March 8, 2024
Contact: Laura Macklem
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Neonatal Specialist Says Parents of Trisomy 18 Babies Often Not Given Full Picture of Survival Likelihood by Medical Community   

President Joe Biden advocated for painful late term abortion last night during his State of the Union address. Kate Cox was the anticipated special guest representing the pro-abortion movement’s desire for unlimited abortion up to the day of birth. Cox’s unborn child was diagnosed with Trisomy 18, a condition which can shorten the lifespan of a baby, although many children born with Trisomy 18 survive for decades.

“It’s devastating for a woman to hear her unborn child has a serious birth defect, and we need to extend compassion for Kate Cox and her family; however, we must also have compassion for the other human being in the situation, the baby,” said NC Values Executive Director Tami Fitzgerald. “Some children with Trisomy 18 live for decades depending on their specific medical conditions. Instead of encouraging abortion of these babies with disabilities we should insist on the best care for both mother and child in these tragic situations. Cox’s baby could have been delivered instead of being killed.”

Neonatal specialist Dr. Marty McCaffrey said there are no universally agreed upon lists of fetal conditions that can be described as lethal, and Trisomy 18 and a similar condition Trisomy 13 all have regularly reported survival rates for months, years or decades.

“Kate Cox, on receiving a prenatal diagnosis of Trisomy 18 in her baby, was likely told what parents across the world are generally told by medical providers, that abortion is the solution. There are clear risks for stillbirth and some babies with this condition will have short lives. In those cases, perinatal hospice should be offered as the best care for mother and baby. However, based on the literature, the regular use of lethal language by healthcare providers to describe Trisomy 18 is inappropriate. The ability to survive in these cases is related to the baby’s unique medical conditions, readiness of parents to care for a disabled child, and a willingness of doctors to overcome bias and provide care. The landscape has clearly changed for such babies over the last decade,” said Dr. McCaffrey.

“Parents of children with Trisomy 18 and 13 who have received medical interventions report a high quality of life for their children and positive impacts on siblings. I pray the Coxes will be given the grace needed to live with a decision for which they may not have been fully informed.”

Former Congressman Rick Santorum’s daughter Bella was diagnosed with Trisomy 18 but is now a teenager. On Twitter, Santorum said Bella’s “docs put her on hospice at 10 days old. Other countries have much higher survival rates than the United States because they treat the baby, not the diagnosis. Every kid deserves a shot at life, not to be brutally dismembered for not being perfect.” Bella’s story is one of many Trisomy 18 children who have survived and thrived.

Said Fitzgerald, “It’s hurtful and insulting that during Trisomy 18 Month the Biden Administration advocated for aborting babies with a Trisomy 18 diagnosis, sending the message that physically imperfect children have no right to live, but should be killed. We should always treat the lives of both the mother and child with the upmost importance as life is a human right.”