A 22-year-old mother has documented the heartbreaking hours she spent with her newborn daughter after being forced to carry an unviable pregnancy to term following the Roe v. Wade.
Chloe, from Arizona, was 23 weeks pregnant with her second child when she was told the baby had a condition known as alobar holoprosencephaly – a disorder that prevents the brain from dividing in two halves.
Following the Supreme Court decision, which ended the constitutional right to abortion, her doctor refused to encourage her to give birth early.
Chloe was forced to carry her pregnancy to term and spent less than two days with the newborn, who had facial deformities, before the youngster died.
Chloe, from Arizona, was 23 weeks pregnant with her second child when she was told the baby had a condition known as holoprosencephaly – a disorder that prevents the brain from dividing into two halves .
Chloe was forced to carry her pregnancy to term and spent less than two days with the newborn, who had facial deformities, before the youngster died
Chloe, who did not wish to disclose her surname, already had a six-month-old daughter when she found out she was pregnant in January 2022.
The young mum was thrilled to find out she had another daughter but was stopped short after a routine ultrasound at 21 weeks.
Doctors identified ‘red flags’ and she was transferred to a specialist who diagnosed her unborn baby with the most severe type of holoprosencephaly at 23 weeks and four days.
She was told that therefore the pregnancy would likely be a stillbirth or her child would not survive for long afterwards due to difficulty in breathing and eating independently.
The devastating revelation hit Chloe hard and she was presented with three options.
They either had to continue the pregnancy, get an abortion in Arizona before 24 weeks (which was allowed at the time), or travel out of state for abortion care.
But it was at this time that the verdict Roe v. Wade was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, which meant individual states would be allowed to dictate abortion access.
Arizona imposed a 15-week abortion ban with exemptions only for pregnancies that “would create a serious risk of substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function” to a mother.
Following the Supreme Court ruling, which ended the constitutional right to abortion, her doctor refused to induce her to give birth early
Chloe gave birth to her daughter, whom she named Laila, after several days of ‘active labour’ and a 24-hour initiation
Chloe said following the decision, doctors refused to induce her early despite previous conversations that had already taken place.
She said hello america: ‘When [my doctor] told me, I couldn’t even speak words…I felt so stuck.
The young mother then planned to travel out of state to receive abortion care elsewhere but said her appointment was canceled following threats made at the clinic at the time by protesters.
Chloe had no options and was forced to go through with her pregnancy.
She struggled with the emotional toll and was treated for anxiety and depressive disorders.
Chloe gave birth to her daughter, whom she named Laila, after several days of “active labor” and a 24-hour initiation.
The newborn, who had facial disfigurements including a cleft lip, ‘came out crying’, but Chloe said: ‘We could tell his breath was cut off, that just wasn’t normal.’
Chloe had no other choice and was forced to continue with her pregnancy – she struggled with the emotional toll and was treated for anxiety and depressive disorder
Heartbreakingly, Chloe was told not to feed her baby – as there was a choking hazard – and Laila’s condition rapidly deteriorated
Heartbreakingly, Chloe was told not to feed her baby – as there was a choking hazard – and Laila’s condition rapidly deteriorated.
“She was alive for about 44 hours…it was really hard watching her in pain all the time,” Chloe told the publication, before adding, “When I think about it, I think about how I I could tell she was struggling.
“I think about how she would scream as loud as she could because she couldn’t eat.”
“It’s really hard to think about it just because there’s so much I wanted to do for her, but I couldn’t,” she continued.
“I knew that if I had done those things, it would have just prolonged his life and his suffering at the same time.”
Chloe, who was diagnosed with postpartum depression after the birth of Laila, said candidly that if she ever found herself in the same situation again, her first choice would still be to terminate the pregnancy.
She concluded, “From what I’ve seen, it’s not fair, and it wasn’t fair all along, for her or for me.”
What is alobar holoprosencephaly?
Alobar holoprosencephaly (HPE) is a serious brain abnormality caused when parts of the brain fail to form and fuse together normally.
This process usually takes place during the third week of fetal embryonic life.
The cause of HPE is unknown, but HPE is estimated to affect 1 in 5,000 to 10,000 live births.
Since many pregnancies with an affected fetus end in early miscarriage, the frequency among all pregnancies can reach 1 in 200-250.
Given the known poor prognosis, women are offered the choice to continue the pregnancy with the support of the hospital team or to terminate the pregnancy.
Some women may choose to terminate the pregnancy.
For those who choose to continue, treatment is based on managing the baby’s condition and supporting the parents.
Current studies indicate that only three percent of all fetuses with HPE survive to delivery, and the vast majority of these infants do not survive beyond the first six months of life.
The prognosis depends on the degree of brain fusion and malformation, as well as other health complications that may be present.
The most severe forms of HPE are usually fatal, although some babies may live for months or years.