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Parents Would Have Preferred To Kill Their Baby

Danielle and Robb Deaver tell their story to the Des Moines Register.
Danielle and Robb Deaver tell their story to the Des Moines Register.

I don’t want to minimize the pain of Danielle and Robb Deaver at the loss of their baby Elizabeth.

But I do want to direct people to this story simply because I cannot wrap my head around the logic being used by the Deavers (and others) who are upset that they weren’t allowed to murder their 22-week old unborn baby.

Parents Told Baby Likely Won’t Survive Outside the Womb

According to her testimony in an online video, Danielle Deaver’s water broke when her baby was 22-weeks old in utero. She explains that her doctor stated the baby would not continue to develop properly inside the womb because she wouldn’t have enough room to grow. (They seem to be describing a condition known as Oligohydramnios, low amniotic fluid, or Anhydramnios, no fluid. A doctor describes those situations here.)

The doctor gave them a less than 2% chance that her baby could survive and have “any quality of life” (2:16), and “we just couldn’t do that” to the baby or to themselves. They asked the doctor to help them “put an end to this nightmare” and the doctor said he couldn’t, blaming the Nebraska law. He told them there was “nothing” he could do to help them.

Deaver told the interviewer (at 8:48), “How to handle the end of my pregnancy, that choice should have been mine” (notice the selfish wording of this statement). She blamed Nebraska’s fetal pain law for not allowing her to kill her baby sooner; she wants to fight the law “so someone else doesn’t have to wait” for their child to die, but can kill it.

Media Bias Apparent in Reporting

The tagline of one news story is “Law didn’t allow couple to end pregnancy: Danielle and Robb Deaver knew their baby had little chance of survival, but Nebraska law prevented them from having the choice to end the pregnancy.”

Whoever wrote that seems to have forgotten that delivery of a baby also ends a pregnancy.

The Minnesota Independent summarizes the situation thus:

Danielle Deaver…was prevented by the law from having an abortion for a fetus doctors said wouldnā€™t survive if born. Doctors told Deaver and her husband that there “was less than a 10 percent chance their child would have a heartbeat and be able to breathe on its own,” the Register reported. “There was an even smaller chance ā€” estimated at 2 percent ā€” that the baby would ultimately be able to perform the most basic functions on its own, such as eating.” (emphasis added)

These same people would flood the store to buy lottery tickets if there was a two percent chance of winning the jackpot. Yet they explain the chances of survival, ranging from 2% to 10%, as the baby “wouldn’t survive if born.”

(Click here to read the inspiring story of Sebastian, whose parents were given 0% odds of his survival in circumstances similar to the Deavers, and yet protected him in the womb.)

How about this headline from the Washington Independent:

Nebraska woman speaks out against state abortion law that forced her to watch her baby die

That’s exactly the point, isn’t it? They didn’t want to watch their child die. They preferred to kill her in secret and they’re complaining they didn’t have that “right.”

Couple Wishes They Could Have Killed Their Child

Their complaints about not being able to have an abortion strike me as odd for several reasons. In their interview, at 6:00, they complain that they wanted an abortion so they could start the grieving process eight days sooner. I just can’t imagine how actively participating in the killing your baby in the womb a few days earlier could possibly facilitate grieving.

Moreover, what was preventing them from traveling to Illinois for a late term abortion? Just last week, League Vice President Ann Scheidler spoke to a couple with Nebraska license plates who was entering the abortion clinic for a late term abortion. If Deaver was confined to the bed and couldn’t travel, then even if late-term abortions were legal in Nebraska, would she have been able to travel to the abortion clinic to have her baby killed? Or would she have forced her doctor to be the one to have this death on his conscience, ordering him to kill the baby before her birth?

Abortions at 22 weeks are not completed in one day anyway. They are two and even three-day procedures involving the insertion of laminaria to expand and soften the cervix for delivery of the murdered baby. Does Deaver really think having three days to reflect on the fact that she has set the date and time for her baby’s death would make her feel better?

Also, if the baby was being smashed because her water broke, as she described, would an abortion even be safe? Would the abortionist have room to move his instruments and to tear the baby apart (exposing sharp pieces of bone) without injuring her uterine wall? Or, using the alternate method, would the abortionist have the ability to accurately inject the baby with the poison to stop her heart if she was so squished in the womb?

Abortion Is Not Merciful

To me, this is the crux of the matter:

Nebraska Right to Life executive director Julie Schmit-Albin said Sunday that the law is meant to protect all unborn babies. Her group pushed for the law last year in the state Legislature.

“We acknowledge the tragedy that occurs with a poor prenatal diagnosis for the baby. But isn’t it more humane for the baby to die in a loving manner with comfort care and in the arms of her parents than by the intentional painful death through abortion?” she said.

Deaver complains that they weren’t able to bring their baby home, and that’s all they wanted (11:05). How would an abortion have solved this? Instead of holding their child for 15 minutes and getting to love her, she would have been born dead.

The child would have died a painful death in the womb rather than outside the womb. But she would never have been held by her parents. To me, that is not mercy. As Senator Chuck Winder stated, in his defense of a similar bill proposed in Idaho, “This is an issue of cruelty.” As Christina Dunigan wrote concerning a similar situation on her blog:

What the hell have we come to, when we consider torturing a baby to death to be more merciful than just enveloping that baby in love for as long as we can?

Like I said, I just don’t understand the logic of the Deavers. But they are in my prayers.

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