“She was compatible with life inside me”

A woman in Northern Ireland who carried on with her pregnancy despite her baby having a fatal foetal abnormality has told the BBC’s Stephen Nolan show that she is against a weaker abortion law in the Province.

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Gemma Bradley’s daughter Lily Rose was diagnosed with a chromosomal condition called Trisomy 18 or Edwards’ Syndrome.

She disagrees with Justice Minister David Ford’s recommendations for abortion to be allowed for fatal foetal abnormality.

Audience member Gemma said that although Lily Rose was stillborn, “she was compatible with life inside me and she was kicking and she was moving. I got to bury my baby, I got to hold my baby, I got to kiss my baby”.


Last week Ford announced a consultation on liberalising the law to permit abortions for cases of fatal foetal abnormality and sexual crime.

Gemma said she is against changing abortion law because doctors “don’t honestly know themselves” if an abnormality is going to “affect the unborn child”.

She campaigns for awareness of Trisomy 18, and highlighted cases of children born with the condition who have survived for days, months and years.


Her question, “who gives anybody the right to state that a child is incompatible with life because of their condition?” was met with applause from the studio audience.

She said a “better” option for families rather than abortion would be perinatal hospice care, meaning more support for the period just before and after the birth.

Justice Minister David Ford, a guest on the show, said medical science is in a “better position to say whether life is possible or not”.

Choose Life

The Christian Institute’s Choose Life series highlights stories of mothers who said no to abortion in cases of fatal foetal abnormality and rape.

Bonnie and Phil’s daughter Grace was diagnosed with anencephaly, but they saw the pregnancy through, and are glad they could spend 15 precious minutes with their baby daughter.

Gary Moore was conceived through rape and is so grateful that his mother did not give in to pressure to abort him.

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