No parent wants to hear that their child has been diagnosed with a fetal abnormality. But some families compound the tragedy, aborting their children rather than giving them a shot at life. Some are convinced to have the abortion – and others even claim that they are aborting out of love.
But the truth is that abortion, by its very nature, can never be a loving act, because it has one objective: to kill the child. Some children have been aborted, only to later find that the doctors were wrong. Fortunately, other babies were allowed to live after being misdiagnosed. Following are four families who chose life for their children in the face of death…
The Dennis Family
In 2013, Florida couple Lindsey and Kevin Dennis received a prenatal diagnosis of anencephaly for their 20-week-old daughter, Sophie. Rather than choose abortion like their doctor suggested, Sophie was born and lived for 10 hours, where loving friends and family stood by her side.
Lindsey spoke about how people asked why she was still carrying her daughter, but she also spoke of faith in God and wrote:
So though sadness and grief surround us always… there is a beauty of the Joy and Celebration of her life mixed in the sadness. Joy and sadness can be a beautiful thing.
In 2014, the Dennis couple also carried to term their daughter, Dasah, who was diagnosed with acrania, a similar condition at 12-weeks. Dasah lived for 12 hours, and has likewise been celebrated and remembered by her family in a blog post and the video below.
About the day Dasah was born, Lindsey wrote:
Loving you that day brought joy, praise, laughter, tears and sorrow. Joy as we delighted in the life and breath God was giving you for those 12 hours and sorrow as we knew “good-bye” would come far too soon. But this is Love. And this is why we chose to carry you to term, to walk through a loss we knew all too well a second time… for love. For the love of you, our second born daughter. Loving you meant we would embrace joy and also sorrow. That we would willingly step into the heartache of loss because we knew it was worth it to give you life.
The Deibert Family
In Washington in 2005, Jeanne and Steve Deibert were told their son would have Trisomy 18. Instead of an aborting him, Jeanne had Robbie, and got to see, hold, and take in every detail of him. He lived for 29 days and received hospital perinatal hospice care. Robbie and his parents were visited by friends, family and a priest. His mother Jeanne described the experience as “serene.”
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While Robbie was one of the 90 percent of babies who do not live past their first birthday when diagnosed with Trisomy 18, others have defied the odds. Former Senator and presidential candidate Rick Santorum (R-PA) has often spoken of his daughter Bella, who was born with such an abnormality. She will be turning eight in May.
The Hebron Family
In 2000, retired Philadelphia player Vaughn Hebron and his wife Kim were told at five months that their twins had the life-threatening condition of twin-twin transfusion. Doctors told them that there was a 70 percent chance one or both would die, but both twins survived and are healthy teenagers.
The Rodriguez Family
Evan and Olivia Rodriguez’s daughter Layla Sky was diagnosed with anencephaly, but they chose life, with their faith as a big part of that decision, and said “we’re at peace.” The Rodriguez family beautifully communicates the pro-life view:
Layla’s parents won’t have any regrets, no matter how long they have with their daughter, but if they had chosen to abort, they know they would have had a life of regret.
“Life is compatible with us,” said Mrs. Rodriguez. “Whether you get 10 minutes with your child, months, or hours, you don’t have that regret of ‘what if’.”
After Layla Sky was born on November 13, 2015, her parents spent 40 minutes with her until her passing and then spent the entire night holding her. Family and friends gathered some time later for a burial. This year on February 29, Olivia announced that she and Evan are expecting their second child. You can follow their journey here.
The Charlotte Lozier Institute has put forth an inspiring compilation of other families who have chosen life when they were given “incompatible with life” diagnoses.
By being given a chance at life, children receive the dignity they deserve, and a chance to have an impact on their parents and the world.