Great Britain

Three families viewers in tears as the mother of an unborn baby with heart in wrong place is refused a termination

THREE Families viewers were left in tears over the story of 40-year-old Rosie Fortress’ much-wanted baby with her heart in the wrong place.

Doctors refused to help Rosie get a termination, even though her unborn baby had a syndrome “incompatible with life.”

Based on true stories, Rosie battled with abortion rights in Northern Island.

Startled but excited about becoming a mother in her 40s, Rosie told the nurse: “I never thought this would happen for me.”

But Rosie made a heart-breaking discovery.

The doctor said: “The scan shows clenched fists…cysts on her brain… her stomach is sitting on her rib cage on top of her lungs and her heart is on the wrong side of her body.”

Rosie’s baby was confirmed to have full Edwards syndrome.

The doctor said: “The syndrome is incompatible with life.”

He added: “If she survives her birth, she will be in a lot of pain.”

Viewers were devastated for Rosie and took to Twitter to share their reactions.

One said: “Another tough night in store watching #ThreeFamilies a diagnosis of Edwards Syndrome in a much-wanted pregnancy.”

A second wrote: “The trauma Rosie is experiencing due to lack of abortion care in Northern Ireland is deeply distressing to watch.”

Another penned: “Rosie bless her. Heart-breaking scene there.”

The midwife advised: “You can go to the mainland, Manchester or Liverpool it’s what all the women do, what we’ve always done.”

Battling with abortion rights, Rosie’s husband researched that Northern Island allowed a “termination” if the mother’s life is at risk.

It also allowed a termination if a pregnancy effected the physical and mental health of the mother, which is either long-term or permanent.

Rosie's husband confirmed: “Rosie that’s you.”

However, despite Rosie’s history of depression, she was told: “abortion on mental health grounds is really in practice, not possible.”

Rosie exclaimed: “But I am carrying a baby with no chance of life” and asked the doctor "what if I was suicidal?"

But the doctor said they must work with government guidelines.

Later, Rosie is seen getting an ultrasound which she asked: “She’s gone isn’t she, I felt it, the moment she died. I felt her go”.

The nurse confirmed: “The birth will be induced” and “you will be taken to the bereavement suite.”

A devastated Rosie talked about the struggle of carrying a baby that is already dead and break down into tears.

Three Families is available to stream on BBC iPlayer.

Robert Powell stars as Mark Williams in BBC medical drama Holby City

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