A few months ago, Daniel and Taylor Mahaffey began decorating the nursery in their home as they waited for their little boy, who they named Fox, to arrive. However, only 20 weeks along in the pregnancy, the couple was devasted after hearing that he had no chance of survival.
Due to a complication, the fetus was going to come out at 20 weeks and was not going to live. After hearing the news, the Mahaffeys just wanted to end their baby’s suffering. However, because of Texas law HB2, the state’s “fetal pain” law, the couple was forced to endure an agonizing fate — they would have to wait and watch as their baby suffered and died slowly in utero.
According to the Daily Beast,
On Wednesday night, Taylor, 23, felt something abnormal and since their last pregnancy ended in miscarriage, they rushed to the hospital. By the time they got there, Fox’s feet were already pushing through his mother’s cervix. Doctors tried several emergency measures to stop the preterm labor, including putting Taylor on an incline in the hopes that they could perform a cervical cerclage—a procedure in which doctors stitch shut the cervix. Nothing worked. Nothing could save him.
Heartbroken, the Mahaffeys asked about their options. “The only humane thing to do at that point would be to pop the sack, and let little Fox come into this world too early to survive outside,” 29-year-old Daniel Mahaffey wrote Monday, telling his story on Reddit.
The doctors and nurses at St. David’s Medical Center in Austin cried with them, but said because of Texas law HB2, they could not help speed Taylor’s labor. Technically, the baby was healthy and the mother was healthy, so to induce labor would be an abortion, and to do it at this stage in the pregnancy would be illegal.
Receiving no help from doctors afraid to break this Draconian law, the Mahaffeys were sent home to wait for their baby to die.
“We cried ourselves to sleep, waiting for him to come,” Daniel said in an interview with The Daily Beast.
But the worst yet to come.
Eventually, Taylor started to bleed so they went back to the hospital. However, Fox’s heart was still beating as he languished in a partial birth, so they still had no other options but to wait it out.
“Eventually, she was just screaming at them to get the child out of her,” Daniel said.
One can only imagine the horrifying feeling of being forced to have a dying baby inside you and have no options to end his suffering or the mother’s.
Finally, after four days of excruciating torture, the sack broke, and Taylor delivered the stillborn Fox. “One nice thing is we got to hold him,” Daniel said. “That’s the only silver lining.”
After this traumatizing incident, Daniel rationally and eloquently explained the problem about archaic laws enforced on such a complex issue of human reproduction.
Regardless of where one stands on pro-choice vs pro-life, I think that we can all agree that forcing a person to go through labor for a non-viable baby is cruel, inhumane, and morally indefensible.
Whatever your stance on the issue is, I hope you understand that the way the law is now is hopelessly broken.
If there is a Christian God, he would hate anyone who would put ideology in front of humanity.
Please, please, please work to either repeal or amend these laws.
Mahaffey has now made it his mission to change this law by using his own story. He has since written his state representatives and the presidential candidates informing them on their loss of Fox and the inhumane law that forced a family to suffer instead of providing them with the medical care they so desperately needed.
“Me and my wife are home now. Grieving for our loss,” said Daniel. “We’ll get through this. My heart breaks, however, for the hundreds, if not thousands of others that will be effected [sic] by these godless laws.”
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