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What's the Scoop on the Baby Doe Law?

Dateline: 2/23/00
Updated 2/24/00

Are women having abortions because they don't think they can choose compassionate care for sick newborns?

I had heard from somebody, someplace, sometime, that this had happened to someone. And some other people who had not had the same experience themselves nevertheless told me that this was a typical situation for women choosing late abotions for fetal indications.

In the original posting of this article I had gratefully acknowledged the source of the information (vaguely, after removing all identifying data), but that person and that person's associates took this as a personal attack on the person who told me about the situation and as "using" the woman who the situation had happened to. Be that as it may, I still believe that the woman's story happened as she told it, and I am still so shocked and outraged that the American medical establisment would put somebody through such a nightmare that I am trying to assess the scope of the problem and come up with a strategy for addressing it. Be it known that this is NOT with the blessings of any given woman who aborted under those circumstances, and that it is NOT with the blessings of any of her associates or aquaintences. I am, as far as I know, the only person who, having heard this woman's story, responded with any action or plan of action to prevent this nightmare from befalling anybody else.

That said, when I learned of this story, I began to look into it. I put out feelers and asked people who might have information about such situations for links, medical articles, and so forth to define the scope of the problem. None of the people who told me about this being a common situation provided me with anything,but I continued to look on my own. I found one URL:

The claims of this site fly in the face of everything I've ever seen anyplace else. For example, when I was researching prenatal diagnoses for Pro Life Views, I found many instances of parents having the choice of pursuing unusual care. I found no instances of parents being forced to watch their infants be subjected to futile care.

For a few examples, look at these sites:

The truth is, I can not recall a single instance in which I found forced care for critically ill newborns until I searched for "futile care," and then I found only the "Preemies at a Price" link. For a more reasoned perspective on the issue, visit:

I would like to figure out what the real story is. Are some hospitals inflicting unwanted, painful treatments of dubious efficacy on sickly newborns? Are abortion advocates using a few isolated instances of overzealous physicians to pressure women into aborting ailing babies? Please note -- I still believe the story of the woman who percieved her choices as being between forced futile care and abortion is true. If I didn't believe that this really happened to somebody, I'd just dismiss it as an urban legend and move on.

I'd like health care professionals and parents who have coped with very sick and severely disabled newborns to point me in the right direction. Specifically, I'd like to find out:

Once we identify the real problem -- forced futile care, overzealous doctors, pro-abortion propaganda, whatever -- we can address it, and try to spare women the pain of feeling trapped into an unwanted abortion.

Previous Articles


Related Articles at RealChoice:

Beware "Maternal and Fetal Indications"
How some doctors push unnecessary and unwanted abortions.

"Don't Like Abortions? Don't Have One."
The truth behind the slogan.

The Limitations of Medical Prognistications
A final caveat about maternal and fetal indications for abortion.

Protecting Yourself and Your Unborn Child
Tips on how to avoid being funneled into an unwanted and unnecessary abortion.

When Life is Short
How proponents of late abortions turn women's tragedies into a public relations coup.

When The Future Looks Bleak
Are things always as grim as they seem? Encouragement from your Pro Life Guide.

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