Republican Congresswoman refuses to abort baby diagnosed with fatal condition

Unborn baby scheming about doing the right thing
Unborn baby scheming about doing the right thing

Here’s a story from National Review:

World magazine brings some happy news today: Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler (R., Wash.) and her husband Daniel Beutler have announced the birth of their daughter. What makes this particular arrival noteworthy is that Abigail was diagnosed in utero with Potter’s Sequence, a rare condition that impairs kidney and lung formation. Doctors informed the Beutlers that their daughter would not be able to breathe and would therefore expire moments after birth; they recommended an abortion.

Instead, the couple sought out treatment and prayed for a miracle. They finally discovered an experimental procedure, involving saline injections into the uterus to assist in lung development, and physicians at Johns Hopkins who were willing to try it. On July 15, a mere 28 weeks into the pregnancy, their faith and persistence yielded the world’s first recorded survivor of Potter’s Sequence. Despite lacking functional kidneys and weighing a mere 44 ounces at birth, little Abigail is breathing independently and responding well to peritoneal dialysis.

In a statement on the congresswoman’s Facebook page, the Beutlers thank the many doctors and nurses who rendered assistance, as well as “the thousands who joined us in praying for a miracle. But most of all, we are grateful to God for answering those prayers.”

Fox News had more:

The congresswoman explained on her official website as well as on her social media pages that many doctors were pessimistic about the baby’s chances of making it to term, and were fairly certain that if she survived through birth, she would live only moments. Herrera Beutler is against abortion and said she refused to consider it as an option.

“With hearts full of hope, we put our trust in the Lord and continued to pray for a miracle,” she wrote on her congressional site.

The announcement by the congresswoman was, essentially, a testimony about holding out hope and defying the odds.

Abigail has no kidneys and had no amniotic fluid in the womb. During the pregnancy, doctors injected saline solution into the womb in the place of amniotic fluid.

At birth, Abigail had fully developed lungs and she is breathing on her own, suggesting that the relatively uncommon treatment had worked. Abigail still requires ongoing dialysis and will eventually need a kidney transplant.

Herrera Beutler and her husband said they were thankful for the doctors and nurses who were not willing to accept the fatal diagnosis.

“We are grateful to the thousands who joined us in praying for a miracle. But most of all, we are grateful to God for hearing those prayers,” Herrera Beutler and her husband said in a joint statement.  “As far as every doctor we’ve spoken with knows, Abigail is the first baby with bilateral renal agenesis to breathe sustainably on her own.”

Dr. Louis Halamek, a neonatologist at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in California, said they are cautiously optimistic about the future of the baby, born after a 28-week pregnancy.

“Despite Abigail’s prematurity, small size and life-threatening disease, she is doing well,” Halamek said.

Herrera Beutler, 34, is in her second term in Congress, representing the 3rd district covering the southwest portion of Washington state. The National Journal included her on its list of “The Top 25 Most Influential Washington Women Under 35.”

I think that a lot of Democrats are going to be surprised with this story, because they think that protecting the unborn is something that Republicans want to impose on others, but won’t do themselves. After all, Democrats are always passing taxes and regulations from others – but they don’t think that any of that applies to them. Al Gore rants on and on about global warming, but he still spends $30,000 a year in utility bills. So imagine how surprised the Democrats are to see that Republicans aren’t frauds and hypocrites. Yes, we actually believe in protecting the unborn even if it means that we will be less “happy” and less “fulfilled”. That’s what being pro-life means – welcoming children into the world and supplying for their needs, even if it requires us to make sacrifices.

4 thoughts on “Republican Congresswoman refuses to abort baby diagnosed with fatal condition”

  1. Wow—this is a wonderful story! And I’m thrilled to read that this treatment was successful with little Abigail. Prayers for her continued well-being and that of her parents, too!


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