Parents share late-term abortion story on Facebook
“This is ending a wanted pregnancy. This is late-term abortion.
It was not wanted. It was not a ‘way out’
It was not birth control.
It was heartbreaking.
The government does not belong here. #debatenight.”
The gut-wrenching words of Lindsey Paradiso, shared along with pictures to her Facebook page on October 19, 2016 outlined the difficult journey she and husband Matt went through in early 2016 to have a late-term abortion.
“I was watching the [third presidential debate] and when I heard Trump say that late-term abortions were ripping babies out at nine months, I went into a full panic attack and started sobbing because I couldn’t believe people actually thought that happens, so I had to share my story and set things straight,” Paradiso told BuzzFeed Health.
Lindsey posted on her blog, “Knowing that the best way to affect change is to educate people, I knew what I had to do. So there I sat, pressing “post” on my Facebook page with my story. I assumed I would get consoling comments from my friends as I had when Matt and I first made our situation known, but this time I got a lot more than a few comments.” Finding the strength to share their story after everything they’d been through, knowing some attention would be negative, is what real courage looks like.
Her post, which has been shared over 115,000 times, offers a painstaking look at what families go through when making the decision to terminate a pregnancy. Their daughter, Omara, had an inoperable brain tumor and would not live to birth. The tumor, initially discovered during an 18 week ultrasound, continued to be monitored via MRI until 23 weeks, when they discovered it had tripled in size and was growing into her head, chest, lungs, and eyes. “It was aggressive lymphangioma, and it was three times the size of her head by now and they were 99% sure it was fatal,” Paradiso said.
According to the Guttermacher Institute just 1.3 percent of abortions occur at 21 weeks or later. In most states, there are laws prohibiting abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy unless the mother’s life or health is at risk. Because these cases are so rare, there is not a lot of data available. Having people like Lindsey decide to share their story sheds light on this painful decision so others can understand exactly what is involved.
Omara’s heart stopped beating on Feb. 26 and she was delivered on Feb. 28. “It was so painful,” Paradiso told BuzzFeed. “When she was born and we could see the extent of the tumor, we were shocked.”
According to Lindsey’s Facebook post, “If we had waited past the window of a legal abortion and she died in my womb, I would have had to carry her body (while my body began breaking it down) before being scheduled for a D&C or EXIT procedure (due to the size her tumor would have been). We opted to end the pregnancy early, relieve the suffering that she and our family were experiencing and deliver her through labor fully intact. Because of this decision we were able to hold her and say good-bye.”
For Lindsey and her family, the difficult decision was theirs to make. As it should be.