Hobart guests were left stunned and shaken by the admission that an obstetrician felt it was her duty to force a Melbourne couple into having an abortion after tests revealed their baby had a fatal chromosomal condition.
Ella was diagnosed with Trisomy 18, also known as Edward’s Syndrome at 10 weeks, but born perfectly healthy after the couple repeatedly refused termination up to 37 weeks.
Asked on Saturday night during at interview at the Emily’s Voice dinner if the doctor ever apologised, mum Yvette Ozkavak said the obstetrician said it was her job “to back you into a corner” when the tests revealed an abnormality. The doctor also admitted that her motivation to abort was fear of possible legal action.
“I thought your job was to care for me and our baby,’’ Yvette replied.
Yvette said she was concerned at the lack of accountability for privately-run IVF clinics and medical practices.
“How many embryos are destroyed because the test is wrong?”
They were told there was a 99% chance of Ella having Trisomy 18, despite repeated ultrasounds showing no developmental problems.
The clinic insists the test results on the placenta conclusively show Trisomy 18.
Yvette and Mali felt pressured into having the tests because, at 45, she was considered an older mother. They agreed because the doctor said they would be able to determine the baby’s sex. They never had any intention of having an abortion.
Yvette said the test results and subsequent pressure to abort made for a stressful pregnancy.
More than 160 guests attended the Glorious Life dinner at C3 Convention Centre. The event was sponsored by Abundant Life Church, Bargain Car Rental and C3 Church, and raised $28,000 for Emily’s Voice life media campaigns in Tasmania.
Emily’s Voice CEO Paul O’Rourke said the government spent tens of millions of dollars annually on public awareness campaigns to prevent heart disease, cancer, road accident deaths, drowning and suicide, yet abortion claimed more Australian lives than most of these combined.
He said the truthful, compelling, hopeful ads had changed attitudes in Tasmania, particularly among those aged under 25.
“We are trying to make abortion unthinkable by showing it’s unhealthy, unhelpful, unreasonable and unnecessary.’’
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