SYDNEY (CBS Atlanta) — An Australian couple is refusing to abort their unborn child who has two faces and two brains despite doctors’ advice to do so.
Renee Young and Simon Howie of Sydney tell Australia’s 9 News that their child will be born with a condition known as craniofacial hyperhidrosis.
“Shocked, confused, a little bit of everything … I wasn’t sure how to take in what he was explaining to me,” Howie said.
The child is seemingly normal below the neck. According to 9 News, the unborn child has one body with all its vital organs and two legs and two arms. Above the neck, though, is a different story. The child has two faces on one skull with two brains sharing on brain stem. Each face has its own set of eyes, nose and a mouth.
Howie said the doctors told them to abort the child “because it would be looked upon as a freak.”
“We’ve got a really big family, we don’t really involve ourselves in the community except for schools where the children are,” Howie, who is a father of seven, told 9 News. “We have a good family base … it gives us a lot of support.”
It’s not known how long the child would leave after birth. There have been a reported 35 cases worldwide of this type of condition, with no survivors.
“If I only get two days with the baby, I only get two days with the baby,” Young told 9 News. “At least I have some time with it.”
This case comes as a new U.S. study finds that the abortion rate is at its lowest point since 1973, when the procedure was legalized.
According to The Washington Post, a Guttmacher Institute study that there were fewer than 17 abortions for every 1,000 women in 2011, which is down 13 percent from 2008.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that there were 765,651 legally induced abortions in 2010.