Georgia Pellegrini opened up about her harrowing experience of being pregnant with a baby with fatal developmental issues as a Texas resident subject to Texas abortion laws. The Modern Pioneering host took to her social media platforms to share the story of how she had to terminate her pregnancy at four months, and how she had zero options to do so, due to her home state’s strict abortion laws that all but outlaw the medical procedure.
“Today, I would be 4 months pregnant. Yesterday, we said goodbye to our baby boy,” Pellegrini captioned a black and white photo of herself holding up her shirt to reveal her pregnant form. “I am inherently private about my family life on social media, but there were two things that kept burning in my mind as the nurse held my hand and tried to distract me. She asked me what I was going to eat as my first meal when I woke up, I said without hesitation what I had been thinking all day: a New York bagel with lox and cream cheese. I also kept thinking: I can’t believe women and their partners go through this silently.”
Pellegrini had traveled to New York in order to have an abortion after learning her baby boy had multiple fatal developmental conditions during the early part of her pregnancy. She and her partner Judd Walker, who together share daughter June, “turned every rock with a remarkable team of doctors in my home state of Texas to find a path forward for our son.”
Her son had a very rare condition (“1 in 275,000,” she wrote) that, at best, would “require daily dialysis for his badly damaged or non-functioning kidneys until he was big enough to receive one of our adult kidneys, as well as a painful catheter inserted daily to help his bladder empty.” As her pregnancy continued, doctors also discovered that “He was surrounded by a halo of fluid between his skeleton and skin that told us he had multiple other fatal conditions that meant he was slowly dying inside of me.”
After going through all of their options in Texas and consulting their “Catholic doctor, our Sikh doctor, and our Jewish doctor,” Pellegrini and her partner decided that “that the most loving and merciful thing we could do for our baby was give him into the arms of Jesus.” But at this stage of her pregnancy, Pellegrini had no options in Texas. She would be forced to carry an unviable fetus, just as other Texans have in light of SB 8, which bans the medical procedure for anyone who is more than six weeks pregnant.
“Amidst our unimaginable grief in this impossible situation, we were also told that we have no options in Texas. That it was illegal for them to even write our options down on a piece of paper. Or provide us with any kind of referral. But as far as they knew, no one had yet been criminalized for leaving the state to end a pregnancy. NO ONE HAD YET BEEN CRIMINALIZED FOR LEAVING THE STATE TO END A PREGNANCY,” Pellegrini practically screams in her caption.
Women in Texas have also been charged with murder for inducing abortions. Like other Texans seeking abortion, Pellegrini had to rely on out-of-state doctors and navigate full medical costs, since it was “illegal for my Texas insurance to cover a dime.”
Pellegrini’s story is unfortunately one of many since Texas enacted its restrictive abortion ban in September 2021.
“My body has been through so much in the last four years in pursuit of life, I am for living. I am also against suffering. There are countless women and their partners in the U.S. and around the world who are falling into these unimaginable cracks and don’t have people who will move mountains to ease their pain,” she wrote.
“This is not a political issue, this is a humanitarian issue. We have to do better for our sisters, our daughters, our wives, our friends, and their partners who grieve alongside them,” Pellegrini wrote, adding that she hoped that by writing her own story, “other women are encouraged to write their own, so that we don’t let others write the story for us.”
While Pellegrini notes this is not a “political issue,” but rather a “humanitarian” one, it is politicians who wrote and enacted abortion bans that have left pregnant Texans like Pellegrini in an unimaginably difficult position of having to travel across state lines for medical treatment in the midst of grieving the loss of a pregnancy — not to mention many who likely cannot afford the time or money to choose the option that is best for them, their family, or their baby.
The humanitarian effort lies in people sharing their stories, assuring others going through this difficult time they are not alone. It also lies in making sure that laws like this are repealed and are not enacted in other states. This is why voting for pro-choice, pro-abortion candidates, especially down ballot candidates, is critical when it comes to protecting reproductive rights on a state level.