The Andersons were devastated to learn their unborn child wouldn't live. Dr. Tiller showed them the compassion they so badly wished they had from their friends.
Gail would be forced to deliver her child through c-section, as the stress of a traditional birth would be too much for their baby's body to handle. Their baby would need to be on life-support machines for months until able to have the surgeries required that could repair the damage of the child's suffocated heart and remove the masses from the undeveloped lung. As painful was it was for the Andersons to hear that this child they wanted so badly might not live even after the surgeries intended to repair damage, they were forced to make a decision that not only challenged their personal strength, but where they fit into their Catholic faith.
After a frank discussion with their specialist, they decided that not only did the quality of life of their unborn child need to be questioned, but the life expectancy even if surgeries were successful. There were no guarantees and one day, one month or one year could be added to the life of their child, but not much more than that. After discussing every option available to them, the decision to visit Dr. George Tiller's office in Kansas to have a late-term abortion was made. Both Andersons sunk into a depression, feeling as if they were losing both their child and their religion.
On the wall of their living room, next to a crucifix and a painting of the Virgin Mary and St. Brigid of Ireland, is a plaque that holds on it two tiny footprints.
"They do not just look at this as being abortion mills - the staff," Robert says, looking up at the footprints of their baby Grace.
"She was real. They made her real for us. Those footprints were Dr. Tiller's idea. He wasn't a man with crazed eyes anticipating the kill like some anti-abortion activists would like you to picture. He understood the difficult position we were in. He allowed us to still have a piece of the family we wanted. He even called the baby by her name, by Grace."
Edited 12/7/2009 9:50 am ET by mom_carmina