Life is one damned lesson after another

I ran across a story in ThinkProgress today that gave me an initial shock.

However, reading the original story threw a few facts into the light that TP kinda neglected to mention.

Danielle Deaver of Nebraska was in her 21st week of her pregnancy while suffering from a condition which caused her to slowly lose her amniotic fluid. Needless to say, this is a serious situation that calls for some tough calls. If she couldn’t keep sufficient fluid levels in her uterus, the fetus will get delivered whether it is sufficiently developed or not.

Ms. Deaver and her husband decided they wanted to let “nature take its course”, but when events came to a head they then told her doctor to terminate the fetus’ life.

There was one small problem–Nebraska law prevents abortions after the 20th week.

The inevitable happened soon afterward. The child was delivered at 15:00, gasped for breath through lungs that lacked the development to work properly, and died at 15:15.

I was appalled.

But then I ran across other facts.

The Deavers knew about the medical situation weeks before the crisis. They also knew that any attempt to treat her condition or the child’s might result in her inability to conceive and carry another child.

When the situation got desperate and the Deavers finally decided to terminate the pregnancy, it seems that they waited until the 21st week of her pregnancy–too late for the state of Nebraska to allow the abortion. AND, the Deavers chose not to go to a neighboring state where her abortion would have been legal. (Something about it being “too stressful”.)

So when her water did finally break (week 22), their daughter was born and lived for 15 minutes, gasping for breath.

Don’t feel sorry for the Deavers. It was their own damned fault.

And I learned (again) not to swallow news stories at first gulp.

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2 comments on “Life is one damned lesson after another

  1. Helen says:
    Since I know little about the condition for which the Deavers made their decision regarding their baby, I looked it up. It was much more complicated than I imagined. That being said, since the abortion laws in their state were changed four months ago, it is quite possible that the Deavers weren’t aware of the change. After four miscarriages, their concern was carrying the baby, not aborting it. Like many people, they probably thought that abortion law didn’t much apply to them, in the same way that people who consider themselves happily married may never pay attention to changes in divorce law. Short sighted, I grant you, but common. In areas of civil liberties, many of us only think about what’s in front of our noses.

    If I understood the article correctly, the Deavers expected to have labor induced, when they finally understood that there was little or no chance for the baby’s survival, even in a NICU. And of course, that was not then legally possible. I tried to find articles mentioning that they had known weeks in advance of this problem, with no sucess. The second link took me to the same article as the first. If you could post a link to that information I would appreciate it, since now I really want to know what went on. Interesting, isn’t it, that a legal change could be based on a “fact” that can’t be proven: when the fetus begins to feel pain. It was a widely believed “fact” for many years that newborn infants felt no pain.

  2. givesgoodemail says:

    First link corrected.

    The Des Moines Register indicated that she knew of the fluid leakage for some time, and my take on the article was she knew it would cause issues with carrying a child to term.

    And when they discovered that the pregnancy could not be terminated in Nebraska, they chose not to go elsewhere.

    The Spouse did some additional research on the story; you could contact her.

    I still don’t feel the least bit sorry for those two losers.

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