Danielle Deaver Denied Abortion Even as Uterus Crushed Fetus


Consulting their lawyers, the Deavers' doctors said it would be impossible to induce because the fetus still had a heartbeat and the mother's life was in no immediate danger.

The exceptions to the law were unclear, according to Dr. Todd Pankrazt, who was Danielle's obstetrician/gynecologist.

"The risk of the baby developing an infection and the placenta coming out were real," said Pankrazt. "The mom was also at risk for an infection."

He said that a year ago, granting Danielle Deaver's wishes would "not have been an issue," and he could have induced labor for a vaginal birth.

"This is not at all a partial birth abortion," said Pankrazt. "She could deliver and hold the baby and do all those things.

"With the change in the law, we were advised by three different lawyers that if we did this, we would be held to the fullest extent of the law, which meant loss of license," he said. "Without having any case precedent risk of a law like that, [it] tied everybody's hands."

Under the law, doctors could face felony charges, five years in prison and a $10,000 fine by authorizing the procedure.

On Dec. 8, Daniel delivered 1-pound, 10-ounce Elizabeth, who survived only 15 minutes outside the womb. Now, three months later, Danielle Deaver has contacted Planned Parenthood. She said that so far she is not contemplating a challenged to the law.

"Part of how I am dealing with this is speaking out," she said. "I hope to help someone else who is going through this awful situation. ... I don't know at what point a baby feels pain. But if that is the argument for the basis of 20 weeks, how could they let my baby go through this?"

"It was an awful thing we had to do," she said. "This should not have been news. It should have been between just my doctor, my husband and myself, privately, in his office."

The Deavers have not taken a public stand on abortion, they said, and don't consider that to be the issue.

"That's why this law is so frustrating," she said. "We don't want to say what our politics are. It doesn't matter and it's irrelevant."

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