One couple in the United Kingdom is speaking out about how they felt pressured to have an abortion when it was discovered that their preborn daughter had a rare brain condition called Dandy-Walker Syndrome.
Rob Morgan and Sarah Forster say that they received the diagnosis when Sarah was 19 weeks pregnant with their daughter, Mia. Little is known about the rare condition, and the couple says they were encouraged to have an abortion.
“We weren’t given much support from anybody because it was such a rare condition,” Forster told The Mail. “The doctors told us that termination would be the best option for Mia which wasn’t ever an option for us; we always wanted to give her a chance at life. I was actually given a card for bereavement counselling at that time when I wasn’t even bereaved.”
They decided to continue the pregnancy, but at the time were unsure if Mia would even live through birth. Happily, she did make it through, and while she has suffered some medical challenges, her parents are optimistic about her future.
“It’s been so scary but she keeps me strong and positive. She’s already done so much that they thought she wouldn’t do,” Forster said. “They didn’t even think she’d be here – she got past birth. She’s such a strong little warrior; her strength gives me strength.”
Unfortunately, the couple has been on their own when it comes to finding help and support for their daughter’s condition. As other parents have said, finding a support system can make a world of difference when it comes to dealing with a child’s medical diagnosis. Support groups can be extremely helpful when parents face a life-limiting diagnosis and feel pressure to abort from doctors or other medical professionals. “I’ve found a lot of help through Facebook pages, with parents who have similar children, mainly in America,” Forster explained. “It’s been quite a lonely journey here but the family support has been amazing.”
The couple is sharing their story because they want to encourage others who may feel pressured to abort in similar situations.
“I want other parents of children with the same condition to know that termination isn’t always the answer and some people might feel like what the doctor say goes which isn’t the case,” Forster said. “I couldn’t think of anything worse than not giving Mia the life that she was entitled to – it’s not all doom and gloom.”
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