Daily Dispatches

Vital Signs: Doctors save baby after 20-week ultrasound reveals a heart defect


Early detection. Tina Morton’s routine 20-week ultrasound revealed something more serious than her daughter's gender: Baby Addison had a serious heart defect that required immediate treatment, the Miami Herald reported. 

The Mortons found a team of doctors at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Hollywood, Fla., to develop a post-birth treatment plan using echocardiography and other hi-tech diagnostic tools. Dr. Kak-Chen Chan, chief of pediatric cardiology at DiMaggio’s Heart Institute, told the Miami Herald that heart defects can be identified as early as 12 weeks, when the baby’s heart is smaller than a nickel. 

Addison received open heart surgery for a malfunctioning left ventricle 10 days after her birth. Though she may need another procedure, Addison is now a healthy 5-month old baby. 

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Addison’s story isn’t uncommon thanks to medical advances, Dr. John Rhodes Jr., director of cardiology at Miami Children’s Hospital, told the Miami Herald. Babies born with heart diseases can now receive less invasive treatment, therapy, and preventative care. 

Alleged assault. A pro-life demonstration at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) turned violent earlier this month when a feminist studies professor allegedly stole a sign and attacked a demonstrator attempting to retrieve it. 

A group of 11 activists with Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust, mostly Thomas Aquinas College students, held a pro-life demonstration March 4 in the university’s “free speech zone.” They displayed graphic abortion signs and distributed pamphlets while attempting to engage UCSB students in conversation. 

Mireille Miller-Young, an associate professor who specializes in black cultural studies, pornography, and sex work, led a counter-demonstration with UCSB students chanting “take down this sign.” She then allegedly stole a sign and left with a group of students. One of the demonstrators, 16-year-old Thrin Short, followed Young and videoed the confrontation. When she attempted to stop Young from using an elevator, Young allegedly assaulted her, leaving scratches on Short’s arms. Santa Barbara law enforcement officials are investigating the incident.

Bills passed. Pro-life legislators successfully carried bills in three states last week. 

The West Virginia legislature passed a 20-week abortion ban March 8, making it the first legislature controlled by Democrats to pass a fetal pain bill, The Washington Post reported. The bill’s opponents have questioned its constitutionality, and Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said that must be settled before he decides whether to sign it, Metro News reported. The bill allows exceptions for cases involving fetal abnormalities or threats to the mother’s health. The bill also requires abortionists to report all procedures to the Department of Health and Human Resources and stipulates an annual abortion statistics report starting in 2016.

South Dakota’s state legislature gave final approval March 11 to a bill that bans abortions sought because of a baby’s gender. The measure, if signed by Gov. Dennis Daugaard, would make it a Class 6 felony, carrying a maximum penalty of two years in prison and a $4,000 fine, for an abortionist to knowingly perform or attempt a gender-motivated abortion.

In Michigan, a new law took effect March 13 requiring residents or businesses wanting health insurance coverage for abortions to buy extra coverage. The law is intended to keep taxpayer-subsidized plans on Michigan’s new insurance marketplace from covering abortions, an option for states under the federal healthcare law. But it also applies to insurance coverage obtained outside the exchange. State officials say seven of Michigan’s 45 insurers, including giant Blue Cross Blue Shield, will sell supplemental abortion policies to small and large employers.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Courtney Crandell
Courtney Crandell

Courtney is a Virginia journalist. Follow her on Twitter @CourtneyLeeC.


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