The parents of a baby girl who survived an abortion sued a Beijing, China hospital recently because their baby did not die.
The baby, who was a full 34-weeks gestation during the abortion, reportedly “came back to life” and began crying after she was removed from her mother’s womb, according to the Daily Star.
Now, her mother, identified only as Hu from Beijing, China, wants the hospital to pay for its mistake.
Abortions are legal for any reason up to birth in China.
In this case, the baby’s parents said they decided to have a late-term abortion after their daughter was diagnosed with a rare brain deformity called Joubert Syndrome about 26 weeks into the pregnancy. The parents said they sought a second opinion at several hospitals, but each doctor confirmed that their baby had the rare disorder.
According to the report, Hu had doctors at Peking University People’s Hospital abort her baby when she was nearly full term. The report states the doctors injected a poisonous drug called ethacridine lactate into the womb to abort the baby girl. Before removing her body, Hu said doctors checked and confirmed that the baby did not have a heartbeat.
They then told Hu the medical procedure was successful.
After the procedure, Hu told doctors she wanted to say goodbye to the remains of her aborted child about 20 minutes after the operation, but was stunned when the seemingly girl cried out loud at the ceremony.
Eventually, Hu said they took their baby home alive. It is not clear if the baby girl still is alive.
In 2017, the family sued the hospital for 1.22 million yuan ($172,000) to pay for their daughter’s medical care. They lost the initial case, but the family appealed, the report continues.
The troubling case is similar to so-called “wrongful birth” lawsuits in the United States and other countries. In these cases, parents argue that they would have aborted their disabled baby if their doctor had not been negligent in diagnosing the child’s health problems or counseling them on their options before the child’s birth.
In 2013, a Washington state couple won $50 million in a lawsuit after they argued they were denied information that could have led them to abort their disabled baby, LifeNews reported. The Seattle Times reported the couple knew based on their family medical history they were at a 50-50 chance of having children suffering from a rare but debilitating genetic disorder called “unbalanced chromosome translocation,” but a genetic test failed to detect the disorder in their unborn baby.
In 2014, an Illinois mother also sued her doctor, claiming that he botched her tubal ligation and it led to the birth of her daughter who has sickle cell disease.
Then, in 2018, a woman in Ireland who said she would have aborted her baby if she had known about the child’s disability was awarded €1.8 million (about $2.1 million).
Put simply, these cases are about parents discriminating against their own children. Society tells parents that discrimination against people with disabilities is ok — even compassionate — as long as that person is not yet born. Some even argue that unborn babies with disabilities are better off dead than alive. But the truth is that every human life is valuable, no matter what their abilities. It’s time for society to step up and protect every human being from discrimination, not just those who are born.