Mother Exposes Cruelty of Abortion Campaigners


A woman whose baby died shortly after birth has written about the cruel abuse she received from pro-abortion campaigners. She also revealed that Health Minister Simon Harris, who has met repeatedly with pro-abortion campaigners has refused to meet with women like her, whose babies died shortly after birth.


Writing in the Irish Independent, Tanya Coonan described how a total stranger had accused her of toying with her child’s life and allowing her to suffer, just so she could feel better about herself. This, she said, was the cruellest thing anyone had ever said to her.


“No mother should ever have to read those words, but as the abortion debate gets more toxic and misinformed, shocking attacks like these seem designed to make mothers like me fearful of speaking out.


“Let me make one thing clear. My daughter Lillie did not suffer. As her mother, who loves her more than life, I would never have allowed that to happen. She was safe and protected while I carried her, and she was free of pain as she passed away in my arms.


“I lost Lillie to a condition called iniencephaly, a neural tube defect, rather like anencephaly. I am so blessed to have carried her and held her, and to know that we wrapped her in love for her short life, before and after birth.


“Lillie was one of identical twin girls, and she defied the odds since medical professionals doubted her survival and gave her only days to live in my womb. At just 13 weeks' pregnant, I was told she would not live for much longer and an abortion in Britain was suggested by the doctor in a major Dublin maternity hospital. I adamantly refused.


“I'm happy I refused, because at 35 weeks I gave birth to my beautiful twin girls. A medical team was waiting for Lillie to escort her to Temple Street if she showed signs of long-term survival. To me this showed they had hope too, but sadly it wasn't to be.


“In a recovery room, I held my daughter and I smiled at her beautiful baby face and kissed her warm, soft cheek and held her tiny little hand. If abortion had ended her life before birth, I would have never received all the gifts Lillie gave to me. She showed me that even the most striking imperfections are beautiful, and she was so beautiful.


“We've now arrived at the appalling position where mothers who did not abort their babies are wrongly and most unfairly being accused of making their babies suffer. This is not just untrue, it is cruel and unacceptable.


“So let me share the medical facts, not so much as to answer the cruelty of strangers online, but to reassure those parents who might be facing a diagnosis that their baby will not live for long after birth. Sometimes I see families in social media groups wonder if babies with very severe conditions such as anencephaly or Potter's Syndrome suffer while in the womb, and misunderstandings arise in regard to what these conditions can mean for baby after birth.


“Dr Marty McCaffrey, a neo-natologist who spoke at a major Perinatal Care conference in Dublin in January, told us that there is no evidence in the medical literature that any of these severe conditions causes pain or suffering for baby before birth.


“He also pointed to research published in the medical journal Pre-natal Diagnosis in 2011 which observed that, with the right medical care, these babies pass away peacefully after birth. That was my experience and it should be the experience of every parent in an Irish hospital if the right care is provided.


“As palliative medicine consultant Dr Pauline Kane explained to me, sometimes babies with life-limiting conditions will have difficulty breathing after birth. In such situations, oxygen can be provided and any other evidence of distress can be managed with good perinatal palliative care, which provides support to parents and baby before and after birth.


“With access to this care, any symptoms can be promptly identified and managed in consultation with the baby's parents, and in the rare cases where symptoms are difficult to manage, medication can be used to alleviate distress.


“No parent should fear that their baby would suffer or suffocate or be without good care, and ensuring that access to good perinatal palliative care should be a top priority for our Health Minister, Simon Harris.


“It saddens me that Mr Harris will not meet with the group Every Life Counts, which represents so many parents like me, and which wants to discuss alternatives other than abortion with him.


“He needs to listen to the experiences of families who have loved and lost their babies, and who know that the gift of time brings healing.


“For those families, can I also ask for some kindness and respect in the debate around abortion, and for an end to the misinformation which frightens families, and which is used to cruelly attack mothers who are already grieving the loss of their beloved child?”

Irish Independent. November 30.

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