British mother, Sofia Khan, was admitted to the hospital for an abortion, but she gave birth to a crying baby boy. The child, whose parents named him Mohammed, died an hour later in his mother’s arm.
Khan, who lives in Bolton, Lancashire, told an inquest that at 21 weeks into the pregnancy, she learned that her son had spina bifida. After discussing their options with medical staff, Khan and her husband, Shakeel Ahmed, decided to end their baby’s life in an abortion. The couple was warned that their son was “unlikely to survive” the pregnancy because of the severity of his spina bifida.
According to news coverage of the inquest, Khan was admitted to St. Mary’s Hospital in Manchester for the abortion when she was 25 weeks pregnant. The abortionist injected a lethal chemical into the umbilical cord that was expected to stop the baby’s beating heart. Khan was then sent to Royal Bolton Hospital where doctors induced labor, anticipating that Khan would deliver a dead baby.
During labor, Khan testified, she was certain she felt her son move. Midwives attending to her dismissed her concerns because they assumed the abortion had successfully killed her baby. Khan told the inquest, “I felt I was made to feel I had imagined it and I was just being silly and I began to doubt myself.” Labor proceeded, and early the next day Mohammed was born alive and crying.
Khan was shocked, saying when she heard her baby cry, “I couldn’t believe it.” In another interview, Khan said, “I thought I was going mad. I thought I was hearing the cry because that’s what I wanted – my baby to be alive.” She held her son until he died about an hour later.
The tragic advice to end their son’s life in an abortion reveals the deadly prejudice in the medical system for babies with disabilities. In many cases, spina bifida is not life threatening. As evidenced by the fact that Mohammed survived a lethal injection and was born alive in an attempted abortion, he was clearly much stronger than doctors realized.
In an interview with Fabulous Online, Khan said that she and her husband were thrilled to learn they were expecting another baby in late 2017. The couple already have an 18-month-old son, Mustafa. Even after the diagnosis of spina bifida at 21 weeks, Khan was determined to choose Life for her baby. She said, “I was devastated. I kept thinking that we would manage and that he could have surgery to help him.” Yet, medical professionals continued to push for abortion.
Adding further tragedy to the situation, cutting edge technology has led to advances in the care of children with spina bifida, and innovative surgeries are saving lives. Some of these surgeries can even take place before the baby is born, with surgeons carefully performing life-saving operations on babies with spina bifida while they are still in the womb. Texas has led the way in developing some of these amazing procedures. Babies like Lynlee, who was diagnosed with a life-threatening congenital condition, are living totally normal lives following successful prenatal surgery. In situations in which prenatal surgery is not an option, families can be greatly assisted by the services of perinatal hospices. Abortion is not at all the only option.
Understandably, Mohammed’s family is still shaken and grieving. His mother says, “He was such a fighter. He had a huge hole in his spine and he was very disabled, and yet he hung on to Life for an hour.” She added, “I can’t help thinking that he was determined to have one cuddle with his mummy.”
Disturbingly, the inquest did not revise policies for killing preborn babies diagnosed with disabilities even though doctors clearly failed to give an appropriate prognosis and exposed this family to unspeakable trauma. The inquest instead concluded that doctors should do more to ensure that they have killed babies with disabilities before inducing labor. While some babies are given life-saving prenatal surgery and given a chance at Life, other babies, like Mohammed, are marked for death for no other reason than their disability.