From: Danica
To: Patrice Arent, Scott Sandall, David Lifferth, Jack Draxler, Edward Redd, Curt Webb, Jacob Anderegg, Justin Fawson, Gage Froerer, Jeremy Peterson, Dixon Pitcher, Brad Dee, Mike Schultz, Paul Ray, Curtis Oda, Brad Wilson, Steve Handy, Stewart Barlow, Timothy D. Hawkes, Raymond Ward, Becky Edwards, Doug Sagers, Susan Duckworth, Sandra Hollins, Rebecca Houck, Joel Briscoe, Angela Romero, Mike Kennedy, Brian King, Lee Perry, Fred Cox, Sophia DiCaro, LaVar Christensen, Craig Hall, Johnny Anderson, Mark A. Wheatley, Patrice Arent, Carol Moss, Eric Hutchings, Jim Dunnigan, Lynn Hemingway, Daniel McCay, Kim Coleman, Earl Tanner, Bruce Cutler, Steve Eliason, Marie Poulson, Ken Ivory, Keven John Stratton, Robert Spendlove, Richard Cunningham, Greg Hughes, John Knotwell, Melvin Brown, Kraig Powell, Scott H. Chew, Kay Christofferson, Brian Greene, Derrin Owens, Val Peterson, Bradley Daw, Keith Grover, Jon Stanard, Dean Sanpei, Norm Thurston, Francis Gibson, Michael McKell, Marc Roberts, Merrill Nelson, Brad King, Kay Mciff, Brad Last, John Westwood, mnoel, Lowry Snow, Don Ipson,
Subject: Please Vote Against SB 234, Protecting Unborn Children, To Protect Mothers Like Myself
Date: Tue Mar 08 21:16:22 MST 2016
Dear Representatives,

I’m writing to you as a concerned citizen, licensed clinical social worker, but more importantly, as a mother, whose life would have been significantly altered and permanently damaged, if Senate Bill 234, Protecting Unborn Children, proposed by Senator Curtis Bramble is passed.

I’m already blessed to be the mother of a healthy 3 year old boy, and I had no reason to believe my second pregnancy, with my daughter would be any different.  In January 2015, however, my life was changed forever.  Prior to January, I had an early ultrasound in my pregnancy which was normal, an optional cell-free DNA test that showed no trisomy defects, as well as regular, routine prenatal care.  However, at my routine 20 week ultrasound, which shows the anatomical structures of the baby, my life was shattered when I was informed by a physician at my Maternal Fetal Medicine Clinic, that my daughter was dying due to a number of medical conditions (Arnold Chiari II malformation, Hydrocephalus, Obstructive Outlet Disorder & Anhydramnios).  My daughter's brain and spine conditions caused her kidneys not to function, her stomach was extremely distended due to urine backup thus giving her only a tiny pocket of amniotic fluid left, which was barely covering her face.  Her life was ending and there was no medical intervention to remedy any condition she had. Faced with such devastating news, we came in two days later for a second opinion and it was confirmed our daughter would die in a matter of days.  Of the options we had, either surgical removal, waiting for her to die in the next few days, or to induce labor, we chose to induce labor in hopes of meeting our daughter and holding her.  The choices presented to us and the decision we made should only have ever been our choice to make, and what we felt best for our family, without any requirements imposed on us by the State of Utah. On January 27, 2015 at 1:15 p.m., my daughter, Ingrid, weighing only 11 ounces, was born.  For the next 3 ½ hours she lived. During this time, my husband and I were able to hold her, take pictures of her, and be with our daughter.  Every single moment of this time with her was incredibly precious to us.  If, as SB 234 requires, I would have been required to have general anesthesia or my daughter would have had to have general anesthesia, we would have been robbed of this time as I would have likely been incoherent when she was born, or the anesthesia would have had great effects on her. The thought of this is devastating. I cannot in words tell you what each second of this time meant to us; but knowing that we would not have had it with her or time would be reduced with her because a Utah law would have required anesthesia to my child who did not have pain, would have been nothing short of a crime against us and truly devastating. The time we had with her helped us to honor her, and grieve her. We were an intact family for those brief hours. This bill does not consider mothers like myself, who find out their much loved and wanted child is dying at only 20 weeks gestation, and precious seconds after birth are all we have. This bill assaults and compounds our grief and would rob mothers of time with their dying baby. This should never happen.

I plead with you to support grieving mothers like myself and to vote against SB 234. As data indicates that 99% of abortions in the state of Utah take place in the first trimester, this bill will cause undue harm to mothers like myself and families, who find our their child cannot live and are simply trying to spend every precious second they can with their dying child.

Please vote against this bill to protect mothers like myself.

Danica Richins, LCSW