Minnesota’s youngest state senator was encouraged by doctors to have an abortion earlier this year. She rejected their advice and happily gave birth to identical twin boys, Charles and James, in May.
In a recent interview with The Catholic Spirit, Julia Coleman, a Republican who represents District 47 in Minnesota’s upper chamber, explains that doctors informed her that Charles was not developing properly and that he had selective intrauterine growth restriction (sIUGR), a life-threatening diagnosis.
“At one point, [they] told us we could increase James’ chance of survival if we killed Charles,” she told the outlet.
“[My husband] Jacob and I both insistently said: ‘That’s not on the table.’ We were never going to choose between our kids. We’re incredibly pro-life.”
Charles and James were born prematurely by C-section at 33 weeks, and spent 27 days in the intensive care unit at Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis.
“We didn’t know if the boys were going to make it more than a few minutes or hours upon their birth. The doctor has since told me that there were times she looked at their scans and didn’t think they’d ever make it home. I’m so grateful.”
Coleman, 29, is the daughter-in-law of former U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman. She and her husband now have three children, including her eldest boy Adam. She says that the last several months have helped her grow as a person.
“There’s a perspective you gain, having children stare death in the eye, and to be granted a miracle,” she said. “Your connection to your faith is stronger. You trust everything will work out. I feel more capable. Once you’ve faced the scariest situation you can face — losing a child — not much else looks scary.
“Prayer is an essential part of motherhood,” she further added. “In times of real struggle, my husband and I turn to the Infant Jesus of Prague novena. It has helped us focus on putting our faith in God and surrendering, saying, ‘I trust in you’ and then shutting off the worry.”
Click here to read Senator Coleman’s blog on the status of her twins as of July 17.
Stephen Kokx, M.A., is a journalist for LifeSiteNews. He previously worked for the Archdiocese of Chicago under the late Francis Cardinal George. A former community college instructor, Stephen has written and spoken extensively about Catholic social teaching and politics. His essays have appeared in such outlets as Catholic Family News and CatholicVote.org.