Parents who were told their son should be aborted because he was a “non-viable foetus” have celebrated his first birthday.
Mhairi and Paul Morris were told their baby Jett was healthy at the 20-week scan, but that evening Mhairi’s waters broke.
Doctors told the couple that going through with labour at this stage would put Mhairi at serious risk of infection, and told them to have an abortion.
But Mhairi said: “If he was still moving and his heartbeat was strong, who are we to not give him a chance? We would forever think, ‘What if?'”
“Doctors were very brutal; in no uncertain terms, they told us he was non-viable. We were just shocked. That was how blunt they were, we had to get rid of it”, she added.
Jett was born five weeks later, weighing just 1 pound 6 ounces, and after three months in hospital was able to be brought home.
Doctors had given him a five to ten per cent chance of survival, but earlier this month he turned one.
He has two holes in his heart, but Mhairi says they will not cause many problems.
“This whole year has gone by so quickly. It’s such a huge milestone. I 100 per cent felt we needed to give him a chance. There was no way we would lose him”, Mhairi said.
In September, a mother who refused an abortion after her waters broke at 16 weeks expressed how “grateful” she is that her son survived.
Katy Evans, 35, was taken to hospital at 16 weeks because she had a rare condition causing the amniotic fluid to drain from her womb. Doctors warned that her son Leo had just a one per cent chance of survival.
They said if Leo did survive birth he may have no limbs or be unable to breathe, and that Mrs Evans had a high risk of developing a womb infection.
But Mr and Mrs Evans wanted to give their child a chance of survival, and said no to an abortion.
At 34 weeks into the pregnancy, Mrs Evans gave birth to Leo, who weighed 4 pounds and 13 ounces – he was allowed home after five days.
The Department of Justice in Northern Ireland recently launched a consultation on weakening the law to allow abortion in cases where the unborn child is deemed not to have a ‘viable life’.
As part of The Christian Institute’s Choose Life series, a couple shared their experience of refusing an abortion after doctors made what was later shown to be an incorrect diagnosis of fatal foetal abnormality.
Melanie and Damien Sheenan went through with the pregnancy, and their son Joshua is now over a year old.