UPDATE, Feb. 24, 2010
Today biggest winners in Las Vegas surprised everybody and are causing quite a bit of excitement.
“Baby Claire arrived a little early — just a little while ago!” a thrilled Pam Caylor, executive director of First Choice Pregnancy Services, said today. “She and her mommy are doing great!”
Claire’s mom, Jamie Stout, had originally planned a late-term abortion but was urged by Caylor and ultrasonographer Marina Cortopassi to reverse Step 1 of the three-step abortion process and carry her daughter to term.
“Marina kept trying to get through to me,” Stout said. “She wouldn’t let up. ‘We can work this out,’ she said. ‘You’re going to show your daughter what a strong woman you are.’”
Everybody was a little surprised when Stout went into early labor yesterday evening. When Claire was taking a little time to move during the night, the decision was made to go with a C-section around 8 a.m. this morning.
That’s when Claire entered the world in fine shape. She weighed in at 5 pounds 2 ounces, and measured 18.5 inches long. Her Apgar (Appearance, Pulse, Grimace, Activity, Respiration) assessment for newborns score was a 8-9 out of a possible 10.
“It’s all good,” reported a very happy Caylor. “Jamie and baby Claire are going home in two days. It’s amazing.”
Both inspiring mom and baby certainly prove choosing life is the answer. And Caylor and Cortopassi show what never giving up can accomplish.
Caylor added, “Thanks for all your prayers.”
Feb. 20, 2010
Not many people in Las Vegas beat the odds.
Last November, one yet-to-be-born baby with the highest odds stacked against her did, thanks to a couple of never-give-up pro-life people and her courageous mom.
The dramatic intervention to rescue this baby is only part of the story. The far-reaching lesson the story tells is one that many pro-life workers and even doctors aren’t aware of or are reluctant to admit: Some abortions already under way can be reversed to save the baby.
“The execution had been ordered and started.”
So remembers Pam Caylor, executive director of First Choice Pregnancy Services in Las Vegas, about this major rescue of a 20-week-old unborn baby.
Earlier, Caylor had learned from First Choice’s ultrasonographer Marina Cortopassi that neighbor Jamie Stout was considering abortion. Caylor had Cortopassi contact the woman. She was on her way for the abortion. Despite that, Cortopassi drove to the facility, only to find the woman’s father waiting in the car for his daughter inside. They talked. He agreed to save the baby’s life.
Inside, workers had already started the abortion. Because the pregnancy was at 20 weeks, the abortion was a three-day process. Step 1, explained Caylor, was to insert “the laminaria — seaweed dilators placed in the cervix to create a hole big enough for a dead baby to be removed.”
Once outside the facility, “Marina kept trying to get through to me,” recalled Stout. “She wouldn’t let up. ‘We can work this out,’ she said. ‘You’re going to show your daughter what a strong woman you are.”
Stout already had a young daughter being cared for by her parents. But that wasn’t all: She had lost her job, fallen off the clean-and-sober road, and become homeless before returning home. Now Marina was assuring her this abortion could still be reversed.
“I don’t even like to confront a fly,” said Cortopassi of her stance by that facility. “I felt nervous and tense, but the Holy Spirit was guiding and pushing me along the whole way.”
Simultaneously, Caylor was trying to find a doctor to intervene to save the baby. “The battle for me was finding a doctor who would take her,” she said. “I don’t think it’s ever been done in Vegas before. I don’t think they knew it could be done — and most pro-life people don’t know it could be done. But I knew it could be.”
Caylor said the time frame was small, only about six hours to remove the laminaria. After several “Nos,” Caylor got the First Choice folks together to pray because Stout hadn’t agreed to reverse the process.
“It was miraculous how God worked the whole thing out,” said Caylor. “The phone rang. Two different doctors said they would help — one would call the Emergency Room and explain what to do.”
Seconds later Cortopassi called to say Stout and her family decided against the abortion. They were off to St. Rose Dominican Hospital’s Sienna Campus in Henderson. So was Caylor, saying the first step was to pray over Stout and her baby. After all, the battle wasn’t over.
The doctor scanned the baby’s heart to make sure it was still beating since Stout didn’t know if the heart had been injected with medication to stop it. Yes, the baby’s heart was beating.
However, the attempt to remove the laminaria failed. The ER doctor thought it was too late. But then, over the phone, the ER doctor got another doctor’s direction for a second attempt.
It proved successful. The laminaria were out. Stout felt better, filled with hope and peace. Five hours had passed.
Next, Caylor found an ob-gyn willing to accept a high-risk mother. Two days later, the doctor was noticeably pleased the baby’s heartbeat was strong.
Baby Claire is due next month. And her mother?
“I feel totally excited and completely blessed now, given a second chance,” she said. “It was a big wake-up call not only for me but for my family, where we stand with our belief with God, faith and when life begins.”
Stout described how God healed the whole family — her mother, father and other young daughter they were raising for her — and pulled them together as a family. Stout added that with the grace of God, literally overnight, she lost all desire to get high and was freed from addiction.
Caylor called God’s restoration of this family a miracle.
“They went in 18 hours from thinking of taking this baby’s life to being thrilled and realizing what a gift this little baby is from God,” she said.
Stout remembered, “When I first met Pam at the ER that day reversing the abortion, she knew my history and still never judged me. The woman embraced me as just a pregnant mommy.”
Stout further explained that she didn’t know where to turn, nor was she aware of the brutality done to the baby in an abortion. She said the business lied to her about the high number of laminaria they used – 13 instead of the usual 3.
Now, as a mission, she wants to share her story with other women to encourage them to take an ultrasound instead of getting an abortion.
Both Caylor and Kathleen Miller, pro-life coordinator for the Diocese of Las Vegas, indicated that there are pro-life people and doctors who don’t realize some abortions, although started, can be reversed. As in the case with Stout, women generally make a choice to do late-term abortions out of desperation, feeling they have no other option.
“It took a little for Jamie to open her mind to the possibility it wasn’t too late,” said Miller. “But Marina had the courage to approach her neighbor, telling her there are other options, and we’re here and willing to help.”
She advised sidewalk counselors to offer help to noticeably pregnant women who walk in then walk back out of abortion centers still noticeably pregnant.
“It isn’t over till it’s over,” said Caylor, who finds this reversal exceptionally inspiring considering First Choice already saves well over 2,000 babies a year in Las Vegas.
“Be open to God speaking to you and intervening,” she advises. Tell the woman coming out of the facility it’s not too late: “We can reverse this. Don’t be afraid to fight those demons of death and murder till the last second.”
Staff writer Joseph Pronechen is based in Trumbull, Connecticut.