Kathleen Gilbert

News

Groundbreaking program saves babies when moms reconsider mid-abortion

Kathleen Gilbert
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CHICAGO, November 30, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A Chicago pro-life group says it can now help some abortion-bound mothers who have a last-minute change of heart - even after mother and baby appear to have slipped past the point of no return.

The Pro-Life Action League has announced a new alliance with Resurrection Medical Center and The Women’s Center in establishing a protocol for assisting women who change their minds after initiating a second trimester abortion procedure. This partnership is the first of its kind in Chicago and, they say, can be a model for Catholic hospitals around the country.

“Recently, our sidewalk counselors have seen several women who have changed their minds about abortion, and who wish to continue their pregnancies even once the late-term abortion procedure has started,” said Ann Scheidler, vice president and director of sidewalk counselor training for the Pro-Life Action League.

“This new process enables us to provide the most comprehensive medical care and emotional support for the pregnant woman who is facing this stressful situation.”

A dramatic and much-publicized example of one woman who successfully had an abortion reversed occurred in Las Vegas in February this year. The young mother, Jamie Stout, had already started the abortion - a three-day process at 20 weeks - with the abortionist having inserted laminaria sticks into her cervix for dilation and induced labor.

However, a pro-life ultrasound operator managed to convince Stout’s father and Jamie that it was still not too late to reverse the abortion and keep the baby. The abortionist had not yet given the baby a lethal injection, although they only had less than six hours to remove the laminaria from Jamie – and find a doctor who would do it.

Ultimately they were successful in finding two physicians confident to direct the emergency room doctor on how to remove the laminaria. And none too soon: nearly five hours had passed before the ER doctor finally was able to remove them.

Jamie later gave birth to a healthy baby girl - Claire.

The new protocol in Chicago for dealing with situations like these was developed by representatives from the League, Resurrection and The Women’s Center, a crisis pregnancy center on the northwest side of Chicago.

In preparation for setting new guidelines, the Pro-Life Action League arranged for Dr. Anthony Levatino, a former abortionist and practicing gynecologist from Las Cruces, N.M., to advise the hospital’s physicians and staff on the procedures involved in a later-term abortion and the reversal of the process.

When approached by a woman who has changed her mind mid-abortion, the newly established protocol allows a counselor to immediately alert Resurrection hospital’s emergency room to the woman’s imminent arrival.

After the obstetrics department provides the needed procedures, The Women’s Center will continue to follow up with the pregnant woman throughout her pregnancy and the delivery of her baby, meeting any emotional and material needs as they arise.

Sister Donna Marie, chief executive officer of Resurrection Medical Center, expressed gratitude that the hospital is able to provide help for the pro-life cause. “I am so pleased the Resurrection Medical Center is able to be a small part of the beautiful work that you are all doing for the unborn,” Sr. Marie told the Pro-Life Action League.

“Never before have we had such a streamlined process to save the life of a child after the abortion procedure has been initiated,” said Scheidler. “This alliance with Resurrection Medical Center is an example of the way Christ’s Church is meant to work together for the good of His most vulnerable.”

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