SEATTLE, June 21, 2013 ( – A former Seattle City Council member has written in the New York Times that she is “grateful” her late-term abortion allowed her child to die “in a warm and loving place, inside me.”

Judy Nicastro, who served on the council from 2000 to 2003, wrote an op-ed entitled My Abortion, at 23 Weeks” yesterday to oppose efforts by House Republicans to curtail abortions in the third trimester.

Nicastro revealed that she conceived through in vitro fertilization (IVF) twice in her 40s, the second time with twins.

However, in the 20th week of her pregnancy she was told, “It looks as if the boy has a herniated diaphragm.” A subsequent MRI showed the child's internal organs were not developing properly.


According to a 2007 study, unborn children with a congenital herniated diaphram have a 69 percent survival rate. Those with severe issues have a 57 percent survival rate.

She opted to abort and, although she refers to herself as “an old-school liberal” and “not religious,” she said her Catholic husband agreed with her decision.

She described the abortion, writing: “I felt my son’s budding life end as a doctor inserted a needle through my belly into his tiny heart.”

“As horrible as that moment was — it will live with me forever — I am grateful,” she concluded. “We made sure our son was not born only to suffer. He died in a warm and loving place, inside me.”

Nicastro also explained that because the abortion carried significant risks to the other twin, she had hoped to postpone the abortion until even later in the pregnancy. However, abortions past 24 weeks are illegal in her state. Her daughter was born healthy.

“My little boy partially dissolved into me, and I like to think his soul is in his sister,” said Nicastro.

She used her personal testimony to argue against a bill that passed the House protecting unborn babies from being aborted in the third-trimester.

Nicastro believes her experience proves that “second-trimester abortions must remain legal because, until a child is viable outside the womb, these decisions belong with the mother.”

“I share my story in the hope that our leaders will be more responsible and compassionate when they weigh what it means to truly value the lives of women and children,” she wrote.

Nicastro was voted out of office in 2003 following a scandal the local media dubbed “Strippergate,” in which Nicastro and two other members voted to expand the parking lot of a strip club owned by a campaign contributor.

Although studies show 80-90 percent of parents who receive a grim prenatal diasnosis abort, a growing number of neonatal hospice units serve those who wish to share a severely deformed child's few days on earth.

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Monica Rafie co-founded Be Not Afraid (BNA) to supporting parents whose babies receive fatal diagnoses.

“Your baby hasn’t changed, you just have more information – it is the same baby you loved yesterday,” she tells parents who come to her seeking help. “The challenge now is to parent him or her to the best of your ability recognizing, if your baby’s diagnosis is fatal, that this precious time of pregnancy may be the only time you have with your baby.”