My (now) husband and I found out that our baby was extremely sick with hydrops on June 30, 2016. Not the simple case of hydrops that doctors find at 30 weeks. It was the case that threw my doctors for a loop. I was 16 weeks pregnant and my little boy was filled with fluid. All of his organs were being crushed: the brain, the lungs, the heart, the stomach.
Within a week the heartbeat had gone from 153 bpm to 135 bpm. Doctor Killeen told me he had never seen a case so bad this early in a pregnancy. Doctor Singh and Doctor Atkinson told me “the prognosis is poor…your baby is dying.”
My heart was broken. I don’t remember much from that day. It was a day of darkness. I barely spoke. I barely lived. The baby I wanted and loved was dying. I researched everything I could to find a cure. I begged the doctors to test me for every infection. I prayed. I screamed. I cried. I hid in my room.
Termination. Abortion. The one thing I always said I would NEVER do was now staring me in the face. My doctors were not allowed to recommend termination. They couldn’t directly tell me that it was the best choice. One doctor told me he knew what he would tell his daughter to do as he shook his head, one doctor walked into the room and handed me a piece of paper with abortion clinics written on it. As I spoke with the doctors about the risks for myself and my baby, I knew what they thought was best for me. I did have one nurse that persisted I carried my little boy until I miscarried because “it’s going to happen and you will regret an abortion.”
I am a Christian. I am a human. I am a partner. I am a mom.
After going through every test in the book, it was confirmed that our boy had some type of abnormality in his genes that caused his life to be unviable.
I prayed for guidance.
I researched everything I could.
I discussed my options with my husband.
I made the best decision possible for my baby.
We went through with the abortion.
What I am sharing with you today is what that abortion did to me.
It saved me. It protected me from multiple health risks. It set me free from a pregnancy I no longer wanted to carry. It allowed me to end the suffering for a child I loved, but would never hold. It gave me the opportunity to support other women. To stand up for other women. To advocate for other women.
I used to be unsure of where I stood on the spectrum of pro-life vs. pro-choice, but I’m pretty clear on all of it now.
We absolutely can not establish when it is and when it is not acceptable to end a pregnancy. It is not a decision for you. It is a decision between the woman and her partner, her God and herself.
We cannot take abortion away from the people who need it just because some people may abuse the right. It is not our life. If we strip women of the right to abort, they will still find ways to do it illegally. We need to encourage Sex Ed in schools. We need to encourage free birth control. We need to encourage better access to healthcare and financial support in the event that an unwanted pregnancy occurs.
While abortion is murder to you, it saved my life during a time I didn’t figure there was much more to live for.
Because of the right to abort, I was able to get pregnant five short months later with my second blessing. My rainbow. My momma’s boy.
I’m sorry, but if a woman makes the decision to abort her pregnancy, it’s because she truly believed she had no other option. It costs thousands of dollars. It’s heartbreaking, and it is not an easy process. Do you really believe a woman would carry her a child for 24+ weeks and randomly decide to terminate? I guess I believe more in humanity.
Oh, and I also hate pregnancy, so I don’t see anyone carrying a child that long for absolutely no reason. Ninety percent of abortions happen before 14 weeks. Seven to eight percent happen between 14-20 weeks. Less than three percent happen after 20 weeks and the majority of those are for medical reasons.
So, for the love of God, please stop beating up on each other. Encourage ways to make this better. Don’t take away other women’s rights. Understand that you are BLESSED to have never had to make this decision.
Side note: This bill has nothing to do with women terminating full term pregnancies just because they want to. This is for women who have either been given the diagnosis that the life of the fetus is not viable or that the woman is going to die. Also, this bill contains the same laws that already existed. It just stands to protect women in the case that Roe vs. Wade is reversed so that women in dire situations will have access to abortions after 24 weeks.
Do your research before you break my heart over and over again.