Irish mother said no to doctor-advised abortion and baby survives
She recounts pressure on her to go to England for a termination
Doctors told Kildare woman Jennifer Kehoe that she should travel to England for an abortion because her baby had a life-threatening congenital heart defect and a rare brain disorder.
Jennifer and her husband John, a GP, were told the baby would have little chance of surviving outside the womb. Their daughter Louise Kehoe, now three years old, defied the odds.
Jennifer and her husband felt "judged" for not choosing termination, the Irish mum told the Independent.
But if they had gone ahead with the abortion, they would never have experience how their "delightful little girl" would "blow us away with love," she says.
The Kehoes' baby was diagnosed in the womb with life-threatening congenital brain malformation called Dandy-Walker Syndrome and a heart defect. They were "advised to have an abortion by an Irish obstetrician on the grounds of foetal anomaly."
“The very first thing our obstetrician suggested was, ‘Go to England'. We decided against that and to give our daughter a shot at life, however long or short that might be,” said Jennifer, a mother of six.
As Jennifer was 42 at the time of her pregnancy, the couple decided to have an amniocentesis or amniotic fluid test to check for chromosomal abnormalities.
“I had loads of miscarriages since the last baby – we had five children and the youngest was six,” said Jennifer, who is from Naas, Kildaire.
“Abortion was never ever what we were thinking of, not even for the single flicker of a second.”
Jennifer said that once the diagnosis was outlined to her, she began to grieve for her unborn child.
“I said to John, ‘I hope that the baby dies soon' so that I could start the grief process.
“But about a day later I started to hope that the baby would get to 24 weeks, so she could get a birth cert. During this time we were handed a card for a bereavement councillor and quite quickly after that I said ‘I want this baby to live, no matter what.'
“If we had made an appointment for England there and then, we wouldn't have had the chance to come to the third point in the thought process – that we would do anything to save our baby.”
According to the amniocentesis, there was no chromosome abnormality.
“It was only then that we got to see a cardiologist,” Jennifer said.
Three-year-old Louis has come through three heart operations, but her cognitive development is normal and she is expected to lead a long and and normal life.
“Whether you are pro-life or pro-choice, it is about the pressure that doctors put on you to make a decision,” she said. “The choice isn't being given.
“Doctors are pressuring people to go to England if there is a foetal abnormality and then punishing them if they don't make that decision.
“I think it was a eugenic attitude, that people who are disabled are a drain on resources.
- Bill O’Reilly slams Nelson Mandela as an...
- Hollywood star Gabriel Byrne brands new Pope...
- Did Catholic Church insistence on English...
- Unionists regret US envoy Haass’ call for...
- Top ten negative terms used to describe Irish...
- Dubliner found guilty of vicious Temple Bar...
- Recalling Irish America’s greatest moment:...
- Married priests could well be Pope Francis'...
- Nelson Mandela showed us all what could be...
- The top Irish bars in the United States to...
What a surprise that the corporate newsmedia didn't report Nelson Mandela's views here in the US. If Mandela had said the IRA should immediately disMarried priests could well be Pope Francis' legacy, says Irish theologian
darao, you are confused by the fact that, as in Northern Ireland, religion is often a marker of ethnicity. The religious affiliation is often just a cRacist incidents in Ireland up by 85 percent says Immigrant Council
It seems very ironic that an organization such as the Immigrant Council of Ireland is very concerned about foreigners in the Irish state but des not cBill O’Reilly slams Nelson Mandela as an unrepentant “communist”
Mandella was South Africa's George Washington, except that Mandella endured much greater suffering. In the end, he brought the country out of one dark