Surrogate mother Crystal Kelley fled from Connecticut to Michigan when the parents to be demanded she abort the baby, who would be disabled.
“‘It wasn’t their decision to play God’: Surrogate mother flees after couple demands abortion of disabled baby,” an article by Mark Hughes published in The Daily Telegraph and carried by National Post Wire Services, reported that the parents and Ms. Kelley learned from an ultrasound 21 weeks into the pregnancy that the baby would have severe disabilities.
According to doctors, there was only a 25% chance she would have a “normal life,” and she would need several heart surgeries. The parents told Ms. Kelley it would be “more humane” to abort the child than have her undergo many surgeries to deal with her medical problems. They offered the surrogate $10 000 to have an abortion. When she refused, the couple’s lawyer reminded her by letter that she had agreed to end the pregnancy in the event of severe abnormality. Ms. Kelley also objected to a proposal for the parents to take the child but place her in foster care.
Advised by a lawyer that the couple would retain all legal rights if the child were born in Connecticut, Ms. Kelley moved in April 2012 to Michigan. This state does not recognize surrogacy contracts and would consider her the baby’s legal mother. The girl, known as Baby S., was born in June 2012 and has been adopted by a couple raising other children with disabilities.
“Surrogate mother refuses $10 000 bribe to abort deformed baby,” an article by Johanna Dasteel on Lifesitenews.com, noted that Baby S. will need multiple surgeries for her medical problems which include a cleft lip and palate, heart defects, misplaced internal organs and others. If the operations are successful, Baby S. has a 50% chance of being able to walk, talk, and develop normal hand dexterity. This little baby’s life should not be summed up and reduced to a list of disabilities for she also has something to offer.
Her adoptive parents told CNN: “S. wakes up every single morning with an infectious smile. She greets her world with a constant sense of enthusiasm.”
The original legal parents of Baby S., who was conceived with an anonymous egg donor by in vitro fertilization and frozen as an embryo before the surrogacy, had threatened to sue Ms. Kelley for $8 000 in surrogacy fees as well as medical and legal expenses if she refused to abort the child. After the baby’s birth, they sued for custody but then dropped the lawsuit in return for being able to stay in contact with Baby S. and kept informed of her condition; they have since visited her.
The article points out that, while abortion was decriminalized by the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade, women are legally protected from forced abortion and no woman can be contractually bound to have an abortion.
Finally, the baby’s adoptive parents said: “Ultimately, we hold onto a faith that in providing S. with love, opportunity, encouragement, she will be the one to show us what is possible for her life and what she is capable of achieving.”