Republican congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington announced in a Facebook post yesterday that her unborn baby has been diagnosed with a medical condition that is often fatal for the baby.
Herrera Beutler wrote that ultrasounds and follow-up tests sadly showed that her baby had a disease called Potter's Syndrome, which is identified by "abnormally low amniotic fluid caused by impaired kidney function which inhibits normal lung development."
Herrera Beutler said she and her husband are "praying for a miracle."
The news quickly became a national story and wonderfully thousands of people reached out to the expectant mother with words of support and prayers. Sadly, the request for prayers was politicized and/or ridiculed by many others.
Ironically, just two weeks ago, Hererra Buetler told ABC News that the news of her pregnancy broke through partisan barriers. “The fun thing is, babies aren’t partisan,” she reportedly said. “So even folks who we do not agree on policy, are so excited because they recognize that this is a great thing.” That ended the moment that it was revealed the baby had problems.
Some have greeted the news with a shocking amount of hatred, scorn and ridicule, even attacking her and calling for her to abort her child.
While many of the commenters at the very liberal Huffington Post were kind in response, some chose to view the tragedy through the political prism. Here are some of their comments:
-- Oh goody... and she's GOP.... let's all watch this one develop. Let's see if she follows the party line ....
--Abort the baby. Wait a few months. Get pregnant again. This is not a big deal.
--Serious and painful challenge for this woman and family. I hope that she is given the opportunity to make a personal conscious decision about the product of conception without any government interference.....
--A clear case of politics colliding with a medical reality.
--I agree this should not be politicized but her party has been very busy 'politicizing' women's right to choose for some time now. If nothing else, this may illustrate how no one is in a position to make blanket rules about the rights of others cause the shoe may just be on the other foot one day. If they rally around this instance and give her a pass for deciding not to carry a very compromised fetus to term it would certainly qualify as another example of RW extreme hypocrisy.
-- ...I hope she is able to comfortably make a choice to terminate the pregnancy, if need be and that she becomes an advocate for choice. Her health will depend on making an informed choice and I hope in the future, she promotes that idea for all women, not just herself.
-- Why not be proactive and get an abortion?
-- Republicans say----Bring it to full term. They'll take care of everything.
-- This couple made their choice with respect to the unborn child, others should be able to make their choice without interference.
-- Sorry, prayers won't do a damn thing.
-- To come to full term with the knowledge your infant will suffer or live with a very dubious prognosis is selfish, in my humble opinion. To come to full term for religious reasons likewise is selfish and, well, foolish but, more importantly, hurtful to the one who cannot speak for itself.
But the hatred wasn't limited to the HuffPo. Comments at local news affiliate KATU included:
-- She should just go to a Planned Parenthood and be done with "it", after all, it's not a human yet.
-- ...Maybe you're supposed to sacrifice a sheep to make the prayer work? I don't know. But it only takes 1 success story out of 10,000 failed stories to make people believe.
-- It is my perception that she will be using this as "proof" that god exists if her baby is born healthy. It's sad to see people be so selfish. What about the child? This is so selfish.
Some commenters at USA Today responded with a shocking amount of hatred as well:
--Too bad she's a Republican so she can't get an abortion.
-- I have prayers for her. To wise up and leave the GOP ASAP.
-- I feel for her in that the pregnancy could have been normal. I laugh at her in that her political ideology has her in a corner I would wish nobody in.
Please keep the prayers coming for Herrera Butler, her unborn child, and her entire family. Hatred may fill up the comboxes in many places but prayers rise to Heaven.