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Advised to abort, mother of quadruplets says, “I told him that we were keeping all four of them”

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No doubt doctors were sincere when they counseled Emma Robbins to abort some or all of the quadruplets she was carrying in 2011, but as often as they advised abortion, she responded, no way!

“Now she has all the proof she needed that her instinct was right,” writes Luke Salkeld of a British publication, The Daily Mail. “[F]our happy, healthy and utterly adorable one-year-olds.” Zachary, Joshua, Reuben and Sam celebrated their crowded birthday Saturday.

This story is all about utter determination and steely resolution but also about odds. The boys were conceived naturally. Odds on that? 750,000 to one!

Born on February 29? Odds of that  are 3.5 million to one (meaning the brothers will have a “true” birthday only once every four years).

And not four babies but two sets of twins! “While extremely rare, delivering two sets of identical twins isn’t unheard of,” Salkeld writes. “The odds of having non-identical twins are one in 80; with identical twins this rises to one in every 240 cases.”

Mrs. Robbins was already the mother of one son, three-year-old Luke. She was terribly sick in the morning and very large. When she went in for a sonogram at 10 weeks, a wide-eyed sonographer told Mrs. Robbins and her husband, Martin,  that she could see not just two babies but four. And not just four babies but two sets of identical twins!

By the very next visit hospital personnel were telling them they should think about terminating some—or all—of the babies.

“He said we had three options,” Mrs. Robbins told Salkeld. “We could terminate the pregnancy, reduce the pregnancy by terminating some of the embryos, or carry on.”

But “Instinctively I clutched my bump. An overwhelming sense of love rushed through me and I told him that we were keeping all four of them.”

This ritual was repeated over and over again, with increasing urgency. By the scan at twelve weeks, she was already feeling pressured. But as she explained, the babies were all doing well and having seen their outlines on the screen, “we’d already begun to think of them individually.”

By the scan at the 16th week, they were told to consider aborting the twins. Mrs. Robbins said, “By now I felt under immense pressure and I was getting angry. “

She thoughtfully explained her reasoning.

“Each time I went to the hospital it was all about the risks and asking me to consider aborting the twins to save the other two babies,” Mrs. Robbins said. “But I knew that each time I looked at my surviving babies I’d also be thinking about the ones I’d lost. The thought of it broke my heart.”

They were warned again at the 18th week. But “By now we’d found out that all our babies were boys and as soon as he’d finished I told him it wasn’t an option and that was final,” Mrs. Robbins told Salkeld. “We didn’t know how we’d manage financially and practically but I felt it must have happened for a reason. I decided I’d do everything in my power to give birth to four healthy babies.”

Two months before her due date—February 29, 2012, she went into labor. They were only in the hospital two months before the boys and Mrs. Robbins went home.

The ending to Salkeld’s story is very cute and very heart-warming.

“And as the boys get bigger, so do the challenges. Mrs. Robbins said: ‘When they’re all in the buggy together it weighs ten stone. Pushing it is a serious workout.’ “


Daniel Miller is responsible for nearly all of National Right to Life News' political writing.

With the election of Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency, Daniel Miller developed a deep obsession with U.S. politics that has never let go of the political scientist. Whether it's the election of Joe Biden, the midterm elections in Congress, the abortion rights debate in the Supreme Court or the mudslinging in the primaries - Daniel Miller is happy to stay up late for you.

Daniel was born and raised in New York. After living in China, working for a news agency and another stint at a major news network, he now lives in Arizona with his two daughters.

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