Why this mom’s abortion decision challenged her family’s religious beliefs

Jun 27, 2022, 6:06 PM | Updated: 8:19 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — A mother of three is sharing her heartbreaking experience of losing a baby. She hopes her personal story will encourage compassion, pointing out that abortion decisions are nuanced.

Juliet Nielsen was eager to welcome her fourth child into the world when a checkup flagged a problem. She and her husband would later come to learn that it was “the absolute worst news you could ever receive about your baby.”

The baby had serious physical deformities that he couldn’t survive, like major organs developing outside his body.

Nielsen previously had a life-threatening miscarriage, so doctors suggested an abortion. She called the procedure “emotional and devastating.”

“Being a member of the LDS church, it was a really hard thing for me to do,” she said, “to make the choice to have my baby taken out before his heart had stopped beating. I’ve just been taught my entire life that that was wrong and immoral.”

Nielsen said the process has challenged the beliefs of some of her “unequivocally pro-life” family members.

She shared her story on Facebook and Instagram; more than 20,000 people have liked the post.

The Nielsens live in Delaware, but Juliet and her husband went to Utah Valley University and Brigham Young University, respectively. They still have family in Utah.

The mom is a supporter of abortion rights, saying real people are in circumstances we’ve never experienced.

“I think the situations that necessitate an abortion are far too nuanced and complicated to be covered under any law,” Nielsen said. “I would just love to see people be more compassionate with each other and more loving and understanding, that not all decisions are black and white.”

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Why this mom’s abortion decision challenged her family’s religious beliefs