Abortion is not compassionate or necessary for babies with a prenatal diagnosis

abortion, Live Action, prenatal diagnosis, abortion, D&E

A recent article for the Daily Beast complained that a woman whose child received a prenatal diagnosis would not be able to get an abortion because she lives in Tennessee, where virtually all preborn children are protected from the deadly procedures. The mother’s health is not at risk, but due to the prenatal diagnosis, the baby is predicted to either be stillborn or die shortly after birth.

However, a baby’s diagnosis does not mean a woman actually needs an induced abortion.

Allie Phillips told the Daily Beast about her heartbreaking pregnancy; at a 19-week scan, she discovered the baby’s brain had not fully developed, due to a rare congenital defect known as holoprosencephaly (HPE). Phillips’ baby also has a two-chambered heart instead of four, and problems with the kidney and the bladder.

“I felt all the blood just leave my face and my heart sank to the back of my chest and I just felt numb. I was still there physically, but my mind just kind of left,” Phillips told the Daily Beast, adding, “I came back to my body. I immediately began crying, like out loud crying. “I asked, ‘Is there any treatment?’ She said, ‘Unfortunately, there’s nothing that can fix all these defects.’”

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Her doctor seemingly recommended abortion but added that it wasn’t an option in Tennessee. So Phillips said she and her husband traveled to New York for an abortion.

“An abortion is a procedure. It doesn’t matter if there’s a heartbeat,” she said, later adding, “Banning abortions doesn’t stop them. It bans safe abortions and makes it nearly impossible for some women to receive life-saving care. Women will die because of these laws. Doesn’t seem very pro-life if you ask me.”

Meanwhile, her situation — described as a nightmare — continued as her baby lived inside of her. “There’s little moves,” she said. “I can feel it.” But she is committed to moving forward with the abortion, simply because her daughter’s life will be short.

“We risk having a stillborn or giving birth only for her to just die shortly after delivery,” she said. “I don’t want to bring her into this world to suffer for an hour or two just so I can say I held her.”

Ultimately, Phillips did not undergo an abortion, as Miley died naturally before the procedure could take place.

Phillips’ situation is unfathomably tragic. Yet knowing that a child may soon die does not make it acceptable to directly and intentionally kill her now.

A child suffering from cancer, whose disease has become terminal, should not be actively killed because she only has a few days left to live. The only reason such a thing was considered acceptable in Phillips’ case is because her child was still in her womb. Yet, her child wasn’t any less human than a born child — her daughter was a living human person — but her location and size allowed her life to be disposable if her parents wished it, even as she moved and grew, and her heart continued to beat.

The most common abortion procedure in the second trimester is a dilation and evacuation, or D&E. This typically multi-day procedure involves the abortionist dismembering the child at a time when she can almost certainly feel pain. A violent, painful death is not the more loving thing to do, and it doesn’t diminish the child’s suffering. It certainly isn’t necessary. There is a demonstrable difference between violently, painfully ending a child’s life, and walking those final steps with her, so that her last moments are filled with love, peace, and comfort. Prenatal testing should be used to help parents prepare, not to kill innocent children.


Joe Baker, the founder of Save the Storks, recently experienced a similar situation when his daughter received a prenatal diagnosis of anencephaly. Baker and his wife, Ann, discovered their daughter had the fatal condition and devoted the remaining months of pregnancy to embracing every moment they had with their little girl, named Ember. Ember lived for one hour and six minutes after birth. That courageous decision to celebrate every moment of Ember’s life didn’t make it less tragic for them, but it gave them a memory to always cherish and allowed their baby to know love rather than being violently killed.

“We knew this was coming, and I thought our hearts were ready, but it is sad,” he said. “We’re really experiencing that loss. And not even the loss of just our baby, holding her, it’s even Ann carrying her — we’ve gotten to know her. I think we’re going to set up our Christmas tree on the fourth of November each year now, as a way to remember her.”


“It was like, we’re going to take the time with our baby, and not put her on any machines or anything, and comfort her, and hold her,” Baker said. “If we had given her oxygen, she might have lasted a few more minutes, but … she just needed to be with Mom, and be held. It’s… something else, to watch a baby die. She would just gasp, these little gasps for air, but at the same time, it wasn’t desperate. She actually seemed very gentle. She wasn’t full of stress, but very comforted by Ann holding her. She was just kind of passing one world to the next, very gently.”

Editor’s Note 3/12/23: This article was updated to clarify that Phillips’ baby, Miley, died naturally before Phillips underwent an abortion.

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