So, what do you think?  Or if there’s another name that would get more traffic, go for it!  We want something that a sad and desperate woman is likely to enter into a search engine.

UPDATE –  A reader who is a web developer has volunteered to design and host the site!  Still needed is someone to sort through submissions (I assume there will be spam and hate mail entries).

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  • Certified Hamster Midwife

    Counsel. Not council.

    • simchafisher

      D’oh! Thanks. Fixed.

      • Certified Hamster Midwife

        It was jarring to me because the main story took place in the UK and “council” there means something more akin to a town or county government in the US.

        Meanwhile, it’s probably the national government’s NHS that didn’t provide for a second ultrasound to clear things up and make sure all of his parts were there. And even the most pro-abortion of pro-abortion people would agree that double-checking the ultrasound of a wanted fetus is a lot cheaper and easier on everyone involved than caring for a preemie delivered at 1 pounds and change with lifelong respiratory problems .

  • kiwords

    I was told that the responsible thing to do was to abort my firstborn, not by a doctor, but by a friend. Because I had bounced a check the week before I found out I was pregnant. My son is 18 now, an honor student, and has been able to overcome that one bounced check in his distant past. MIT is pursuing him. I guess they haven’t heard about it yet…

  • Becky

    I just read this story on MSNBC about Jaime Beutler’s baby. She’s the state representative from Washignton whose baby was born with a usually fatal defect: http://www.today.com/news/wash-congresswoman-recalls-amazing-reality-check-her-miracle-baby-8C11089733.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

    I would gladly help with sorting through submissions.

  • Gretchen

    Great idea! My son’s story is on BNA and I love that someone is interested in doing this.

  • KL

    I can help sort submissions! I’m so glad this is moving forward!

  • Jessica Carney

    I’d be interested in helping to sort submissions, as well! Fabulous idea.

  • Deirdre Folley

    Love the idea! Maybe a featured Q&A interview with such a mom, on occasion? I’d be interested in helping.

  • Anna

    Stories like this show up on myobsaidwhat.com sometimes. There’s also a misdiagnosed miscarriage site (since, as with one of mine, sometimes it looks like you’ve miscarried – and then the baby turns out to be fine, which is why it’s a bad idea for the doctor to insist on a d&c immediately). But I think this idea is a great one!

  • Beadgirl

    I must confess, I started to get upset about this until I read this sentence:*

    “I want to show pictures of babies who were supposed to be imperfect, and
    turned out not to be . . . and I want to show pictures of babies who
    were supposed to be imperfect, and are imperfect — but they are still loved and cherished.”

    Because I think this is a great idea, IF both outcomes are shown. Every time the subject of pre-natal diagnosis comes out, I see a ton of “My child was diagnosed with X, and he’s totally normal!” But Beadboy1 was diagnosed with D.S. in utero, and as it turns out, he actually has it. Sometimes the scary news we receive about a pregnancy is true, and I don’t want people to unwittingly blow that off by relying too much on “don’t worry, chances are everything’s fine!”

    *Good thing my residual lawyerliness forces me to read everything before jumping to conclusions :>

  • Kelly Seppy

    I was told my second had chromosome problem, and was asked what I wanted to do about it. The doc/midwife actually scowled when I was incredulous at being asked that so quickly and carelessly, and I answered so quickly, “nothing, of course!”

    I think all my kids were viewed as not needing to be born, as I was always in a not great situation, even though married. I was constantly being asked, “okay, are you done yet?”

  • Fiddlesticks

    Just read up on ‘wrongful birth’. You can sue people for giving you life and bringing you into the world? What next? Are suicides going to start suing doctors for ‘wrongful resuscitation’? Where did we go so wrong?

  • MLP

    This is a briliant idea! We need all the resources possible to remind folks that what we are dealing with here are actual human lives.
    The road we are currently on is leading very quickly to a time when carrying a ‘defective fetus’ to term could actually be illegal. I know that sounds crazy but if the Afordable Care Act (Obamacare) can force the Catholic Church to provide contraceptives and abortions, then it can force all of us to do anything.

    • http://www.thewinedarksea.com/ Melanie B

      I think more likely it will just be insurance refusing to pay for the care of an infant diagnosed in utero. Then maybe refusal to pay for labor and delivery. The same way they refuse to cover pre-existing conditions.

      • MLP

        That’s how it will start but it won’t end there. Just like Roe v. Wade only decriminalized abortion in the first trimester and in three decades we found ourselves fighting partial birth abortion, this assault on life won’t stop.

        • Sue Korlan

          Roe’s companion case, Doe v. Bolton, decided on the same day, extended abortion for any reason for all 9 months of pregnancy.

  • Guest

    This article indirectly prompted me to think a little bit harder about WHY the abortion of children with birth defects bugs me so much…Thanks for giving me the opportunity to ponder the question a little more! It’s been a while since I wrote so much in such a short space of time (an hour).

    http://on-insertissuehere.tumblr.com/post/60589601553/on-the-value-of-a-human-life

  • Cath

    Great idea! My suggestion would be to include resources too. I work with refugees and was present for a heart wrenching 2nd ultrasound with an African mother (who was getting free care through a Catholic hospital, no less!) who got the terrible news that her baby had no brain and would either die at birth or be born a “vegetable”. Abortion was pretty much the only viable option offered to her, and all present were pushing in that direction including her husband and (Protestant) pastor. And they all meant well… I don’t know what eventually happened to that poor mama since my job doesn’t allow me to get involved in clients’ lives (I’m an interpreter). I prayed for her and asked friends to pray too. But I might have bent the rules this once if I’d known who could offer help. She had 4 other young children and I don’t see how she could have taken care of a handicapped child in a small apartment without any medical insurance…
    Wouldn’t it be wonderful too if there were a way for desperate mothers who want to do the right thing to be able to go to a website where they could find links to organizations that might be willing to help?…

  • jenny

    I was thinking lately if the father’s presence at the prenatal ultrasound would lessen the emotional burden placed on the mother , when the doctors give bad news about the baby…

  • anna lisa

    I would give a more detailed comment, but the subject hits too close to home, and I don’t want to cry. The technician that gave me the terrible news about our baby boy was a saint though. She probably could have lost her job when she called an intern over and asked my husband and I if we would pray with her. It wasn’t a Christian or Catholic hospital either. God Bless her. The first words out of my mouth after crying was “I’m honored to be the mother of this child.”

  • anna lisa

    okay, it made me cry anyhow.

  • vawterski

    LOVE the idea! My son’s story is on BNA also. Sometimes it’s hard to believe that the baby my doctor told me to abort will turn 6 next week, and blesses our family in ways we’d never imagined. http://babymatthew.wordpress.com/about/

  • Karen

    The son I was told should be aborted is now 34 and just fine.

  • Ali P

    That sounds like a great idea!

    I’m glad the plan includes stories of babies who are loved and ‘imperfect’.

    One small thing- I would encourage you to use the phrase ‘make an adoption plan’ in place of ‘give them away to another family’. ‘Give them away’ sounds like leaving the baby on a doorstep, while ‘adoption plan’ sounds like careful decision making.


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