Woman forced to carry baby to term knowing he would die because of US abortion laws
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A Florida woman has been left heartbroken and traumatised after being forced to endure a high-risk pregnancy and carry her baby to term knowing he would die.
Deborah Dorbert, 33, was told by doctors that her baby had no kidneys and was 'sure to die', but due to the state's strict abortion laws, there was nothing she could do.
Although her pregnancy had seemed perfectly normal for the first 24 weeks, an ultrasound soon discovered that not only was the baby going to die, but she would be at especially high risk of preeclampsia if she carried him to term.
Preeclampsia is a disorder that can occur during pregnancy and can lead to serious, and sometimes deadly, complications.
She was told that her fetus didn't have kidneys and the chances of survival were slim to none, CNN reports.
The condition, known as Potter syndrome, meant the baby would be 'incompatible with life', the doctors told Deborah.
She was warned that, if she delivered the baby, he would either be stillborn or die within minutes, or at most hours, of birth.
But, according to Florida law, it's now illegal to terminate a pregnancy after 15 weeks in almost all cases.
Although the law does allow for abortions after 15 weeks if two separate doctors can confirm a fatal fetal abnormality, most Florida doctors are quite hesitant to do so, since the penalties for violating abortion law are drastic, and most medics would like to avoid raising suspicions for fear of being fined or sent to prison.
Although she, of course, would have felt most comfortable terminating the pregnancy, Deborah said she 'absolutely understands' why doctors would refuse to give her the procedure.
"It’s tricky because of how this law was written in the first place," she noted.
Her only option for abortion was to go out of state to get the procedure done there, but since she and her husband didn't have the money to travel, she was left with no choice but to continue with the pregnancy.
For the next 13 weeks, Deborah carried the baby knowing he was going to die, leaving her with severe anxiety and depression.
Deborah and her husband Lee were thrilled when they first learned she was pregnant for a second time.
Their four-year-old son Kaiden was equally as thrilled, and even came along to an ultrasound appointment.
“He’d go, ‘yeah, there’s the eye’ or ‘there’s the hand,’" Deborah recalled.
"He was excited that he could see the baby on the monitor."
Deborah's son Milo was eventually born on 3 March, after the couple decided to induce birth early, but died shortly after, just as doctors had warned.
"He gasped for air a couple of times when I held him," she said.
"I watched my child take his first breath, and I held him as he took his last one."
For help, support and advice about abortion, contact the National Abortion Federation on 1-800-772-9100, EST 8am-7pm EST Monday to Friday or EST 8am-4pm EST Saturday to Sunday.