Congresswoman Tells How She Chose Life for Her Daughter Who Was Given No Chance for Survival

U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (Amanda Cowan/The Columbian)

Washington (CNSNews.com) – In a speech at the 45th Annual March for Life on Friday, Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.) shared the story of how she and her husband chose not to get an abortion despite learning that their daughter had zero chance of survival, because she had no kidneys and undeveloped lungs from of a condition that was usually fatal upon birth. A few months into her second term in Congress, when she and her husband went for their 20-week ultrasound as first-time parents, they were told their unborn child had “zero percent chance of survival.”

“She had no kidneys. It was a condition called bilateral renal agenesis, and as a result, our baby would either miscarry or she would be born unable to breathe, because her lungs did not develop. She would literally suffocate upon arrival, and there was nothing anyone could do about it. Talk about hopeless! One hundred percent fatal!” Herrera Beutler said.

“Our diagnosing doctor told us often that when women get this news, they’re heading across the street to schedule a termination, and at a second opinion consult, I was offered the option not to abort, but to induce early,” the congresswoman said.

“I was around 20 weeks at this point, and I said, ‘So what is early?’ and she said, ‘Like today, like this week. The sooner you start over, the better off you’re going to be emotionally.’ That’s what we were told,” she added.

“So Dan and I prayed, and we cried, and we learned to contend, and in that devastation … we saw hope. What if God would do a miracle? What if a doctor was willing to try something new? What if we could get saline infusions in utero to mimic the amniotic fluid, so the baby could develop even without kidneys? What if?”  Herrera Beutler wondered.

“We would never have known if we hadn’t tried, and through divine intervention, and some very courageous doctors who were willing to take a risk, we now get to experience our daughter Abigail, who is a healthy, happy, four-year-old big sister, who says that someday she’s going to be the boss of Mommy’s work. Look out Speaker Ryan!” Herrera Beutler said.

“And now, because others have heard our story about Abigail – she’s just the first. She’s no longer the only. I was told there was no chance of survival, but they were wrong, and they weren’t bad people, they just had never seen a baby with this survive, but that’s the point,” she said.

The congresswoman wondered what if doctors were wrong about other babies that were aborted for because they were diagnosed with serious medical conditions.

“What if they’re wrong about others too? What if together, we can break new ground, and find new treatments that will benefit more than just our own families. What if the baby won’t have that significant medical condition or disability? Or even if she does, what if every baby was given at least a shot to reach their full potential? Who would we be as a nation? What richness would we get to see?” she asked.

“Instead of the equivalent of two generations missing because of that choice, would we have already witnessed one of these individuals finding a cure for cancer or the key to eradicating extreme poverty? What if we had spent the last 45 years pouring that time and that money into finding cures in the womb for medical conditions like spina bifida or microcephaly, or congenital heart defects. What if that money was used to end the baby’s disease and not the baby’s life?” Herrera Beutler asked.

The congresswoman also wondered what would happen if instead of spending millions on abortion, that money was invested in caring for babies with disabilities or significant health conditions.

“We can all think of people we know with serious illness or disability, who have enriched us immeasurably, and it’s difficult to imagine a world where they were never born. We should embrace full diversity, which includes physical and mental abilities – all different ones – different abilities,” she said.

“What if we celebrated disability instead of letting fear make it our mortal enemy? Today, we have come together to say there’s hope for every expectant mother who’s been given a devastating diagnosis, for every woman who feels fear or anger or anxiety, because she doesn’t know how she can afford to care that child, for every woman who feels hopeless, Jesus loves you. And for every baby that’s been given up on by the status quo, Jesus still does miracles,” the congresswoman said.

“What if we celebrated disability instead of letting fear make it our mortal enemy? Today, we have come together to say there’s hope for every expectant mother who’s been given a devastating diagnosis, for every woman who feels fear or anger or anxiety, because she doesn’t know how she can afford to care that child, for every woman who feels hopeless, Jesus loves you. And for every baby that’s been given up on by the status quo, Jesus still does miracles,” she said.

“We must recognize the unborn child as the miracle that he or she is – a person developing with extraordinary potential and purpose who deserves a fighting chance to live and just maybe reach that extraordinary potential. After all, I believe it’s the only way our society ever truly is gonna reach ours,” Herrera Beutler concluded.

 

Originally published by CNSNews.com

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