The Story of Baby Hope

“The confusion regarding the status of abortion survivors is reflected in events that happened two years ago in Cincinnati, Ohio. A young woman learned she was pregnant and sought the assistance at the clinic of the abortionist Dr. Martin Haskell, inventor of one variation of the partial-birth abortion procedure.

Dr. Haskell performed the first step of the partial-birth abortion procedure–dilating the woman’s cervix–and she was to return the next day. The next morning the woman began experiencing severe abdominal pains and reported to the emergency room of Bethesda North Medical Center in Cincinnati. While she was being examined, the young woman gave birth to a baby girl.

The attending physician placed the baby in a specimen dish–like any other substance that is removed from the body–to be taken to the lab by a medical technician. When the technician, Shelly Lowe, saw the baby girl in the dish she was stunned when she saw the girl gasping for air.

`I don’t think I can do that,’ Ms. Lowe reportedly said. `This baby is alive.’

“After doctors concluded that the baby was too premature to survive (by some estimates she was born at 22 weeks, although some members of the hospital staff believed she was older), Ms. Lowe held the baby, whom she named `Baby Hope,’ until the child died, wrapping her in a blanket and singing to her as she stroked her cheeks. Ms. Lowe said: `I wanted her to feel that she was wanted. . . . She was a perfectly formed newborn, entering the world too soon through no choice of her own.

22 week sonogram

Surprisingly, Baby Hope lived for 3 hours, without the benefit of an incubator or other intensive care, and breathing room air, but her condition was not reassessed by the physicians.”

The following are cited:

“Finger-Pointing Follows Baby Hope” Cincinnati Post, April 22nd, 1999 15A

Mona Charen, “Baby Hope” Washington Times May 17, 1999

Mona Charen, “Baby Hope, Part 2” Washington Times May 24, 1999

More on Baby Hope comes from the article “The Story of Baby Hope” by Liz Townsend.

“Hospital workers who cared for Baby Hope report continuing feelings of sadness and grief, but also peace — “peace that she was comforted, held close, and even sang to until she took her last breath,” according to nurse Connie Boyles. Emergency room technician Shelly Lowe held the baby until she died three hours and eight minutes after her birth. “I sat and held her. I felt no one should die alone,” said Lowe at an April 20 news conference held by local pro-life groups. “We had her baptized. I named her Hope because I’d hoped she would make it.”

Lowe said that her whole view of the abortion issue has been changed since Baby Hope’s death. “I was always pro-choice, and I’ve changed to pro-life,” she said. “This is a baby that could be alive right now.”

The article goes on to quote Mrs. Lowe

“Her bottom lip would go in,” Lowe said. “She would move her hands. The hands would open and close.” The baby’s death certificate reinforces the tragedy of her short 1ife. The cause of death is listed as “extreme prematurity secondary to induced abortion,” which is deemed a “natural” manner of death. She has no official first name and no social security number, and her life is succinctly described by the stark words “never married” and “never worked”. She was cremated.”

The nurses who went public with the story of Baby Hope were shunned by fellow members of the medical community for coming forward. Pro-Choice groups also attacked the workers in press releases.

“We are … extremely concerned about the seeming disregard for this woman’s confidentiality exhibited by hospital employees who went to Right to Life with this story”, National Abortion Federation Executive Director Vicki Saporta said in an April 20 press release. “No woman should have to fear that her personal medical experience will be used as a tool by politicians and anti-choice organizations to further a political agenda.”

“Talking points” included with the press release described the incident as the “miscarriage of a 22-week nonviable fetus.”


“A spokeswoman for another pro-abortion group, Sue Momeyer, chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky, told the Associated Press, “I am concerned that what looks like a very difficult and tragic situation is being used for political purposes.”

This comes from organizations that see absolutely no problem in exploiting the situations of individual women who died from illegal abortions, even when those women put themselves in danger precisely because they wanted to keep their abortions secret.

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