WASHINGTON - An anti-abortion group used a photo of a premature baby taken two years ago in one of its controversial videos targeting Planned Parenthood.
The picture was of Lexi Oliver Fretz’s son, Walter Joshua, who was born in June 2013 at just 19 weeks into her pregnancy. He lived only a few minutes.
Fretz, a professional photographer from Pennsylvania, took photos of Walter in the hospital. As part of her grieving process, she posted them on her blog. This year, one of the photos ended up in a video investigating Planned Parenthood’s practices, which gave the impression that Walter had been aborted.
"I was a little shocked at first, but my husband and I, we talked about it, we're very pro-life,” said Fretz.
After the Republican debate on CNN, a political super PAC also used Walter’s photo in an ad for Carly Fiorina, but Fretz is not upset.
"We prayed about it. We are comfortable with where God is taking us. We understand that his plan is perfect, and it's not always the most fun and sometimes we might be a little uncomfortable with it, but we're good with it,” she said.
Fretz says she told the Center for Medical Progress, the group behind the videos, that it is okay to use the photo of Walter against Planned Parenthood. The Center for Medical Progress has clarified on the video’s YouTube page that the “Image of Walter Fretz, born prematurely at 19 weeks” is from a Daily Mail profile of the family from last year.
Fretz says she never intended for her family’s pain to be part of the national political debate, but she believes the photos have shown why Walter was here on Earth for so brief a time.
"At this point, we've just decided to trust that God is going to take care of us. He's going to take care of our family, he's put our son here for a purpose, and we're just going to keep walking this path right along with him."
In September, Fretz gave birth to a healthy baby girl named Mia Elizabeth.
FOX 5 reached out to the Center for Medical Progress to find out why they included the photo of Walter, but we did not get a response. Planned Parenthood declined to comment.
Due to the sensitive nature of this story, we did not include the photo of Walter that appeared in the videos. You can find pictures of Walter on Fretz’s blog by clicking here.