Mother claims she was denied abortion despite baby’s fatal condition

A Baton Rouge mother has to decide to carry her baby to term even though she says doctors tell her it will not survive or find a state where she can have an abortion.
Published: Aug. 17, 2022 at 3:32 AM MDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB/Gray News) - A Louisiana mother has a week to make an unthinkable decision about whether she should carry her baby to term, even though she says doctors tell her it will not survive.

Nancy Davis is 13 weeks pregnant with her second child. She got her first ultrasound at Woman’s Hospital in Baton Rouge when she was 10 weeks pregnant. She and her boyfriend were excited to welcome their new baby but soon learned the pregnancy would not go the way they planned, WAFB reports.

“It was an abnormal ultrasound, and they noticed the top of the baby’s head was missing and the skull was missing. The top of the skull was missing,” Davis said.

Davis says her baby was diagnosed with acrania, a rare and fatal condition where the baby’s skull fails to form in the womb. According to health experts, babies with this condition only survive minutes to hours after birth.

“It’s hard knowing that I’m carrying it to bury it. You know what I’m saying?” Davis said.

But because her life was not in danger and the baby’s condition does not fall under Louisiana Department of Health’s list of qualifying conditions, Davis was denied an abortion.

She is now faced with a tough decision: carry the baby to term or cross state lines to get an abortion. She says she needs to make a decision quickly since other states allowing abortion cut off eligibility at 15 weeks.

“Florida is the closest, so ideally Florida. But then the next closest place would be North Carolina or something,” Davis said.

Without taking a position on abortion, Davis says she thinks state lawmakers need to consider broadening the list of conditions that qualify for an abortion in the state.

“I just want them to consider special circumstances as it relates to abortion. Medical problems like this is one that needs to be in that,” she said.

Davis said her family is sticking close and will support whatever decision she makes. She’s also willing to testify before the legislature to shine more light on this issue.

Because of patient privacy laws, a spokeswoman for Woman’s Hospital said they could not comment.

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