The gentlebirth.org website is provided courtesy of
Ronnie Falcao, LM MS, a homebirth midwife in Mountain View, CA
If you are
NOTE - Significant portions of this web page are out of date; it is retained here for archival purposes for use by professionals only.
Others are referred to:
- This site is dedicated to helping parents and families of children with
congenital hydrocephalus. In addition to the usual medical definitions
of what hydrocephalus is, we focus on how to take care of these children
at home. We provide information on many aspects of hydrocephalus . . .
This website was created by a Mom with the help of doctors, therapists
and parents of children with hydrocephalus to provide a place where parents
can find information on the care that is needed for these wonderful children.
Everything is explained in plain English, in terms that the average person
can understand without a medical background.
According to Dr. William F. Harrison, a diplomate of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology writing in the Arkansas _Times_ a weekly newspaper, "approximately 1 in 2000 fetuses develop hydrocephalus while in the womb." Usually not discovered until LATE in the second trimester, "it is not unusual for the fetal head to be as large as 50 centimeters (nearly 20 inches) in diameter and may contain ... close to two gallons ... of cerebrospinal fluid." (The average *adult* skull is about 7 to 8" in diameter.)
Studies show that most elective abortions occur in the first trimester. Second or third trimester abortions are usually because of birth defects or danger to the mother.
Dr. Harrison says the partial birth and the "draining" of the fetus' skull is actually drawing off of this fluid from the brain area of the fetus. The collapsing of the fetal skull is to allow the removal without the brutal rupturing of a woman's uterine passage or necessitating a classic cesarean section that poses its own dangers to a woman and any future pregnancies. The fetus with severe hydrocephalus cannot live and we wish someone would let people like Ralph Reed, Orin Hatch, Pat Robertson, and Pope John Paul II know that they are condemning women to death for no reason - no reason except their damned puny male egos.
Approximately 500 women face this procedure each year. Mild to moderate
hydrocephalus can be sometimes be treated in utero and the fetus saved,
and some very mild cases can be delivered and treated after birth. Those
which have advanced or severe hydrocephalus cannot. Without the "partial
birth" abortions, their births can easily kill their mothers with no chance
of fetal survival.
For those women who have discovered catastrophic problems with their pregnancies and have decided to terminate the pregnancy rather than risk death due their own medical condition or otherwise tragic result in carrying a pregnancy to term . . . there is some good information at the web pages of the Boulder Abortion Clinic. "Our purpose is to provide the safest possible abortion care and termination of pregnancies for fetal anomalies or medical indications. We provide this care for women in a confidential, humane, and dignified outpatient setting giving the maximum emotional and social support."
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