Mom flown from Idaho to Utah for pregnancy complications wakes to learn they dismembered her son

Pro-abortion media outlets have recently shared emotional stories of women facing pregnancy complications in Idaho, where the state’s Defense of Life Act protects most preborn children from induced abortion (the intentional killing of a preborn human being). This Act was at the center of a recent Supreme Court case in which the Biden administration claimed the Act violates the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA), which mandates “stabilizing care” for patients during a medical emergency. The administration claims the Act puts women in danger if they cannot get ’emergency’ abortions, and the media has been quick to feature an Idaho doctor who claims that at least six pregnant women have been airlifted out of Idaho for emergency care because of the state’s pro-life law.

According to an article in The New York Times (NYT), Nicole Miller was one of those women. And her story is incredibly disturbing.

The article asserts that Miller was airlifted out of Idaho to Utah, where she underwent a D&E (dilation and evacuation) abortion — a procedure in which her baby boy, Maddox David, was dismembered. The problem is that this procedure is not listed as part of the standard of care for the health complications Miller was experiencing.

Even worse, it appears that Miller was unaware of the abortion until she awoke and was informed by a nurse that her son had been dismembered and removed from her womb.

“You’re not going to help me?”

According to media reports, Miller awoke to heavy bleeding during her 20th week of pregnancy. By that afternoon, wrote the NYT, “she was still leaking amniotic fluid and hemorrhaging and, now in a panic, struggling to understand why the doctor was telling her that she needed to leave the state to be treated.”

If I need saving, you’re not going to help me?” she asked the doctor concerning the possibility that her health could be affected.  (emphasis added) “He told me he wasn’t willing to risk his 20-year career.”

Miller had begun leaking amniotic fluid and spotting three weeks prior, at 17 weeks, but “[b]efore Ms. Miller could see the specialist, she woke up hemorrhaging” wrote the Times. It’s unclear if the delay in care over those three weeks was Miller’s choice or the fault of the maternity care deserts that have existed in Idaho since before Roe was overturned.

Either way, Miller was now suffering a serious placental abruption and experiencing a preterm premature rupture of membranes [PPROM] — her water had broken. And no one seemed to know how to provide the appropriate standard of care.

The Idaho law and the Utah abortion

Miller was transferred from the ER at St. Luke’s Boise Medical Center in Idaho to the hospital’s labor and delivery triage unit, where doctors apparently informed her that Maddox was in danger, but said they could not legally give her the care she needed — preterm delivery. The Times explained (emphasis added), “[N]o one mentioned abortion, or termination…”

Instead, the labor and delivery unit at St. Luke’s “put Ms. Miller on a small plane to Utah.”

Then, the NYT shockingly states, “Only when she woke up the next morning did she understand, because a nurse told her, that she was airlifted so she could have an abortion” (emphasis added).

Miller awoke to learn she had undergone — it seems without her knowledge — a D&E dismemberment abortion, during which a doctor pulled Maddox out of her body in pieces.

Maddox was intentionally and directly killed when a preterm induced delivery or an emergency C-section was the standard of care. Even if the doctors didn’t think he would survive, Maddox deserved better treatment and respect. So did Miller.

What’s more, induced preterm delivery is legal in Idaho. The Defense of Life Act states:

The following shall not be considered criminal abortions for purposes of subsection (1) of this section:
(a)  The abortion was performed or attempted by a physician as defined in this chapter and:
    (i)   The physician determined, in his good faith medical judgment and based on the facts known to the physician at the time, that the abortion was necessary to prevent the death of the pregnant woman. … and
    (ii)  The physician performed or attempted to perform the abortion in the manner that, in his good faith medical judgment and based on the facts known to the physician at the time, provided the best opportunity for the unborn child to survive, unless, in his good faith medical judgment, termination of the pregnancy in that manner would have posed a greater risk of the death of the pregnant woman. …

Is it possible that doctors in Utah chose to dismember Maddox because he was days shy of 21 weeks old or because he hadn’t reached their definition of “viable”?

If they had determined that he wouldn’t survive, did they also decide against a humane preterm birth that would have allowed his mother to hold him, dress him, and spend time with him?

Neither Miller nor Maddox deserved the poor treatment they were given during a medical emergency — and perhaps if doctors in Idaho had properly followed Miller’s case, and performed a preterm delivery rather than putting her on a plane (during which time her condition could have worsened), Maddox would have been delivered intact instead of being torn to pieces in the womb.

Delivery, not dismemberment, is the standard of care

Preterm premature rupture of membranes

Babies born at 21 weeks — just a few days older than Maddox — have survived. According to the Mayo Clinic, steps can be taken to delay labor, but if PPROM occurs prior to 24 weeks, as in Miller’s case, the “health care provider will explain the risks of having a very preterm baby and the risks and benefits of trying to delay labor.”

Dr. Christina Francis, CEO of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG), also previously explained in a statement to Live Action News that treatment for PPROM is to admit the woman for observation and monitor her for any signs of infection or bleeding — not induced abortion. “There are signs of developing intrauterine infection that any physician who is well-trained in obstetrics can identify long before sepsis develops,” she said. “This is why these patients are monitored very closely and often as inpatients, at least for a few days.”

This guidance is also recommended by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Mayo Clinic, and Cleveland Clinic, which states:

The complications from prematurity are high when the fetus is fewer than 34 weeks gestation. Your provider will keep you in the hospital on bed rest and attempt to prolong the pregnancy.

They may also give you:

    • Corticosteroids to help develop the fetus’s lungs.
    • Antibiotics to prevent infection and prolong the pregnancy.
    • Tocolytics (medication to stop labor).
    • Magnesium sulfate to help the fetus’s brain.

Your provider will monitor you closely for signs of infection. They’ll also monitor the fetus’s heart rate and movement to make sure it isn’t in distress. Ideally, these treatments allow your pregnancy to progress to at least 34 weeks.

It’s important to note that if you already have an infection at the time of rupture or develop one afterward, delivery is necessary. (emphasis added)

Clearly, the standard of care is to care for both mother and child — not to kill the child.

When an induced abortion is carried out, the goal is to ensure the preborn child dies before delivery is complete. This is far different from an induced delivery, even an induced preterm delivery, in which the goal is to save the mother’s life or save the lives of both mother and baby.

There is no medical condition in which it is necessary to ensure the preborn child dies before delivery takes place.

Again, it is unclear why three weeks went by after Miller was told to see the specialist, or if an infection had developed during that time. If she did have an infection by this point, it would have meant a preterm delivery was necessary.

Placental abruption

A placental abruption occurs when the placenta separates from the uterine wall. According to Cleveland Clinic, a doctor “will diagnose and treat placental abruption based on the severity of the separation and gestational age of the fetus.” In some cases, women can go home and be carefully monitored until the condition worsens or until the baby is considered “term” and can be safely delivered.

If the placental abruption is severe, Cleveland Clinic explains that “immediate delivery may be necessary even if the fetus isn’t close to term (37 weeks of pregnancy).” (emphasis added) Cleveland Clinic notes (emphasis added):

If at any point any of the following occur, you may need to give birth (no matter what the age of the fetus):

    • The abruption gets severe/worsens.
    • You’re bleeding heavily or develop severe anemia.
    • The fetus is in distress and showing signs it lacks oxygen.

At no point does Cleveland Clinic say a woman may need an abortion — which is the direct and intentional killing of the baby — as a treatment for placental abruption. Not even the popular abortion euphemism, “termination,” is used.

Likewise, the Mayo Clinic discusses a watch-and-wait approach, and states, “You might be given medication to help your baby’s lungs mature and to protect the baby’s brain, in case early delivery becomes necessary.” (emphasis added)

The pro-abortion American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends “either a late-preterm or early-term delivery” for cases of “placental abruption.”

The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology explains, “Acute near-term and term abruptions, whether mild or severe, are typically managed by maternal stabilization followed by delivery. Delivery is recommended to minimize the risks of ongoing vaginal bleeding and the potential for fetal compromise and maternal injury.” (emphasis added)

The American Association of Pro-Life OBGYNs writes (emphasis added):

Previable induction of labor [the premature induction of labor before a child is viable] is justified in cases of … massive placental abruption… In countries with modern healthcare infrastructure, medical science is usually advanced enough to support the maternal patient through the 24 hours or less typically required for such inductions. If need be, blood product replacement and intensive care can be employed to protect the maternal life to achieve successful induction of an intact fetal body without resorting to fetal dismemberment.

Doctors in Utah dismembered Miller’s son instead of delivering him. This was not the standard of care.

Miller’s story should be used to seek justice for her and Maddox — not to be exploited as a pro-abortion talking point to allow the same horrific tragedy to happen to other families.

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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