Human Interest

Doctors pressured this UK mother to abort one twin. She’s so glad she didn’t listen.

twins, conjoined twins, abortion, babies, embryos

For years, mothers have been increasingly encouraged to abort their babies after a diagnosis of a genetic abnormality or birth defecs that would require a life-saving surgery at birth. Two years ago in Penrith, Cumbria of England, Marie Stockdale was offered an abortion after it was discovered that one of her preborn children had conditions that would require surgery soon after birth.

At 35, Marie was overjoyed to find herself pregnant with twins. The baby’s father, Paul Kipling, 48, was also very excited and supportive of the news. The couple already formed a family with Paul’s two children from a previous relationship, ages 11 and 13.

All was well until Marie went in for her 20-week prenatal check-up. The provider determined that one of the twins, Ava, had a greater amount of amniotic fluid around her than her sister, Mila. Attempting to fix the problem, the doctors released some of the fluid only to have the fluid levels rise again. 

They concluded that this must mean that Ava had a birth defect called esophageal atresia with a tracheoesophageal fistula (EA), since she was unable to swallow the amniotic fluid at the same rate as Mila. In layman’s terms, this means during fetal development, the esophagus doesn’t complete its connection to the top of the stomach and instead creates a “pouch” of sorts. A trachea-esophageal fistula is when the upper part of the malformed esophagus begins to form to the trachea (the windpipe) instead.

According to Cleveland Clinic, EA is a more common birth defect with about 1 in every 3,500 babies affected. The defect can cause eating problems, respiratory distress, and other symptoms that are life-threatening.

On top of this, Ava also showed signs of a developmental brain condition called rhomboencephalosynpasis. This malformation of the cerebellum can lead to issues such as “motor developmental delay, ataxia, swallowing difficulties, muscular hypotonia…” and more.

Hearing this news, Marie and Paul were disheartened but refused the abortion option presented to them. “Because the condition is so rare, doctors had no idea how severely it would affect her, and I was offered a termination…” Marie said. “It was never an option, though; I had to give her a chance to fight.”

READ: Mother refuses doctors’ suggestion to abort twin daughter

The day came when Mila and Ava were born via cesarean and Ava was whisked off to surgery to repair the esophageal malformations. The surgery was a success with an additional surgery to correct a breathing issue related to the esophagus development. Over the following 8 weeks, Mila, Marie, and Paul were all able to stay in a charity home thanks to funding from the Sick Children’s Trust. 

Thankfully, Ava has continued to grow and now is quite the happy baby. Except for a checkup every few months, a feeding tube due to a lack of sucking reflex, and dilation of the esophageal scar tissue periodically, Ava is a bright and healthy little girl.

Marie commented, “They’re both little characters, Mila is very chilled out and patient and Ava is really happy and smiley.”

Ava’s smile never would have been seen or loved if her parents had accepted the offer to abort her. Currently, abortion is allowed into the third trimester in the UK for birth defects, including even correctable ones like a cleft lip. Medical diagnoses are not always correct, and much of the time, there are common and/or attainable medical treatments available to patients of all ages.

Babies with disabilities are just as valuable as those without disabilities. They are just as worthy of love. Death by abortion is never the solution to any problem or condition, even in the face of birth defects. 

The DOJ put a pro-life grandmother in jail for protesting the killing of preborn children. Please take 30-seconds to TELL CONGRESS: STOP THE DOJ FROM TARGETING PRO-LIFE AMERICANS.

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