A Texas A cancer victim who suffered three miscarriages was barred from terminating a wanted pregnancy in her home state when the fetus was found to be too disabled to survive.
Kylie Despain, 28, and her husband were forced to make the 10-hour trip to New Mexico in February, after a 16-week scan, their son Finley was found to have a life-threatening condition called triploidy.
Carrying the pregnancy to term would have put Despain at risk of potentially fatal complications, but Texas’ so-called abortion bill bans almost all abortions except those vaguely defined as “medical emergencies.”
DeSpan was told she didn’t meet those criteria, and instead made the long journey to a neighboring state, where pro-life protesters declared her a murderer upon arrival at an abortion clinic.
Her doctors advised her to end the marriage after her 16-week ultrasound revealed that her son Finley would not survive due to several serious medical conditions.
The couple were devastated by the news, but decided to terminate the pregnancy to prevent potentially life-threatening complications.
Now, Despaigne continues to share her story and fight for women’s rights, claiming that she “will not know a single day of peace until I am able to control my own body and everything that happens inside it, in a state that I once loved.”
Kylie Despain from Texas battled cervical cancer and had three failed pregnancies before conceiving her ‘miracle’ Finley
DeSpain had three failed pregnancies and battled cervical cancer before she found out she was carrying her “miracle” baby Finley.
Because of previous grief and complications, she and her husband remained cautious after finding out she was pregnant for the fourth time.
Despite the initial concern about the hCG hormone levels, the pregnancy went well.
“Everything was fine, normal, healthy,” DeSpain shared on Facebook. “I found out he was a boy. Please, God. Let me bring my boy home alive.’
“I had so many ultrasounds because we were at high risk. It was the first one I was excited about. I finally had hope; I took Finley further than any of the others. My little warrior.”
DeSpain (pictured with her husband) was devastated when she and her husband learned, sixteen weeks into her pregnancy, that Finley was triploid and would not survive. He was also missing a kidney, had a valveless heart and a malformed brain
At 16 weeks pregnant, she and her husband learned that Finley had a rare condition called triploidy. He was also missing a kidney, had a valveless heart and a malformed brain.
She also claims she had high blood pressure and writes, “I was taken off the blood thinners that protected my body from autoimmune reactions.
“Now there was more of a chance that I might not make it and my husband looked at me with fear in his eyes and said he was NOT going to lose me either.”
Her doctors said Finley wouldn’t survive and she wouldn’t is likely to face dangerous complications if the pregnancy continues.
The National Library of Medicine notes that carrying a baby with triploidy can cause preeclampsia in the second trimester. The disease is often manifested by symptoms of high blood pressure and increased hCG levels.
Despain’s care team advised her to have an abortion, while noting that Texas law prohibits them from doing the procedure.
“They explained that I had no options in Texas, but it was very serious,” she wrote.
Because of Texas’ heartbeat bill, which prohibits abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, Despain and her husband had to drive 10 hours to New Mexico for the procedure. Finley’s remains (pictured) were then sent back to Texas
She and her husband drove 10 hours to the clinic in New Mexico where DeSpain had the abortion, but not before being met with hateful comments.
“I went to the clinic alone. I passed by people whose signs indicated that I was a murderer,” Despain said.
”Don’t kill your child!” – they shouted at me. “We have the resources!”
“My child has triploidy. He is DYING. He’s CHOKING, I yelled back. I was angry. I knew I was making the hardest choice of all, and that these people would never know what it was.”
She pointed out that anti-abortion protesters “didn’t even ask” before suggesting that she didn’t want the child she and her husband had worked so hard to conceive.
“They assumed I didn’t want the baby I’d been praying for for almost 8 years,” Despain wrote. “I knew that such people do not want to understand. Such people will never have a heart for someone like me.’
After the procedure, Finley’s ashes were sent back to Texas.
DeSpain first shared her story back in May following a draft SCOTUS opinion indicating the Supreme Court’s intention to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade case. She is pictured with her husband after they lost their baby in 2016
DeSpain first shared her story back in May after a draft SCOTUS opinion was leaked showing the Supreme Court’s intention to overturn the landmark 1973 case Roe v. Wade, which said abortion falls under the constitutional right to privacy.
Her message specifically called out those who have criticized her for seeking abortion and those who advocate criminalizing abortion.
“No one should have to share a story like mine to justify abortion,” she wrote.
“I didn’t need to bare my soul to your opinion for you to decide if I was one of the few women who you thought should be ‘allowed’ to have an abortion. It’s up to you to decide whether or not I fit into several categories of what you consider to be acceptable reasons for an abortion. For you to decide whether I am a murderer or not.
“I made my choice because it was the best for my baby, my body and my family. You are not the judge of my choice, and you are not happy to take away my rights.
She continued, “Your judgment stopped being good when it began to take away my ability to make decisions that were safe for me.
“Your judgment stopped being good when it supported the people in power who denied my doctors the ability to care for me in Texas.
“No one owes you their story,” Despains declared. “But I’ve given you mine in hopes that it will open your eyes to what people have done by supporting politicians who believe that abortion is a state right that is being taken away.
“Abortion should never have been politicized, but it was. The only thing I can ask of you is to vote with women like me in mind.”
Despain’s message gained renewed traction after SCOTUS officially overturned Roe v. Wade on June 24, automatically banning abortion in 18 US states because of specially designed “trigger laws” and historic bans that were automatically reinstated after the decision
Her message gained renewed traction after SCOTUS officially overturned Roe v. Wade on June 24, automatically banning abortion in 18 US states because of specially designed “trigger laws” and historic bans that were automatically reinstated after the ruling.
In Texas, where Despain lives, a law that would make abortion illegal in the state takes effect in less than two months.
The so-called trigger ban on abortion at any stage of pregnancy makes exceptions only to save the life of the mother or to prevent “substantial impairment of essential bodily functions.”
The law also makes abortion a serious crime.
DeSpan addressed the issue again on July 3, saying, “I will not rest one day until I can control my own body and everything that goes on inside it in a state that I love.”
Women who perform abortions will not face criminal charges, but anyone who helps a woman have an abortion can, and doctors who perform abortions face fines of up to $100,000 or life in prison.
“People have asked me why I keep sharing — why I don’t want peace for myself after losing our son,” Despain said in a July 3 post.
“My answer is this: I will not know a single day of rest until I can control my own body and everything that goes on inside it in the state I once loved.”
“Texas lawmakers have robbed me and many other people of feeling safe in this state. I won’t let anyone forget it.
“NO, I won’t stop talking about it. NO, I will not stop sharing the truth just because it hurts you to hear the truth that these lawmakers are out of control.