A member of Congress said she chose life for her child even though doctors said she should have an abortion, and is encouraging society to take a chance for life.
“We were told that our unborn baby had zero percent chance of survival, zero,” Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wash., said during a speech Friday at the March for Life rally. “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.”
Herrera Beutler said she was encouraged to have an abortion.
“[It was] 100 percent fatal, [and] our diagnosing doctor told us that when women get this news, they are heading across the street to schedule a termination,” Herrera Beutler said. “And at a second opinion consult, I was offered the option not to abort, but to induce early. I was around 20 weeks at this point, and I said, ‘Well, what is early?’ And she said, ‘Today, like this week, the sooner you start over, the better off you are going to be emotionally.’”
The Washington lawmaker said she and her husband prayed for direction in the midst of the recommendation to end her pregnancy.
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 infusion in utero to mimic the amniotic fluid so the baby could develop even without kidneys?
Herrera Beutler said she is thankful she looked beyond the advice she and her husband were given.
“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, 4-year-old big sister, who says that someday she is going to be ‘the boss of mommy’s work,’” Herrera Beutler said. “Look out, Speaker [Paul] Ryan.”
Herrera Beutler said her daughter’s story gives hope to other moms and families who might be facing a serious medical challenge with their unborn child.
“Because others have heard our story about Abigail, she is just the first, she is no longer the only,” Herrera Beutler said. “I was told there was no chance of survival, but they were wrong—they weren’t bad people, they just had never seen a baby with this condition survive. But that’s the point: What if they are wrong about others too?”
The experience with her daughter has shown her that society should work together to help unborn babies with challenges.
“What if together, we can break new ground and find new treatments that will benefit more than just our own families?” Herrera Beutler said. “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 true potential?”
The annual March for Life took place Friday as pro-lifers gathered in Washington for a rally on the National Mall and a walk to the Supreme Court.