In 2019, UK mother Hannah Morris described how she was repeatedly pressured to abort her twin boys by doctors and was called “inhumane” when she refused. She successfully delivered her children, who have become healthy and active toddlers.
Morris suffered a premature rupture of the membranes (PPROM) 24 weeks before her due date. She was 16 weeks along when the amniotic sac surrounding one twin ruptured. The second one ruptured three weeks later. When the first amniotic sac ruptured, doctors told her she should abort her twins because they were going to die. Morris said in a UK Sun article:
I had an internal examination and the doctor told me that my waters had broken, and he was really sorry but there was nothing they could do for us. I asked a million questions, can the other baby survive? Can it reseal?
They said, ‘no, there was a 100 per cent chance that this baby won’t survive, you need to have to have some medicine to induce labour, it’s your only option’.
I didn’t want to do that. My gut was telling me not to follow the advice.
Morris and her partner Greg found support from a group called “Little Heartbeats” by Ciara Curran, who lost a child to PPROM. Through the group, Morris met parents who had delivered living children with the condition and was encouraged not to have an abortion.
Doctors, however, kept up the pressure at every visit. At her first follow-up appointment, doctors told Morris that if the babies survived to 24 weeks, their limbs would be stuck together and their vital organs wouldn’t function after birth. According to Morris, doctors told her that she “was only causing them more pain by carrying on with the pregnancy.”
Doctors made no efforts to save Morris’s sons and simply monitored the pregnancy. Through her own research, Morris learned that going on bed rest increased the chances of babies’ survival with PRROM. On her own initiative, she put herself on strict bed rest.
Every week, the couple went in for another scan. And every week, they were told that the twins were still alive and developing normally. But, according to Morris, “The doctors reviewed it each week and say it looks like they are doing fine but that is going to change so you need to terminate the pregnancy.”
Morris made it to 34 weeks and then had a C-section. She named her children George and Alfie.
The twins had a few initial health problems. Alfie had holes in his heart that were resolved. George had a weakened immune system for a short time after birth. But at two years of age, both twins were completely healthy and developing normally.
Morris said, “What would my life have been like if I hadn’t had them? They are both amazing, they’re awesome.”
Ciara Curran of “Little Hearts” says that George and Alfie are proof that babies can survive PPROM:
These babies clearly demonstrate why we need to raise awareness of PPROM, and that terminating the pregnancy is not the only option, as these are just a few of the many babies who have survived…
All too often they are told there is no hope and that their only option is to terminate, but babies can and do survive this.
If women are supported to continue their pregnancy, with good medical management, there is a chance that they will be able to bring home a surviving baby.
Had the Morrises listened to the doctors, they would not have their two children. Instead of being the parents of healthy children (who are now three years old), they would be grieving the loss of their babies.
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