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CNN blames Kentucky law after couple can't hold daughter who died from an elective abortion
Screenshot of CNN video (Featured: Nick and Heather Maberry)

CNN blames Kentucky law after couple can't hold daughter who died from an elective abortion

A couple in Kentucky traveled out of state for the sole purpose of aborting their daughter, but CNN framed the story to blame Kentucky abortion laws for the couple's inability to hold their daughter after her untimely death.

Sometime in the last few months, Heather and Nick Maberry — 32 and 34, respectively — left their home in Stanton, Kentucky, and traveled over 400 miles away to have a surgical abortion at the Family Planning Associates Medical Group of Chicago in Illinois. Back in April, doctors diagnosed their unborn daughter with anencephaly, a serious condition in which an unborn baby is missing a significant portion of his or her brain and scalp. The Maberrys got a second opinion, but the result was the same. They were told that their daughter would be stillborn or die shortly after birth.

"I was devastated," Nick claimed.

"Please keep Nick, me, and our girls in your prayers. We just received the worst news about our baby girl," Heather posted to Facebook along with an ultrasound image, CNN reported. "This is our baby girl, Willow Rose. We love you so very much!!!

At the time, Heather was still experiencing severe nausea and vomiting caused by pregnancy, a condition known as hyperemesis gravidarum. She also had high blood pressure, which a late-term pregnancy would likely exacerbate. According to CNN, Heather "was willing to take that risk for a live baby, but Willow was not going to live."

At that point, the couple decided "to terminate the pregnancy," the outlet said. However, a new abortion ban in Kentucky has no exception for cases of severe medical conditions in unborn babies, so the Maberrys searched out of state for options. They wanted to induce labor so that they could have the chance to hold Willow after she was born but claimed that the procedure was cost-prohibitive and was not covered by their insurance, Kentucky Medicaid.

They then reached out to friends and family and to abortion activist groups, but they still could not raise enough funds for an induction. So instead, they accepted the Chicago clinic's offer for a free dilation and evacuation, a surgical abortion that dismembers the unborn child, or as the Planned Parenthood website states, a procedure that "uses suction and medical tools to empty your uterus." Some abortion activist groups did provide enough money for the couple's traveling expenses, though whether they are the same groups that denied the couple financial help for an induction is unclear.

Heather, who has given birth twice and who suffered a miscarriage last fall, described the abortion of Willow as "the worst pain ever," CNN reported. But perhaps worse than the physical pain was the fact that she and her husband, who also has four children from at least one other relationship, could not hold little Willow's lifeless body after the procedure was over, nor could they cremate her remains as they had intended. The clinic wrote on Heather's chart that "major fetal parts and placental tissue were identified and the specimen was prepared for disposal," CNN reported.

"We’re grieving pictures. We’re grieving footprints," Heather said. "We’ll never know what she looks like. We’ll never know what it was like to hold her." Afterward, Nick struggled to return to his job as a factory worker.

Despite their grief, the Maberrys likely still believe that they made the best choice possible under the circumstances. "I don’t want my kids to go through what I went through," Heather said. "It just isn’t right." She elsewhere stated that "carrying" Willow to term was not "an option, period."

The clinic did not respond to CNN's request for comment. The outlet also reached out to three Kentucky lawmakers who sponsored the abortion ban law "to ask why fatal fetal anomalies aren’t an exception to the current laws" but did not receive a response. CNN's interview with the Maberrys can be seen here.

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Cortney Weil

Cortney Weil

Sr. Editor, News

Cortney Weil is a senior editor for Blaze News.
@cortneyweil →