A woman in the United Kingdom who was constantly pressured by medical professionals to have an abortion decided to have her baby anyway, and reportedly does not regret her decision.
When 29-year-old Natalie Halson was 22 weeks pregnant, doctors informed her that a scan revealed the baby had spina bifida, the Daily Mail reported. Medical professionals then began harassing her about aborting the baby, she said, even very late into her pregnancy.
“I was offered an abortion at every appointment I had up until the day she was born—about 10 times in all,” Halson said, according to the Daily Mail.
Halson said hospital staff were overbearing, but she didn’t give up on her baby.
“It was so insistent even after I’d repeatedly said no but it was getting offered a termination just weeks before she was born that really upset me,” she told the Daily Mail. “She was a proper little person at that point. It was vile to think they just wanted me to get rid of her.”
Spina bifida affects about 1,645 babies each year in the United States, according to the CDC. Hispanic babies are affected more than others. The condition causes a gap in an area where the spine should be, according to the Daily Mail.
Halson works in hospitals as an assistant radiographer. She was still surprised by the pressure she received to abort upon the hospital learning of the baby’s illness. She knew there was more that the hospital wasn’t telling her.
“They made out like an abortion was my only option and explained that if I went ahead with the pregnancy my baby would be wheelchair bound and have no quality of life,” Halson said. “When I got off the phone I went and did tons of research and found out that there were options for my little girl—I felt suddenly really angry that they’d made out I had none.”
Halson made sure to make her own decision, and follow her gut feelings.
“I found out as much as I could and realized that there were options,” Halson said. “I refused to give up on my baby but the medics just wouldn’t take no for an answer.”
Halson is very satisfied with the outcome of fighting for her baby’s life.
“But I am so glad I refused. Mirabelle really is a miracle,”she said.
She couldn’t imagine having it any other way.
“If I’d not had that time to do my research I might have even agreed to the termination,” she told the Daily Mail. “I look at Mirabelle now and think, ‘I wouldn’t even have known you.’ It doesn’t bear thinking about.”
Under the United Kingdom’s socialized healthcare system, the National Health Service, Halson had to fight to be able to see a spina bifida specialist.
Halson and the specialist decided on a procedure to take place after the baby was born.
“They operated on Mirabelle’s spine the day after she was born, it was a horrible anxious wait as it lasted about 12 hours, but the doctors were really happy with her progress afterwards,” Halson said. “They told me that they’d reattached all the nerves in her back like a zip. I was so emotional, I couldn’t stop crying.”
Halson had words of advice for other parents about abortion.
“I would recommend to any parents who are advised to abort, that it isn’t the only option no matter what the hospitals try and tell them. And always go with your gut instinct, something inside told me that my baby was going to be OK—and look at her now, she’s perfect.”