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I wish my sick daughter had been a ‘late-term abortion’: HuffPost writer

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February 14, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – With abortion advocates currently on the defensive over multiple state proposals shining a national spotlight on late-term abortions, the left-wing HuffPost has taken the dramatic step of publishing an editorial by a mother wishing she had aborted her baby to avoid having to watch the child die from a severe abnormality.

Dina Zirlott, a 31-year-old Alabama mother of three girls, opens the article by revealing she was raped at age 17 and had a resulting daughter a year later, who died a year after that. After discussing her rape and the ensuing mental trauma, she says that almost eight months later her mother took her for a medical exam that revealed she was pregnant.

“The doctor came to us and spread the ultrasound pictures across the table. She pointed to darkness where gray brain matter ought to be,” Zirlott recalls. “She called it hydranencephaly, a congenital defect in which the brain fails to develop either cerebral hemisphere, instead filling with cerebrospinal fluid. The fetus continued to experience development because the brain stem was still intact, but she would be born blind, deaf, completely cognitively stunted, prone to seizures, diabetes insipidus, insomnia, hypothermia and more."

The doctor flatly told her “this condition is not compatible with life,” but she couldn’t get an abortion because Alabama law only permitted abortions up to around 24-26 weeks. Zirlott doesn’t elaborate on whether she attempted to arrange an abortion in another state, beyond claiming she “would still be obstructed by time, paperwork, politics and money.”

“I had already suffered one trauma. Was that not enough?” she asks. After quitting school halfway through her senior year, Zoe Lily was born on October 27, 2005. Zirlott describes a doctor explaining it “would be a kindness...to make her comfortable and let her go in peace,” but her family instead took Zoe home.

Over the next year, she writes, they cared for her through near-constant challenges until she died, from difficulty feeding her and frequent seizures to her inability to metabolize sleep hormones or regulate her own temperature.

“I grieve the person I might have become if had [sic] not been a young victim, a young mother, forced into unimaginable circumstance, seeded by compounding traumas. Did that girl not also deserve mercy? Was her life any less important?” she writes. “If I had been allowed the option to choose a ‘late-term abortion,’ would I? Yes. A hundred times over, yes."

Zirlott argues that Zoe would have been spared “so much pain” if her heart had been “stopped when she was warm and safe inside me,” adding that “perhaps I could have been spared as well.”

“Look at that photo of me and my daughter and tell me you know better than I do,” she challenges. “We should not have to beg for permission to decide what is best for ourselves and our children, even the ones who may never be born ― and maybe never should be born.”

The piece follows another HuffPost essay by a couple who had their baby aborted in the third trimester after a spina bifida diagnosis, against which many pro-lifers have pushed back:

“As difficult it is to digest Dina's story, not all cases of babies diagnosed with terminal illnesses in the womb end the same,” the Daily Wire’s Paul Bois responded. “Some, such as the case of Stephanie and Andy Schoonover, transform the parents in profound ways, allowing them to see life with a new perspective. For others, such as Melanie and Damion Sheenan, the baby defies diagnosis and lives on to become healthy.”

Dr. William Lile, a board-certified OB/GYN and pro-life public speaker, recently argued that when a baby faces a lethal abnormality, the humane response is not abortion but giving him or her the same "love, the concern, and the care" any born patient would receive. “This is a key concept: the baby in the womb is a patient,” he writes.

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