Baby Hope

1. Who is Baby Hope?

2. An open letter from Baby Hope to politicians

3. What help should have been given to his mother?

4. Why do some people say this baby should be dead?

5. Expert says doctors are in an impossible position -  the law must change

Who is Baby Hope?

Right now, a tiny baby boy is struggling for life in intensive care in a Dublin hospital. Born at just 25 weeks gestation, he will have spent days gasping for breath, and hanging onto life by a thread. He faces a very uncertain future: he may be blind, he may have cerebral palsy or brain damage, but perhaps he'll be lucky and pull through. Being born premature is really tough on a baby. But this little boy was born premature on purpose - all because of the horrific abortion act brought in by Fine Gael and Labour  - which has now been shown to absolutely fail both mother and baby. The abortion act forced a doctor to deliver a baby prematurely, and failed a mother who was suicidal. 

Yet Enda Kenny has never once expressed any sympathy, compassion or remorse for what his abortion act has done.

An open letter from Baby Hope to politicians

Dear Enda Kenny,

Right about now you’re settling back into the Dáil, back to the business of running the country.

Right about now I am having another blood test from my incubator in Neonatal ICU. I have a breathing tube in my lungs to help me breathe, and a feeding tube in my stomach to nourish me.

Apart from the doctors and nurses who are caring for me, I am alone.

I sound like a patient who is very sick with a severe illness or disease. But only a few weeks ago I was a baby boy growing in the womb of my mother.

All I really needed was that time to grow. But time was taken away from me.

At just 25 weeks I was forcibly removed from my mother’s womb and I had to struggle to survive in the hospital due to my extreme prematurity.

In spite of my current situation involving incubators, feeding tubes, breathing tubes, needles, blood tests, medicines and round-the-clock care; I feel lucky to be alive.

The alternative would have been so much worse – an injection of a powerful and lethal drug straight into my heart - causing a heart attack which would have killed me.

My mother would have then delivered me dead two days later. This is a late term abortion.

The story of my life up until now might sound like a horror movie.

But it’s reality. And it’s legal.

And it’s all because you ignored doctor’s evidence and voted for a bill that allows this to happen in Ireland, to babies like me.

I don’t blame my mother. She was a victim as I am a victim now.

She needed the correct treatment for her mental health suffering - which was to make her safe, and to offer her the proper support, psychotherapy and medication to treat her suicidal thoughts.

That is the treatment for suicidality and you should know that from the evidence of the Oireachtas hearings in January 2012.

I don’t blame the doctors. Your law now forces them to ignore all the medical evidence, which says abortion is not a treatment for suicidality, and obliges them to perform the antithesis of obstetrical care; to remove a perfectly healthy baby from the womb of a physically healthy mother.

In my case it was done by forced delivery, extremely premature. Maybe the next case it will be done by injecting the baby’s heart and delivering it dead.

I don’t blame my mother, I don’t blame my doctors. I blame you.

You are responsible for what has happened to me and I want you to know that.

Who knows what the future holds for me. I have about a 20% chance of having intact health. Maybe my health issues won’t be severe; a mild learning or behavior problem, the occasional infection due to an underdeveloped immune system.

Maybe they’ll be worse than that; visual or hearing loss, lifelong breathing di”fficulties and hospital admissions.

Or maybe I’ll be unfortunate enough to develop cerebral palsy, or brain damage and have to be dependent on others to care for me for the rest of my life.

I hear that one doctor has estimated that the cost of my ICU care could reach €100,000. Depending on the health consequences of my prematurity, my health bill could run into millions of euro over the course of my life.

This will be paid for by the taxpayer, even though they never voted to make this legal. You did.

Usually prematurity is as a result of some medical complication of pregnancy either with the mother or the baby. But not in my case.

This was forced upon me as a direct result of the law that you enacted.

Your law hasn’t helped women. It hasn’t changed anything about caring for mothers or babies in pregnancy. All it has done is failed my mother and inflict a lifetime of medical complications on me.

I am number one. How many more must there be?

Baby Hope's mother came to Ireland as a refugee, and was reportedly pregnant as a result of rape.  

She needed proper medical care and support, especially when she said she was suicidal. All the medical experts agree that abortion is not a treatment for suicidal intent in pregnancy. They also said that the proper treatment is for the woman to be made safe, and for her to receive the correct support, psychological treatment and medication.  

This woman was failed by state, failed by this Government and failed by the pro-abortion Irish Family Planning Association (IFPA)  whose 'services' she availed of. She was not appropriately treated. In fact this case broke every rule of medicine.    

(Firstly, the IFPA failed to adequately address this woman’s mental health status when she expressed suicidal thoughts to them. Why was she not sent to a GP or to psychiatric services or to a hospital ER where she could get the RIGHT treatment for suicidal feelings; which are a safe environment, counseling, psychotherapy and medication if she needs it?  

That is the CORRECT treatment for suicidality, NOT abortion. That is what psychiatrists told the Government during the public hearings on the abortion legislation in 2013

The Irish Family Planning Assoication effectively risked this woman’s life by not properly addressing her mental health status when she first visited them. It wouldn’t be the first time that the IFPA jeopardized women’s health - we know of previous accounts where they told women to LIE to doctors about their past medical history - shocking advice which senior obstetricians said puts the woman’s health and life at risk. It is about time this government stopped giving our tax money to agencies like the IFPA who fail women and campaign for the right to kill babies.  

The second medical scandal about this case is that an abortion was prescribed as a treatment for this woman’s suicidal thoughts when every doctor in the country knows that there is no evidence to support this. There is no debate here. Abortion is not a treatment for suicidal thoughts and should not be prescribed as such.  

Thirdly, and perhaps most significantly, an obstetrician was obliged to ignore everything he or she learned about caring for mother and baby in pregnancy, and forcibly deliver a premature baby at 25 weeks where no medical basis existed. This is the anti-thesis of Obstetrical care, and is not the fault of the doctor, but the fault of Enda Kenny, Eamon Gilmore and the rest of Fine Gael and Labour who effectively FORCE doctors like this into impossible situations, where they are now legally obliged to end pregnancies, on request, throughout all nine months, even though they know this is not a treatment for any mental health issue.  

Abortion campaigners are using this woman, who has already been traumatised, and is now being exploited to push for more abortion. They don't really care about this baby’s mother, her welfare or her well being.  When the dust settles on this case they won’t be marching behind fake slogans and false messages of support for her. 

They used the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar in the same way. A year after her death, once the legislation had passed, fewer than 50 of them turned out in Dublin to mark her anniversary, fewer than 30 of them turned out in Galway and fewer than 10 of them turned out in Cork. They do not care about the women at heart of these abortion controversies. They only care about legalizing abortion on demand with no limits and are prepared to use, abuse and exploit anyone to get it.  

It's time for the exploitation to stop. We need to demand that the government repeals Section 9 of the Abortion Act which forced the premature delivery of Baby Hope and the mis-treatment of his mother.


Why do some people say this baby should be dead?

Who could possibly not feel anything but enormous compassion for a tiny baby boy born at just 25 weeks gestation and fighting for life in intensive care?

Every decent person would hope and pray that this little boy makes it. Everyone with an ounce of compassion would want to wrap him in love and urge him to stay strong.

But right now, angry voices are being raised against this helpless and tiny child clinging onto life in a Dublin hospital. They say he should be dead, that he has no right to be alive, since he should not have been allowed to survive. They are even marching to demand that he should have been killed earlier, and to shrilly insist that he has no right to life.

Expert says doctors are an in impossible position - the law must change

The guidelines on the new abortion law have opened up an appalling vista. Overstretched medical practitioners on the frontline of medicine know that cases involving complications in pregnancy can be difficult and complex to manage. That’s why we always seek to follow evidence-based medicine and best international guidelines.

It’s to the eternal shame of this Government, then, that it did not listen to the evidence presented to two separate Oireachtas hearings on abortion and suicidality. That evidence was ignored to such an extent that it prompted a member of the Oireachtas Committee, Mattie McGrath, to describe the whole thing as a “total charade”, when the Government insisted in making abortion legal on suicide grounds in Section 9 of the abortion act.

That charade, however, has now led to the passage of a law, that has – as recent reports of the plight of Baby Hope and his mother as shown - created extraordinarily difficult and unworkable scenarios for doctors seeking to best serve women in pregnancy. 

There is a deep and cynical hypocrisy in this Government’s claim that they legalised abortion to protect women, while the same Government is actually putting women and their babies in danger by seeking to close maternity units and inflicting dangerous cuts on health spending. This cynicism has not been lost on medical practitioners, nor on the Irish public.

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