STANTON, Ky. — When Heather and Nicholas Maberry found out that the baby they were pregnant with, who they named Willow, wouldn’t survive because of a severe condition, they attempted to seek options within Kentucky to induce labor so they could have the opportunity to say goodbye to her. However, because of the state’s strict abortion laws, that was not possible for them.

What You Need To Know

  • Heather and Nicholas Maberry were expecting a daughter named Willow. During the pregnancy, Heather was experiencing health issues that landed her in the hospital

  • At approximately 20 weeks, they discovered Willow had a severe condition that she would not have survived

  • The couple wanted to induce labor so that they could get the chance to hold Willow and say goodbye to her, but because of Kentucky’s abortion laws, they had to look for out-of-state options

  • They had to travel to Chicago to get the abortion. Because of what she went through, Heather wants to see a change in Kentucky with its abortion laws

About 20 weeks into Heather’s pregnancy, her doctor informed the couple that Willow had anencephaly and was missing her brain.

“We were devastated,” said Heather. “We didn’t know what to do. We prayed for that baby, we wanted her.”

Because of health complications that Heather was experiencing during her pregnancy, and knowing that Willow would not survive, the couple decided ending the pregnancy was the best course of action. They had to look for out-of-state options, which meant they couldn’t afford to induce labor to hold their baby. The couple ended up traveling to Chicago for the abortion.

“We asked if we could have her body. They wouldn’t give it to us,” said Heather. “All they gave us was a picture of her footprints.”

Because of this experience, Heather wants to see a change in Kentucky.

“We need to change the laws for our daughters, our future daughters, our sisters, our nieces, you know, we have to be the change,” said Heather. “We’re the voices, we’re the ones going through this.”

Heather believes that people facing a similar situation should be able to access an abortion in the state. She hopes that by sharing her story she can bring awareness about an issue that she says she wouldn’t want anyone else to go through.