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LSN EXCLUSIVE: Mother “Pressured” to Terminate Pregnancy of Trisomy 18 Child at Catholic Hospital

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By John-Henry Westen

LONDON, Ontario, February, 25, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - In the wake of the National Post article whitewashing the practice of ‘early induction’ of babies with lethal fetal anomalies at the Catholic hospital in London Ontario, a mother who was offered the procedure is now willing publicly to tell her story.  Nikki Cooke says she hoped that when the original LifeSiteNews.com story on the procedures taking place at St. Joseph’s hospital was published, what she calls "eugenic abortions" would finally come to an end. (see the story: http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/dec/08121111.html)
 
She explained to London Bishop Ronald Fabbro in a chance meeting on January 20, 2009 that it was recommended that she terminate her pregnancy by a committee at the St. Joseph’s hospital, despite the fact that neither her life nor health were in danger. Eight days later Cooke wrote a lengthy letter to the bishop with a complete description of the circumstances of her experiences at the hospital.

The National Post article was published a full month after that conversation on February 20.  In that article Fr. Prieur alleges that the procedure - early induction on babies with lethal fetal anomaly - is only undertaken when the health or life of the mother is at risk and Bishop Fabbro, in both a photo and statement for the article, appears to indicate full support for his chief ethicist.  (see coverage: http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/feb/09022402.html )
 
Nikki Cooke and her husband Brian spoke with LifeSiteNews.com about their ordeal, which began in December 1996.  A routine ultrasound at 12 weeks detected problems with their unborn child.  Further tests revealed that the child had Trisomy 18, which a team of five doctors from the hospital informed the couple is a deadly anomaly incompatible with life.
 
"Each of the five doctors on the team at St. Joseph’s Hospital said, now that our baby has a deadly anomaly they would not operate on the baby to correct defects and their recommendation was to terminate (the pregnancy)," Mrs. Cooke said.
 
"We were pressured to have an early induction by the team of doctors on the Committee at St. Joseph’s Hospital and if we did not choose this option and the baby was born alive they said, ‘We will not resuscitate your baby,’" related Cooke. The couple has five letters, one from each of the doctors to their family doctor, stating the recommendation to terminate the pregnancy.
 
"We were shocked by this recommended option and the lack of respect for life, as we were in a Catholic Hospital," Cooke explained. "We told the team of five doctors, we cannot have an abortion and stated we were Catholic. One of the obstetricians said, ‘The Catholic Church will back you up, and there is a Committee here at St. Joseph’s Hospital that you should speak to.’"
 
Asked about the role of Fr. Prieur, she said: "Fr. Michael Prieur told us that he was on the Committee at St. Joseph’s Hospital with a team of doctors and a midwife and that he was already made aware of our case." She recalled that "he told us the Church will support us if we choose to end the pregnancy through early induction."

Cooke added: "He explained how it would be done and that we would hold our baby until he died. We were confused, mortified and devastated besides our moral reasons why, we knew that ending a pregnancy at any stage was abortion.  After Fr. Prieur finished counselling us I said, ‘We cannot stop the Hand of God and decide when our baby was going to die.’"
 
While some have taken offence at the headline of the original LifeSiteNews.com exposé, which was "Twenty Years of Eugenic Abortion at Ontario Catholic Hospital," the Cookes feel strongly that the practice at the hospital is just that - "eugenic abortion".
 
The couple relates that they "chose life," against the advice of the doctors and Fr. Prieur.  However, the child died in utero a week prior to birth. 

The silver lining to the story is that the couple’s faith was strengthened by the experience.
 
"By choosing life, Brian and I grew closer in our relationship with each other, with our children and especially with God," she explained.  "Had we chosen the ‘death of our child’, our lives would have been nothing but bitter turmoil not to mention, depression and needing a significant amount of counselling afterwards. God truly blessed us and continues to do so. We thank God that He entrusted to us the care of this little soul who would be with Him for Eternity."
 
The couple now have seven living children.
 
To express concerns:
 
Bishop Ronald Fabbro
Diocese of London
1070 Waterloo Street, London, Ontario N6A 3Y2
Phone: 519-433-0658     Fax: 519-433-0011    
E-mail: [email protected]  



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A photo of Kim Tucci at 25 weeks gestation Erin Elizabeth Photography
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‘Little miracles’: Mom gives birth to naturally-conceived quintuplets after refusing ‘selective reduction’

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An ultrasound of the five different compartments, each with its own baby, inside Kim's womb.

AUSTRALIA, February 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) -- A 26-year-old Australian mom has given birth to five healthy babies, all conceived naturally, after refusing the doctor’s advice that she must abort three of them in order to give the remaining two a better chance at life. 

“After my initial ultrasound I was told I could consider the selection method to give 2 babies the best chance in life,” wrote mom Kim Tucci in a Facebook post last September. 

“I watched a YouTube video on the procedure and I cried. I could never do that! Was I selfish for not giving two the chance of 100% survival? All I knew is that I already love them and that every heart beat I heard I connect with them more. For me life starts when a heart starts beating and all I know for sure is that I will do whatever it takes to bring them into this world healthy,” she wrote. 

Last Thursday Kim and her husband Vaughn welcomed the five new members into their family — one boy and four girls —increasing the number of their children from 3 to 8. The babies were born at 30 weeks, 10 weeks early, due to insufficient space in Kim’s womb. They weighed on average about 2.5 pounds. 

The quintuplets’ story began last March, after Kim and Vaughn had been trying for six months to conceive just one more child for their family. Due to health complications, Kim wondered if she would ever become a mother again. 

After what she thought was an extra long cycle, she decided to take a pregnancy test. 

“I was feeling tired and a little nauseated and thought I would take a pregnancy test just to get the ‘what if’ out of my head. To my shock and utter excitement it was positive,” she wrote on a Facebook post.

The parents got the shock of their lives when doctors confirmed in an ultrasound examination that there was not one baby, but five. 

“After a long wait for the ultrasound we finally went in. The sonographer told me there were multiple gestational sacks, but she could only see a heart beat in two. I was so excited! Twins!”

“I was moved to another machine for a clearer view and had the head doctor come in and double check the findings. She started to count, one, two, three, four, five. Did i hear that correctly? Five? My legs start to shake uncontrollably and all i can do is laugh. The sonographer then told me the term for five is ‘quintuplets,’” Kim wrote.

Even though Kim began to feel stretched to the limit with all those human lives growing inside her, she chose to focus on her babies, and not herself, referring to them as “my five little miracles.” 

“It's getting harder as each day passes to push through the pain, every part of my body aches and sleeping is becoming very painful. No amount of pillows are helping support my back and belly. Sometimes I get so upset that I just want to throw my hands up and give in.”

“Sometimes my pelvis becomes so stiff I can barely walk and my hips feel like they are grinding away constantly. I'm finding it hard to eat as I basically have no room left in my stomach, and the way it is positioned it's pushed all the way back with the babies leaning against it.” 

“My skin on my belly is so stretched its painful and hot to touch. It literally feels like I have hives! No amount of cream helps relieve the discomfort. I have a lot of stretch marks now. Dealing with such a huge change in my body is hard.” 

“Is it all worth it? Yes!!!! I will keep pushing through,” she wrote in one Facebook post days before the babies were born. 

The newborns' names are Keith, Ali, Penelope, Tiffany, and Beatrix. They were born at King Edward Memorial Hospital in Subiaco, Western Australia. Mother and babies are reported to be doing well. 



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UN rights chief tells Catholic countries to legalize abortion over Zika virus: bishops and cardinal react

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GENEVA, February 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) -- The United Nations, following the lead of international abortion activists, is now urging Latin American countries hit by the mosquito-borne Zika virus to lift restrictions on abortion for pregnant women who have contacted the virus and whose pre-born children may be at risk for birth defects, including having smaller than normal heads. 

The UN human rights office said today that it is not enough for South American countries to urge women to postpone pregnancy without also offering them abortion as a final solution. 

“How can they ask these women not to become pregnant, but not offer… the possibility to stop their pregnancies?” UN spokeswoman Cecile Pouilly told reporters. 

UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said that governments should make available contraception and abortion services.

“Laws and policies that restrict (women’s) access to these services must be urgently reviewed in line with human rights obligations in order to ensure the right to health for all in practice,” he said.

But Brazil’s bishops strongly asserted yesterday that efforts should be made to eradicate the virus, not the people who may be infected by it. 

The disease is “no justification whatsoever to promote abortion,” they said in a statement, adding that it is not morally acceptable to promote abortion “in the cases of microcephaly, as, unfortunately, some groups are proposing to the Supreme Federal Court, in a total lack of respect for the gift of life.”

Honduras Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga has also come out strongly against the notion of “therapeutic abortions” as a response to the problem. Unlike Brazil where abortion is legal in the case of rape or health of the mother, abortion remains entirely illegal in Honduras.

“We should never talk about ‘therapeutic’ abortion,” the cardinal said in a homily at a February 3 Mass in Suyap. “Therapeutic abortion doesn’t exist. Therapeutic means curing, and abortion cures nothing. It takes innocent lives,” he said. 

While the World Health Organization (WHO) declared an international public health emergency February 1 on account of concerns over the virus, critics have pointed out, however, that not one death as resulted from the virus. Even on WHO’s own website the virus is described in mild terms. 

“It causes mild fever and rash. Other symptoms include muscle pain, joint pain, headache, pain behind the eyes and conjunctivitis. Zika virus disease is usually mild, with symptoms lasting only a few days,” the website states. “To date, there have been no reported deaths associated with Zika virus,” it added. 

Critics suspect that the crisis is being manipulated to advance an anti-human agenda on the pre-born. 

“Is Zika, actually, a hideous virus that threatens to spread uncontrollably across the world creating an army of disabled children with tiny heads and low IQ’s? Or might this be a willful misinterpretation of the scarce data to manipulate public opinion and legislatures?” wrote pro-life critic Mei-Li Garcia earlier this week.

“It becomes very clear that the publicity surrounding this story has a very little to do with medicine and a lot to do with a convenient crisis that is being used by those pushing for the legalization of abortion around the world,” she wrote.



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Hillary’s litmus test for Supreme Court picks: They must ‘preserve Roe v. Wade’

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DERRY, NH, February 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) - Hillary Clinton has a litmus test for Supreme Court nominees - several, in fact. At a Democratic event on Wednesday, Clinton unveiled her criteria in selecting a judge for the nation's highest court.

“I do have a litmus test, I have a bunch of litmus tests," she said.

"We’ve got to make sure to preserve Roe v. Wade, not let it be nibbled away or repealed,” she said.

There have been over 58,000,000 abortions since the 1973 court ruling legalizing abortion in all 50 states, according to National Right to Life.

That echoes her recent call to arms speech before Planned Parenthood last month, when she stated that taxpayers must fund abortion-on-demand in order to uphold the "right" of choice.

“We have to preserve marriage equality,” Clinton said, referring to last summer's Obergefell v. Hodges case, a 5-4 ruling that redefined marriage nationwide. “We have to go further to end discrimination against the LGBT community."

Her views differentiate her from the Republican front runners. Ted Cruz has called the court's marriage ruling "fundamentally illegitimate," and Donald Trump told Fox News Sunday this week that he would "be very strong on putting certain judges on the bench that I think maybe could change things." Marco Rubio has said he won't "concede" the issue to the one-vote majority.

All Republican presidential hopefuls say they are pro-life and will defund Planned Parenthood.

Her husband, Bill Clinton, raised the makeup of the Supreme Court early last month in New Hampshire, saying it receives "almost no attention" as a campaign issue.

On Wednesday, Hillary said "the next president could get as many as three appointments. It’s one of the many reasons why we can’t turn the White House over to the Republicans again.”

Clinton said her judicial appointees must also reverse the Citizens United ruling on campaign finance and oppose a recent decision striking down a portion of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. In 2013's Shelby County v. Holder, justices struck down Section 4(b) of the act, which said that certain states and jurisdictions had to obtain permission from the federal government before changing their voting laws.

At one time, most politicians frowned upon any "litmus test" for judicial nominees, emphasizing the independence of the third branch of government. "I don't believe in litmus tests," Jeb Bush told Chuck Todd last November.

But with the rise of an activist judiciary in the middle of the 20th century, constitutionalists have sought to rein in the power of the bench.



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