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First time mother told abortion was ‘best option’ gives birth to healthy baby girl

A mother who was told abortion would be the “best option” for her unborn child has given birth to a healthy baby girl, after rejecting abortion on four occasions.

Kimberley James was warned by doctors that her unborn baby would not survive after a 12-week scan revealed hydrops fetalis, an abnormal build-up of fluid levels in the womb.   

Kimberley’s baby was also diagnosed with cystic hygroma, a collection of treatable fluid-filled cysts which affects one in 8,000 babies.

The first time mother told the Sun she was then advised “at least three or four times to have an abortion” by doctors.

But she decided to trust her instinct and go ahead with the pregnancy.

“It must have been three or four people I was told, quite forcibly, that a termination was the best option.

“In the end we paid to have private scans and blood tests but we were determined to go ahead with the pregnancy.”

She added: “After the first time we had a scan at 12 weeks at Worcestershire Royal Hospital we were referred to a consultant, which we saw two days later.

“It was then we were offered a termination pretty much the second time we had seen her.

“We said no because it was absolutely not what we wanted to do.

“We asked them why and unfortunately they couldn’t give an answer.”

Just one month later, at 16 weeks, Kimberley and her husband Nick returned to Worcestershire Royal Hospital for a scan, which to the shock of doctors, revealed that both Kimberly’s hydrops fetalis and her baby’s cystic hygroma had gone.

Recalling events, Kimberley said: “At 16 weeks we went back to Worcestershire Royal Hospital for a scan and they were gobsmacked the hydrops had gone, which was the reason they had offered the termination.

“They didn’t know how it had disappeared and said it was unheard of.

“It had been there because you could actually see it on the scans and they had seen it in the private clinic as well.

“The cystic hygroma was part of it too and that had completely disappeared after 20 weeks.

“They checked her for it when she was born and she was all fine.

“The doctors were really, really shocked because they weren’t expecting it to disappear and the consultant couldn’t believe it.”

Kimberly’s pregnancy then proceeded without any further scares and on 9 May, she and her husband welcomed their 7lb 6oz (3.34kg) daughter, Penelope, into the world.

Kimberley said: “Penelope defied all odds and the hydrops disappeared at 16 weeks and the cystic hygroma also disappeared after 20 weeks.

“We are so in love with her and so thankful that we continued with the pregnancy despite the extremely poor prognosis at the start.”

Kimberley added that giving birth during lockdown made the experience “surreal” with women unable to have visitors while on the antenatal ward.

“All the women stuck together and interacted more due to this.

“Everyone had their curtains open and were chatting to one another.

“The staff said that this wouldn’t normally be the case if visitors were allowed as everyone usually keeps themselves to themselves, so it was refreshing that we were all supporting each other through this bizarre time.”

Help stop abortion up to birth for babies with disabilities including Down's syndrome & club foot

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Dear reader

In 2020, the UK Government imposed an extreme abortion regime on Northern Ireland, which included a provision that legalised abortion right up to birth for disabilties including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot.

A new Bill has been launched at the Northern Ireland assembly that will remove the current provision that allows abortion for ‘severe fetal impairment’.

It is under these grounds in the regulations that babies with disabilities including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot can currently be singled out for abortion in Northern Ireland because of their disability and can be aborted right up to birth.

Before the new abortion regime was imposed on Northern Ireland in 2020, disability-selective abortion for conditions such as Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot was not legal and there was a culture of welcoming and supporting people with these disabilities rather than eliminating them.

This is reflected directly in the latest figures (2016) from the Department of Health in Northern Ireland, which show that while there were 52 children born with Down’s syndrome in Northern Ireland, in the same year only 1 child from Northern Ireland with Down’s syndrome was aborted in England and Wales. 

This contrasts with the situation in the rest of the United Kingdom where disability-selective abortion has been legal since 1967.

The latest available figures show that 90% of children diagnosed with Down’s syndrome before birth are aborted in England and Wales.

We are, therefore, asking people like you to take 30 seconds of your time and add your support to the campaign to stop abortion up to birth for disabilities including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot in Northern Ireland.

If you live in Northern Ireland: 
Ask your MLAs to vote to stop abortion up to birth for disabilities including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot:

If you live outside Northern Ireland: 
Show your support by signing this petition in support of the Bill:

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