Anti-Choice Laws Forced Woman To Give Birth To Child With No Skull

Kimberley Johnson

In light of the current wave of strict anti-abortion laws sweeping the United States, one anonymous doctor posted “The Myth of Choice” -- a chilling account of a woman who was far along in her pregnancy and was forced to give birth to a baby who had no brain and no skull. “This condition has no survivors. None,” The doctor wrote.

The doctor communicated with excited mother-to-be through an interpreter and had to explain the fetus’ fatal condition:

"You wait for the patient to break the silence. The baby's heartbeat trots through the monitors while you softly hold her gaze. Her eyes plead with you. End it. You talk to the obstetricians, because eventually it will end. But nobody will do it. Not in this state. Not in this hospital. And so, the mother goes home, pregnant and grieving,” the doctor wrote.

The fatal birth defect known as anencephaly has no survivors. An estimated 1 in 10,000 infants in the United States is born with anencephaly.

The woman returns to the hospital days later, after experiencing a miscarriage.

This excerpt from the doctor’s essay is harrowing and is difficult to read:

"The baby is born with no skull, eyes like gumballs too big for their sockets. Alive, briefly. It hurts to look. Grotesque is all you can think, but you cannot say it. Thinking it calms you inside so you can calm everyone else. That is your job. To lead, to calm. Because everyone is upset. Some of the nurses need you to fix it, to save this baby with the magic of medicine. You remind them that he is very premature, that he has no brain, that he cannot survive. This is not an ambiguous diagnosis. You encourage the mother to hold her child, but she does not want this bond. She cannot see the deformed creature she birthed, because once seen it cannot be unseen.”

Within moments, the severely deformed infant died.

From the Washington Post:

“'Late-term' abortions are generally understood to take place during or after the 21st to 24th week of gestation, which is late in the second trimester. That gestational period roughly corresponds to the point of “fetal viability” or when a fetus might be able to survive outside the womb with or without medical assistance. However, there is no precise medical or legal definition of 'late-term,' and many doctors and scientists avoid that language, calling it imprecise and misleading. They say 'late-term' may imply that these abortions are taking place when a woman has reached or passed a full-term pregnancy, which is defined as starting in the 37th week."

Forcing an individual to carry a fetus with no brain and no skull is inhumane and no lawmaker should ever decide what is medically best for a patient – especially when it’s rooted in religious morality.

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