Medical and technological advancements have given us windows into the womb. What we’ve seen is truly nothing short of a miracle, and it’s anything but a blob of tissue. These windows have shown us what a woman’s intuition has always known: it’s a child.

Approximately 1 in 4 pregnancies end in a miscarriage and 1 in 160 in stillbirth. Still others are diagnosed with a life-limiting condition and live just a few days, or maybe only hours, outside the womb.

The women who experience these losses know that they didn’t pass a ‘parasite’, have a vestigial organ removed, or lose something as inconsequential as a tooth. They lost a child.

Thankfully, the pro-life movement offers women and families hope. Instead of wrestling alone with grief in the midst of a culture that embraces euphemisms that dismiss life inside the womb as nothing more than a blob of tissue, a pro-life culture offers comfort and understanding.

An excellent example of how a life-honoring perspective brings healing is Perinatal Hospice Care. As prenatal testing continues to advance, fetal anomalies are detected at earlier and earlier stages in pregnancy. When a baby in the womb is diagnosed with a fatal medical condition parents are given few options.

Perinatal hospice is an innovative model of care. It provides support focused on comfort and compassion from the time of diagnosis, through the birth and the postpartum period. Instead of encouraging women to terminate their pregnancy, it helps families to make memories that last a lifetime.

In 2017, the Nebraska Legislature unanimously passed a one-of-a-kind bill that helps to spread the word about perinatal hospice. The Compassion and Care for Medically Challenging Pregnancies Act encourages doctors to share information about perinatal hospice when their patient’s baby is diagnosed with a life-limiting illness in utero. It also adds information about this form of care to the Department of Health and Human Service’s website.

Several women who had experienced pregnancy loss due to life-limiting diagnosis testified at the committee hearing in support of the bill. One of the women who testified shared with the NFA team that she was told her daughter was ‘incompatible with life.’

“I was in shock, wasn’t offered anything else, and made to feel like I’d be strange to continue [the pregnancy]. Like, everyone with that condition terminates so that was a given that’s what I would do.

The changes to Nebraska’s laws are minimal – but not only does it reinforce the truth about life inside the womb – it gives women and families a life-honoring option in the face of a tragic situation.

A founder of Healing Embrace, an organization in Nebraska that offers perinatal hospice, put it this way:

“Nobody walks away with regrets. When that baby is here, you acknowledge every perfect thing about them, because in our mama’s eyes, our babies are perfect, regardless of what they looked like.”

No one should face the loss of a pregnancy or an infant alone. Let’s make sure every woman knows about Perinatal Hospice Care and that we continue to advance the culture of life at every opportunity.

Hallie Hamilton

Hallie Hamilton

Hallie is the former Communication Director of Nebraska Family Alliance. She likes her coffee black, her bike-rides long, and her books epic.