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Parents sue hospital over failed abortion

Preborn human at about 16 weeks - estimated time of the attempted abortion of Elisa.

Italian parents Giuseppe and Aurora Bellandi are suing the hospital that failed to abort their daughter Elisa 15 years ago, claiming psychological trauma. At 43 years old, Mrs. Bellandi began hemorrhaging and doctors explained that she had an ovarian fibroma which had to be removed. When she went in for the operation, doctors discovered she was pregnant.

The doctors called Mr. Bellandi and told him that his wife was miscarrying and needed an abortion to save her life. He agreed. However, one month later, they realized she was still pregnant, but she was beyond 21 weeks gestation (about 5 months) so it was too late for an abortion in Italy.

The couple told The Daily Mail that they were devastated by this because the pregnancy would be dangerous and the baby could have brain damage because of the failed abortion. In addition, they felt Mr. Bellandi’s job did not pay well enough to support all three of them. Mrs. Bellandi was ill throughout the pregnancy and the family went into debt during that time.

“We were told that we had to have an abortion,” Giuseppe Bellandi told The Daily Mail. “Other couples who get pregnant get to decide if they will keep it or not. We didn’t get to decide anything. They told us – first ‘You’re pregnant and you must have an abortion.’ Then, ‘You can’t have an abortion’. They decided everything. As they decided everything, they should bear the responsibility.”

Meanwhile, their daughter has always known she was a “mistake” and says she supports her parents 100% and has always felt loved.

In 2008 the couple received 120,000 Euro in damages after suing the doctors for physical harm to the mother. But they claim they are still struggling financially due to a lack of work for Mr. Bellandi and a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease for Mrs. Bellandi. They are seeking one million Euro to help pay for Elisa’s education and provide her with a better lifestyle. Their son Marco, who is 34 years old, sends his family money each month to help, and he often takes his sister shopping for clothing.

While the parents insist they are only trying to care for their daughter whom they love, they did have a choice in whether or not to abort their daughter. They also had the choice of placing her for adoption if they were not financially able to care for her as they claim.

In addition, it’s hard to see Elisa as a mistake instead of a miracle. For a child to survive an apparent miscarriage, then an abortion, then rebound after being born not breathing, and then develop properly despite the doctors’ concern that she would have brain damage, is nothing but a miracle – or one miracle after another.

According to The Daily Mail, the family has been offered 60,000 Euro from the hospital, but have refused it, saying they want at least twice that amount. Hospital lawyers argue that the Bellandis never wanted an abortion and therefore aren’t owed any money from the hospital.

“The doctors try and make us feel guilty for making a case,” said Mr. Bellandi. “They made a mistake. They brought her into the world. If they do an examination [after the abortion], as they say they did, how was she born? What did they examine? A rabbit? […] She is a smart, beautiful girl. She is a leader among her friends. She is not the problem. They are the problem.”

While opinions on this case vary, no one should ever wish for a dead child over a healthy one.

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