In 1978, Tina Huffman was a pregnant, unwed 17-year-old from a broken, dysfunctional home. Her mom and dad, as well as her boyfriend's parents, adamantly insisted she had only one option. She was told her life would be ruined if she had a baby at the age of seventeen. She was offered no alternative to abortion. At approximately 10 weeks gestation, Tina was asked to sign a waiver and pay $150 in cash. She was then given a valium and asked to lie on her back, next to a suction machine. When the suction started Tina recalls, "my body started to vibrate. I felt my insides being pulled out, all of them."
She told the accompanying nurse, "I am dying!" The abortionist responded "empty your bladder." Next came the curette, a loop-shaped knife used to scrape out the remains of an unborn child. Once the abortion was presumably finished, the nurse remarked to Tina in surprise, "You're not bleeding" and proceeded to send Tina home with birth control pills and antibiotics.
After 2 months of sickness, Tina informed her regular physician about the abortion. Her physician examined her carefully and told her the abortion had failed. He also told her to get an attorney.
Tina's days were now filled with anguish over the well-being of her child. Fear gripped her heart. She could not forget the powerful suction machine tearing at her baby. "Why is my baby still alive?" she asked herself. "What is it's destiny?" In the months to follow, Tina's fear increased when three amniocenteses produced blood instead of amniotic fluid.
Distraught, Tina took her receipts, waiver and grievance to a lawyer, who contacted the clinic that performed Tina's abortion. When told by clinic personnel that Tina's file was misplaced, the attorney told Tina he could do nothing more.
At 28 weeks gestation Tina was given an oxytocin challenge exam, with a positive result and a labour was induced. When her baby's heart rate dropped, her doctor performed an emergency C-section and the result was a beautiful baby girl 3lbs, 3ozs and 15 inches long. Tin's physician termed the baby "a miracle." She had survived with minimal placenta and minimal amniotic fluid.
Today, Heidi is a beautiful, energy-charged adolescent who loves slumber parties and pizza.
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