A Mississippi woman who had just learned she was pregnant walked into the state's only abortion clinic Wednesday but left hours later with a newborn girl.
"I've been here 18 years and I've never seen that happen," Shannon Brewer, director of the Jackson Women's Health Clinic, told WJTV.
The woman, whose name and age were not disclosed, came to the clinic after first learning she was pregnant only a few days earlier, Brewer told WLBT.
"She did not receive an ultrasound or anything. She did not know how far along she was," Brewer told the station. "When I see especially young women, it's kinda hard. Either they're keeping it hidden or they didn't know, but they don't have the proper health care."
The woman had gone to the clinic to have an ultrasound and determine how far along she was, not to terminate the pregnancy, Brewer told WLBT.
The clinic does not perform abortions after 16 weeks, according to the Clarion-Ledger, although current state law allows abortions at up to 20 weeks. State lawmakers have moved to ban abortions after 15 weeks, but that new law is on hold after legal challenges, according to The New York Times.
Brewer told WJTV when a doctor went to check on the woman, he suddenly "asked us to call 911, instructed us that they patient was fixing to deliver."
Paramedics were called, and an ambulance rushed to the building — but the baby was born before they got there.
"She was kind of in shock ... pretty startled," Brewer told WAPT. "But our doctor and our staff, they reassured her that she would be OK and that everything was, you know, fine."
The doctor cut the umbilical cord, cleared the baby’s airway and bundled her in a blanket before sending the mom and child to the hospital, according to WAPT. Brewer told the station they both were doing fine.
Protestors outside the clinic were joyous on hearing news of the baby's birth.
"At first we didn't realize it was a live child and we're really excited for a live child to be born here because we're here week after week and what we see is women leaving here after having an abortion," Dana Chisholm, with Pro-Life Mississippi, told WJTV. The group told the station they were reaching out to offer financial support and referrals to the new mom.