Lawmaker Shares Why She Chose Life for Her Child When Doctors Said She Should Abort

By Published on January 22, 2018

A member of Congress said she chose life for her child even though doctors said she should have an abortion, and is encouraging society to take a chance for life.

“We were told that our unborn baby had zero percent chance of survival, zero,” Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wash., said during a speech Friday at the March for Life rally. “Our baby would either miscarry, or she would be born unable to breathe because her lungs did not develop, she would literally suffocate upon arrival.”

Herrera Beutler said she was encouraged to have an abortion.

“[It was] 100 percent fatal, [and] our diagnosing doctor told us that when women get this news, they are heading across the street to schedule a termination,” Herrera Beutler said. “And at a second opinion consult, I was offered the option not to abort, but to induce early. I was around 20 weeks at this point, and I said, ‘Well, what is early?’ And she said, ‘Today, like this week, the sooner you start over, the better off you are going to be emotionally.’”

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The Washington lawmaker said she and her husband prayed for direction in the midst of the recommendation to end her pregnancy:

Dan and I prayed and we cried and we learned to contend. And in that devastation, we saw hope.

What if God would do a miracle, what if a doctor was willing to try something new? What if we could get saline infusion in utero to mimic the amniotic fluid so the baby could develop even without kidneys?

Herrera Beutler said she is thankful she looked beyond the advice she and her husband were given.

“Through divine intervention, and some very courageous doctors who were willing to take a risk, we now get to experience our daughter Abigail, who is a healthy, happy, 4-year-old big sister, who says that someday she is going to be ‘the boss of mommy’s work,’” Herrera Beutler said. “Look out, Speaker [Paul] Ryan.”

Herrera Beutler said her daughter’s story gives hope to other moms and families who might be facing a serious medical challenge with their unborn child.

“Because others have heard our story about Abigail, she is just the first, she is no longer the only,” Herrera Beutler said. “I was told there was no chance of survival, but they were wrong — they weren’t bad people, they just had never seen a baby with this condition survive. But that’s the point: What if they are wrong about others too?”

The experience with her daughter has shown her that society should work together to help unborn babies with challenges.

“What if together, we can break new ground and find new treatments that will benefit more than just our own families?” Herrera Beutler said. “What if the baby won’t have that significant medical condition or disability, or even if she does, what if every baby was given at least a shot to reach their true potential?”

The annual March for Life took place Friday as pro-lifers gathered in Washington for a rally on the National Mall and a walk to the Supreme Court.


Rachel del Guidice is a reporter for The Daily Signal. She is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, Forge Leadership Network, and The Heritage Foundation’s Young Leaders Program. 

Copyright 2018 The Daily Signal

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  • Obviously neither side is willing to compromise.

    The pro-life side says that as soon as conception takes place, the pregnancy must be carried to term, and anything less is cold-blooded murder.

    The pro-choice side says that impeding a woman’s decision to terminate a pregnancy, at ANY point, is chipping away at her right to self-determination.

    And then there is the vast American MIDDLE that has mixed feelings: People who say they would never personally choose to have an abortion, yet wouldn’t want to make that decision for someone else; people who think abortions should not take place after a certain trimester of pregnancy; people who think that abortions should be allowed in the case of rape, incest, or fetal abnormality.

    • 0pus

      If they discover a “gay gene,” that means women can abort a gay fetus.

    • Charles Burge

      Sometime I wonder if there were people 200 years ago who said things like “I would never personally own slaves, but I support the rights of those who do.” I wonder how much longer the institution of slavery would have endured if its supporters had framed it as a “right to choose” to own slaves. Perhaps they wrote stories about farmers who would have been driven into poverty without access to free labor. I’m almost certain that they argued slaves aren’t really people anyway, so they therefore don’t deserve protection under the law.

      You can’t take a half-hearted stand against evil. You can try, but then you’re just giving cover to those who perpetuate it.

    • Global Wonk

      Using your descriptions above:
      The pro-life side has a fundamental problem in that it cannot be discerned when conception takes place. If you ask them when it does, they get all agitated and mutter, “go look it up online.” They don’t answer because they don’t know, no one does. It can vary from a few hours after intercourse to a few days.

      Secondarily, I haven’t done a poll but would guess that most of them don’t know this:
      The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 66 percent of legal abortions occur within the first eight weeks of gestation, and 92 percent are performed within the first 13 weeks. Only 1.2 percent occur at or after 21 weeks (CDC, 2013).Feb 3, 2014

      The lifers get all crazed about ‘late-term abortion’ but it almost never occurs and when it does it’s because of a health issue/threat. Most states have laws limiting the time period in which a legal abortion can be performed…ranging from 20 to 24 weeks. But, above CDC info indicates the VAST majority occur well short of that.

      Given the rate of abortion has been declining for a long time, that the majority occur within the window when miscarriages are common (estimates are 1 in about 3.5 pregnancies self-terminate) and that there is an enormous responsibility required upon birth and for a couple decades after……I remain a bit amazed at the rabid intensity from some on the Right about this. I think they lack both facts and reason on the topic and therein is the issue.

  • Charlene

    Good for her.

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