Human Interest

Told that she and her baby would both likely die, she still refused abortion

abortion, life of the mother, Naomi Bakker

It’s a situation the media has been replaying: a sick mother, a sick baby, and abortion.

In 2015, Michael and Angela Bakker were facing both heartbreaking situations. Their preborn baby girl Naomi was deemed unlikely to survive, and Angela’s health was on the line. In a society in which killing preborn humans is labeled ‘health care’, the Bakkers could have become the poster family for so-called medically-necessary abortion, exploited by the pro-abortion agenda.

But they didn’t.

Expecting Naomi

They had spent years trying to get pregnant before welcoming son Nathanial and then learning they were expecting Naomi, both of whom were created through the use of in vitro fertilization (IVF). (Editor’s Note: Live Action does not support the use of IVF. Read more about this here. However, we believe that all human beings, regardless of their means of conception, have human dignity and value, and are worthy of the right to life. This includes embryos who may die, be destroyed, or remain perpetually frozen as a result of reproductive technologies.)

The Bakkers attempted to implant every embryo they created, but sadly, the rest did not survive.

Now, with all eyes on Naomi, she was struggling to gain weight and Angela was dealing with her own health issues. For some doctors, the answer was abortion.

abortion, Naomi Bakker

Michael and Nathanial with Angela and Naomi. Photo courtesy of Angela and Michael Bakker. Do not reprint.

Getting a second opinion

Angela was seeing a maternal-fetal medicine (MFM) doctor in Reno because she was approaching her 40th birthday. At one appointment, when the doctor asked her how she was feeling, Bakker responded, “Great!”

The doctor, however, said, “Well that’s surprising because everything is wrong with your pregnancy.”

Angela explained, “She said, ‘Your baby is measuring behind. She’s not being fed in utero. She’s really far behind in size and this pregnancy’s not viable in my opinion.’ No one in Reno… mentioned abortion. They just said it was a hopeless situation.”



Naomi had intrauterine growth restriction, which has been linked to IVF, and the doctor thought she would mostly likely die before 25 weeks. If she didn’t die before birth, she was expected to die shortly after. Advised to get a second opinion, the Bakkers set up an appointment at the pro-abortion University of California San Francisco (UCSF), which they were told had the best MFM specialist in the nation.

They arrived at UCSF when Angela was 23 weeks pregnant. “Naomi was tracking at 18 or 19 weeks, three weeks behind,” said Michael. “They did all the same scans and extra scans, heart check, blood work, and Angela did a urine test. They came back with the same conclusion. Naomi was estimated to be 360 grams and the minimum weight for viability is typically 500 grams. The umbilical cord was not pushing the nutrients through… If it starts reverse flow, it’s really bad.” Reverse flow of the placenta carries a high risk of complications and death for the baby.

Naomi needed to gain 140 grams. The doctor said it wasn’t possible; however, after the Bakkers insisted on some hope for their situation, he agreed that if she managed to make it to 450 grams, they would provide her with care.

But he also let them know that most people faced with the same situation choose abortion.

Angela’s health at risk

Before they left UCSF to head back to Reno, they conducted one final round of tests. Angela’s blood pressure had escalated and the doctor wanted her to be admitted to triage immediately, but the couple wanted to return to Reno where the son was. The doctor warned them that both Angela’s and Naomi’s lives were at risk and that they should not be more than 30 minutes from a hospital.

Then, a different MFM doctor entered the room.

abortion, Naomi Bakker

Angela and Naomi. Photo courtesy of Michael and Angela Bakker. Do not reprint.

READ: Baby given no chance of survival celebrates first birthday

“She was more abrupt,” said Angela. “She said she was coming in to suggest abortion. She really tried to talk us into it. That’s when Naomi started kicking. I didn’t feel her kicks very often and it could have been a response to the stress and adrenaline. I looked at the doctor and said, ‘She’s kicking right now. I can’t be the one to stop those kicks. It’s not my choice to make. Why can’t I just deliver her and not have to be the one responsible for stopping her heartbeat?'”

Angela added that the doctor “said I could die with her. I was warned about HELLP syndrome [Hemolysis, Elevated Liver enzymes and Low Platelets, a type of preeclampsia] and told it is the number one reason women die during pregnancy. I was told, ‘You will have seizures, pass out, and die.'”

The Bakkers were told it was not if Naomi would die but when. Either she would die in utero and then Angela could die, or she would die at birth and then Angela could die.

As this doctor saw it, Naomi would die no matter what, and Angela could die too. 

She told Angela, “Your health issues will go away the minute that abortion takes place. Her life is hopeless anyway. You don’t have to go through a C-section.”

But what she never described was what the abortion procedure in the second trimester would involve, which was likely the dismemberment of Naomi.

abortion, Naomi Bakker

The first photo taken of Naomi on the day of her birth weighing just 364 grams. Photo courtesy of Michael and Angela Bakker. Do not reprint.

Choosing life

Michael and Angela refused abortion. The doctor told them, “You know, if you change your mind and want to have an abortion, you can come back at any point in the pregnancy. You are 24 hours past the legal cut-off; the law doesn’t apply in cases like yours.”

This struck Angela, and she remembers thinking, “Wow, our situation is so hopeless that the law doesn’t even apply.”

The couple drove back to Reno, where Angela was admitted to the hospital for close monitoring. They met with the NICU neonatologist who said the situation was hopeless.

“It was a devastating conversation,” said Angela. “She said that Naomi was too small, that the breathing tube wouldn’t fit down Naomi’s throat, and that without it, she wouldn’t be able to receive assistance breathing. If she does make it, she will struggle. She most likely will never walk, talk, or see, and could have extensive brain damage.”

Michael explained that the doctor said Naomi’s odds of having a “normal life” were less than one percent, and they were “setting themselves up for a difficult life” if Naomi did survive.

Lemaire Photo. Photo courtesy of Michael and Angela Bakker. Do not reprint.

Angela was able to go home, where she did a urine test daily and checked her blood pressure three times a day. They gave Naomi steroids to help her lungs and Michael’s mother came to stay with them since Angela was not allowed to be alone in case she had a seizure.

“We sought God out so fiercely that He gave us an answer so clearly [to choose life]. It’s the only way to do it where you’ll have peace,” said Angela. She told God, “‘I will take her however you give her to me. If she’s blind, if she’s deaf, I just want her. I want the chance to be her mother here on Earth. Could You please, please give me that? If you do, God, I will do everything to share her story and I will be vocal and loud and give you glory and tell her story and honor you.'”

Emergency delivery

At the 25-week checkup a few days later, Naomi’s heartbeat fell from 130 to 60 and back up. 

Michael explained, “The baby was severely stressed. They said, ‘If you don’t deliver today, she’ll be dead in utero.'”

A team awaited their arrival at the hospital where the doctor asked if they wanted a breathing tube to be put in Naomi’s throat. They were shocked. They were told that would be impossible, but this doctor said he would try.

Naomi was delivered by emergency C-section, but she wasn’t crying.

“I couldn’t pray. All I could say was ‘Jesus, Jesus, Jesus’ crying,'” said Angela. “…Everybody in the room got really quiet when she arrived. Then we both just started sighing — this is when we get to hold her and she dies. But the doctor was yelling, ‘Look at your baby! Look at your baby!’ He was holding the staff back, saying, ‘I want her to see her baby before we leave.'”

abortion, Naomi Bakker

Nathanial and Naomi. Photo courtesy of Michael and Angela Bakker. Do not reprint.

They had successfully placed the breathing tube and Naomi was on her way to the NICU. Angela started screaming that Naomi was alive, but that’s when Angela’s blood pressure dropped and the anesthesiologist had to give her a sedative.

“The anesthesiologist said, ‘I’ve never seen anything like that. [Naomi] was trying to breathe and breathing on her own. I never would have thought I would see that. I wasn’t expecting that at all. She’s a fighter,'” said Angela.

Doctors remained concerned about Angela’s blood pressure, fearing that she could have a seizure or “drop dead.” She was given magnesium in order to prevent seizures, which resulted in migraines and an almost unbearable feeling of overheating. She was bed-bound for a few days. Once the magnesium was stopped, she was able to get into a wheelchair and visit her daughter. 

“She was like a little alien,” she said. “I felt so helpless.” But after 142 days in the NICU, Naomi came home.

She is now eight years old — and while she takes a tiny amount of medication daily, she is thriving, and Angela has faced no further health challenges.

abortion, Naomi Bakker

Naomi today. Photo courtesy of Michael and Angela Bakker. Do not reprint.

Sharing their pro-life story

Through Live Action and other news outlets, Naomi’s story went viral around the world. People from numerous nations have reached out to the Bakkers for advice, doctors have reached out to the Bakkers to gather data, and mothers have asked doctors to give their own babies a chance at life because of Naomi.

“We were given the gift of Naomi and her story and the gift of information,” said Angela, “and the least we can do is help others who are going through this situation.”

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