Doctors warn of harm reducing abortions could have on mothers of stillborn babies

Published: Jun. 28, 2022 at 6:48 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Following the repeal of Roe v. Wade by the U.S. Supreme Court, doctors in the Cleveland area are concerned for hopeful parents. According to Dr. Tani Malhotra, she believes that the drastic reduction of abortion availability will have a negative effect for parents that find out their child will be a stillbirth.

Dr. Malhotra is a Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialist in Cleveland who says that, in many cases, parents who find out their child will be a stillbirth do not want to complete the pregnancy knowing the child is born dead, or will die immediately following birth.

“We have now taken this heartbreaking moment of telling someone that they are never going to take home their child that they will never have any life at all, and forcing them into a decision that may not have been on that they made,” Dr. Malhotra said, “That is just rubbing salt in the wounds of these patients. "

According to the CDC, stillbirths happen in 1 out of every 160 births. Dr. Malhotra said that, not only does forcing a mother to give birth to a stillborn baby have psychological effects, it also can bring potential danger to the mother. Maternity mortality rates in the US hit 23.8 in 2020, the last year the CDC provided data.

In Ohio, the current law states abortions can not take place after six-weeks. Dr. Malhotra said that six-weeks is too early to determine certain fetal issues, making it incredibly difficult for parents to know if their child will be born with severe issues, or alive at all.

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