After being denied an abortion, a Florida mother watches her baby die

Milo Evan Dorbert took his first and last breath on the evening of March 3rd. The unusual complications of her mother’s pregnancy challenged the interpretation of Florida’s new abortion law.

Deborah Dorbert found out she was pregnant in August. Her first dates suggested that the baby was thriving and she was eager to welcome a fourth member into the family. It didn’t occur to her that the repercussions of the US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn half a century of the constitutional right to abortion would affect them.

A routine mid-pregnancy ultrasound changed everything.

Deborah and her husband, Lee, learned in late November that their child had Potter syndrome, a rare and life-threatening condition that has catapulted them into a volatile legal landscape.

would not honor their request to terminate the pregnancy. The doctors would not say how they reached their decision, but the new law carries severe penalties, including prison time, for medical practitioners who run afoul of it. The hospital system declined to discuss the case.” class=”wpds-c-hcZlgz wpds-c-hcZlgz-bkfjoi-font-georgia wpds-c-hcZlgz-jDmrXh-width-mdCenter wpds-c-hcZlgz-iPJLV-css mw-md pb-md white font–article-body font-copy ma-auto pl-sm pr-sm”>State ban on abortion after 15 weeks of gestation has an exception for fatal fetal anomalies. But as long as their baby’s heart kept beating, the Dorberts say, doctors wouldn’t honor their request to terminate the pregnancy. The doctors did not want to say how they made their decision, but the new law provides for severe penalties, including imprisonment, for doctors who clash with it. The hospital system declined to discuss the case.

Instead, the Dorberts should have waited for labor to be induced at 37 weeks.

For the next three months, the Dorberts did their best to prepare for the short life of their second child. They consulted with palliative care experts and decided not to try to extend her life with high-tech surgeries.

“The most important thing for us was letting him know he was loved,” Deborah said.

The day before Milo was born, the Dorberts sat down with their son Kaiden to explain that the baby’s body had stopped functioning and he would not be coming home. Instead, one day, they told Kaiden, they would all meet as angels. The 4-year-old burst into tears, telling them he didn’t want to be an angel.

But after Deborah’s 12-hour labor, Milo was revealed to be 4lbs 12oz of perfection, with tiny, perfectly formed hands and feet, and a head of brown hair.

Deborah and Lee sat still and silent in the front row as Milo’s aunts and uncles and several cousins ​​entered and took their seats. Her usually flowing hair was pulled back from her face and held in a bun.

The service, which blended Christian gospels and the Lord’s Prayer with “The Three Little Birds,” lasted about 45 minutes, half Milo’s life.

The pastor of a local Lutheran church had a message for the congregation. “Not everything happens for a reason,” he said, echoing Deborah’s denial that the manner in which Milo’s birth and death had any special spiritual significance.

After being denied an abortion, a Florida mother watches her baby die

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to top