When British mother Bethan Simpson, 26, was told that her unborn daughter Eloise had a severe spinal disability, she was advised that she should have an abortion.
But for her and her husband Kieron, that was not an option because Bethan “couldn't justify terminating a child I could feel kicking.” Eloise’s spina bifida was discovered during a 20-week scan, according to BBC.
That’s when doctors offered her the option of undergoing a risky surgery that had been performed several times in the U.S. but only three times in Britain. Surgeons would go in and repair Eloise’s spina bifida while the baby was in the womb.
Going the surgery route was a “no brainer” for the couple because despite being told her baby was paralyzed, Bethan could easily feel her moving in her belly. At 24 weeks, doctors successfully performed the operation.
While primarily leaving her in the womb, surgeons drew Eloise far enough out to work on her spinal cord. Then they placed her fully back in and sewed Bethan up.
"I've held your baby," a surgeon told Bethan.
“I’m fragile and sore but as long as she is doing fine that all we care about,” she wrote later on Facebook, according to the Washington Post.
She told the Post later that, “I feel her kicking me all day and night. We see her little legs moving on the scans.”
“Sadly 80% of babies in England are terminated when their parents get told their baby has this condition. It's not a death sentence. She has the same potential as every one of us,” Bethan also wrote on Facebook, according to Life Site, adding, “She's part of history and our daughter has shown just how much she deserves this life.”
The pre-birth surgery creates a moral quandary for those in favor of abortion, especially late-term abortion.
Princeton University scholar Robert P. George described it this way: “Let me see if I have this straight. When the baby was in rather than out, it was OK to kill her. (Choice!) Then when she was out rather than in, it was not OK to kill her. But then when she was put back in and was no longer out, it went back to being OK to kill her. Do I have that right?”
Meanwhile, Focus on the Family is planning to broadcast a 4D ultrasound image of a baby in the womb on large screens around Times Square in New York City. According to CBN News, this will be done on May 4 as part of a “Faith Nation” event.
"We'll have great speakers. We're going to have music, but we're also going to do a live ultrasound of a third-trimester baby," explained Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family.
He added, "And with the 4-D technology that we have, it looks like a picture of a 1-year-old. There is no way a person is going to be able to say, 'That is not a child.' It is a child and we want everybody to see it."