fbpx
Select Page

Girl, 3, with spina bifida defies odds by learning to walk after parents reject doctor’s advice to have an abortion

A three-year-old girl with spina bifida has defied the odds by learning how to walk unaided, after her parents rejected doctors advice to have an abortion.

Erica Ardolino-Comparin was told by her doctor that her unborn baby would be with myeloschisis – a severe form of spina bifida – and paralysed from the waist down during her 18-week-scan.

The doctor then went on to tell Erica she should have an abortion, which she declined. However, the doctor applied more pressure saying that, if Erica was his wife, he would urge her to have an abortion.

Erica told the Mail: “We were devastated when we were advised to terminate the pregnancy. It felt like we had just lost our child even though we hadn’t.

“Even when we told the doctor we were choosing not to go ahead with the option to terminate, he proceeded to give us this option multiple times afterwards and even let me know that if I were his wife he would tell her the same thing.”

Despite the doctor’s advice, Harper-Mae was born on 19 September, 2016 paralysed from the torso down with just partial mobility in her legs.

In February 2017, the little fighter began physical therapy sessions with activities designed to help her build mobility and strength.

Soon after, Harper-Mae learned to walk with the support of a walker inspiring her physical therapists to believe she may one day be able to take steps without it.  

Now, following corrective surgeries and the continued support of her parents and physical therapists, Harper-Mae has beaten the odds and can walk unaided.

Just this year, she made a significant breakthrough when she rode her bike without straps to hold her feet down for the first time.

Sharing the breakthrough on Facebook, proud mother Erica said: “This girl is absolute magic!!! After working so hard in therapy on learning to ride a bike with no straps, Harper is finally doing it. One of Harper’s goals for her last 3 week intensive therapy program was biking, and she did it!!!”

“Spina Bifida doesn’t have anything on this little cutie.”

Commenting further in the Mail, she said: “Watching Harper’s progress and her showing that she is more than a medical diagnosis makes us extremely proud.

“Whilst growing up with spina bifida isn’t always the easiest and certainly has its ups and downs, Harper has been able to live life just like a normal three-year-old little girl.”

She added: “We believe Harper is destined for great things and that she can help to change the world. At only three years old, Harper has been able to impact many people and we know that she will continue to do so for the rest of her life.

“We truly feel that she will be a bright light in our world and that she will help to not only redefine spina bifida but change the perspective that people have about disabilities in general.”

Sadly, babies diagnosed with spina bifida in the UK can be aborted right up to the point of birth.

Estimates have predicted that 80 percent of unborn babies diagnosed with spina bifida each year are aborted.

However, pro-life campaigners are hopeful that now that corrective surgery has been made routinely available on the NHS, the number of unborn babies terminated each year will fall.

In April, a baby girl who had pioneering spina bifida surgery whilst still being in her mother’s womb celebrated her first birthday at home.

After diagnosing Elouise with the condition last year, doctors offered her parents a termination saying the outcome was “bleak”.

Her parents, Kieron and Bethan Simpson, refused to have an abortion and now Elouise, who is described as “happy and smiley” by her mother, is thriving.

Likewise, Noah Wall, who was also born with the condition, is also flourishing at the age of eight after his parents turned down five separate offers to have an abortion. Noah has been joining in with the weekly #ClapForOurCarers event as he continues his remarkable progress.

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

Article Syndication

Join other leading publications from around the world who syndicate our articles

Syndicate this article
Syndicate now

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:

Article Syndication

Join other leading publications from around the world who syndicate our articles

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

Syndicate this article
Syndicate now