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Mother who rejected abortion looking forward to Christmas with her son

A mother and her son are looking forward to another Christmas together almost three years after doctors told her that she should have an abortion.

Sharee McCoy and her son Luka began beating the odds just eight weeks into her pregnancy, when a rare complication was discovered which can be threatening to both the mother and the baby in the womb.

Doctors at SSM Health St Mary’s Hospital told Sharee continuing with her pregnancy could result in a life-threatening rupture or severe bleeding, and directed her to have an abortion.

Just a year earlier, Sharee had lost her first child – a son named Jude – to a congenital heart disease when he was just two months old. Determined to do everything she could to save her baby, she asked if there was any way to continue her pregnancy.

After a few hours of waiting and doctors deliberating she was offered a pioneering first-of-its-kind surgery, but with no guarantee, it would work.

Dr Cristian Campian, the SLU Care Urogynecologist at SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital, told a video documenting Sharee and Luka’s experience that the procedure had never been done before, so he had no blueprint to go with ahead of Sharee’s surgery. He told Sharee there was a 99 percent chance the surgery wouldn’t work.

However, the surgery was a success, and McCoy suffered no further complications until Luka’s premature birth at 31 weeks in March 2017.

During the birth, Sharee suffered massive blood loss and had to be rushed to the hospital’s intensive care unit where she had to have her uterus surgically removed.

Doctors feared Sharee might not make it and decided it was time for Sharee and her son, who was dealing with health issues of his own, to meet one another.

Luka, who was having trouble breathing on his own in the NICU, was able to be weaned off oxygen and then began breathing without assistance for the first time while he was on his mother’s chest.

Chaela Kinney, Luka’s NICU nurse, said: “I didn’t heal Luka, his mom healed Luka, and I think Luka helped to heal Sharee… Being able to witness that, it’s a miracle.”

Two years later, neither Sharee or Luka seem to have suffered any complications from their time in the hospital.

Sharee said “Luka will be three in March and he’s doing great. I just hope this will be inspiring and give people hope”.

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

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