A Minnesota state senator who recently gave birth to twin boys says her faith and pro-life beliefs prevented her from aborting one of them after doctors suggested it.
Minnesota state Sen. Julia Coleman gave birth to twin boys, Charles and James, on May 18 at 33 weeks and brought them home in June, capping an uncertain series of weeks that involved Charles developing Selective Intrauterine Growth Restriction (sIUGR), which occurs when twins are sharing unequal portions of the placenta.
"At one point, doctors told us we could increase James' chance of survival if we killed Charles. Jacob and I both insistently said: 'That's not on the table.' We were never going to choose between our kids. We're incredibly pro-life," she said. "That's when you lean on your faith, and you trust that God has a bigger plan."
Julia and her husband, Jacob, now have three young children – all boys. Jacob is a firefighter. His father is former U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman.
A March scan, she said, revealed Charles was "severely growth restricted." The outlook was bleak.
"Keep in mind he and James are identical twins, so [they] should be the same size," she wrote at CaringBridge.org. "At that scan, we learned James was in the 95th percentile, and Charles' abdominal measurements were only in the 7th percentile (anything below the 10th is a red flag), showing his organ growth was starting to take a dangerous hit. He was also showing issues with blood flow, and the issue with their fluid levels kept going back and forth.
"We were given a grim outlook for Charles, which could result in the death of one or both boys," she added.
A month later, though, another scan revealed what she described as a "miracle." Charles was out of the "red zone" and in the 13th percentile.
She credited the prayers of others.
"The boys are defying all expectations, all statistics, all odds against them," she wrote in April. "We are firm in our belief that it is the countless people praying for them that is making this a reality."
Photo courtesy: ©Julia Coleman Twitter
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.