Surrogate Mom Refuses to Abort Baby Despite Serious Birth Defects

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In a story that raises questions about surrogacy, abortion and parental rights – a Connecticut couple offered the woman acting as their surrogate $10,000 to abort a fetus with health defects… and she refused.

You can read in-depth coverage of the story on CNN, but here’s the basic overview:

Crystal Kelley was five months pregnant with the couple’s baby when doctors discovered the fetus had a cleft lip and palate, heart defects, and a cyst in her brain. She would need several heart surgeries and her chances of having a normal life were only 25%.

The parents made the difficult decision to terminate the pregnancy but Kelley refused. The couple (who have not been named) offered the 29-year-old an additional $10,000 to have an abortion. She countered, asking for $15,000, but says it was a “moment of weakness” because she badly needed the money and quickly changed her mind.

It’s important to note here that Kelley had previously signed a contract with the surrogacy agency saying that she’d agree to abort if the fetus had a severe abnormality.

The couple sued her, at which point she moved from Connecticut to Michigan – a state that doesn’t recognize surrogacy contracts, meaning Kelley would be the legal guardian of the child.

In June, she gave birth to a child with severe medical conditions – “much more extensive than the [original] ultrasound at Hartford Hospital had revealed.”

“Baby S” now lives with adoptive parents that Kelley found in Michigan who were willing to raise the child. According to CNN, they “[provide] S. with love, opportunity, [and] encouragement” despite her slim chance of survival.

What do you think of this story? In cases of surrogacy, who has the right to make tough decisions like this one?

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