Human Interest

Family refused to abort daughter after being told she didn’t have a ‘viable heart’

Paul Saba

In his recently released book, “Made to Live: A Physician’s Journey to Save a Life,” Canadian-American physician Dr. Paul Saba shares a “deeply personal” story of advocating for the life of his preborn daughter Jessica after she was diagnosed in utero with a rare, congenital heart condition.

In a YouTube video trailer for the book, Dr. Saba stated that before his daughter Jessica was born, a 20-week ultrasound showed “a severe problem — a severe congenital malformation.” Saba said doctors told he and his wife, “She doesn’t have a viable heart. She probably has Down syndrome. And we really question whether she’s going to have any quality of life and whether she can even survive.” Saba says they were told to “consider [their] medical options,” meaning abortion. Doctors recommended that they decide quickly. The Sabas chose to watch and wait.


Dr. Saba recalled, “We did another ultrasound at 24 weeks, and it was the same conclusion. And we said ‘Absolutely not. We’re not going to terminate this pregnancy.’ As my wife says, ‘I’ve done everything to get the pregnancy as far as I have, and you’re going to do everything for my baby.'”

“The greatest abandonment is giving up on people, and the worst way of abandoning them is killing them, either through assisted suicide or euthanasia, or through abortion,” said Saba, adding, “So that’s what the story is, it’s how every human life is valuable, whether you’re pre-born or after birth or even at the end of a long life. Never give up. Always have hope. You are valuable because you are made to live.”

According to a press release provided to Live Action News, the creation of Saba’s book was “a family affair,” with each family member contributing something to the account. “A family physician in his birthplace of Montreal, Canada, Dr. Saba draws on his years as a doctor, husband and father to help debunk the mythology that life is just one more disposable commodity,” notes the press release.

Jessica is now, according to the release, a “flourishing, energetic 11-year-old.”

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