Saturday, March 18, 2017
How Missouri added insult to the pain of my abortion
The following article is from the Chicago Tribune. This is a good example of the problems caused when right-wing Christians get a chance to stack the court deck full of laws that are strictly intended as harassment to women who want abortions. They want harassment and that is what these laws get them. -SJ Otto
My husband and I desperately wanted to have a baby. We looked extensively into adoption and tried to get pregnant for four years with the help of fertility specialists — enduring two in-vitro procedures and multiple failed embryo transfers. We were thrilled when our most recent in-vitro fertilization proved successful.
Unfortunately, we discovered after my 21-week anatomy scan that our daughter — Grace Pearl — had bilateral multicystic dysplastic kidney disease. Her kidneys were not functioning, she had no amniotic fluid and her lungs would never develop properly. Three doctors told us our daughter's condition was 100 percent fatal due to the early onset of her disease. She would either be stillborn or would not survive long after birth. My own risk would increase sevenfold if I continued to carry her.
We made the excruciating decision to terminate the pregnancy at 21 weeks and five days — nearly six months. We did this out of love: Terminating was the least painful and most humane thing we could do for her. We did all we could to take on the physical and emotional suffering ourselves, instead of allowing her to feel it. The physician cut her umbilical cord prior to the termination to ensure that her heart would stop beating and that she'd have as peaceful of an experience as possible. Her pathology report confirmed the doctors' fatal diagnosis.
But the process to get that abortion in Missouri — the state where we live — was one of the most callous and insulting experiences we have ever endured.
My husband and I had to wait 72 hours after consenting to the abortion so we could "consider what we were doing." I had to sign a statement affirming that I heard my baby's heartbeat (a sound that brought tears of joy to my eyes when I first heard it) and that I saw an ultrasound (I had asked for more than what is routinely provided to reassure myself, having experienced a miscarriage in the past). We were given a packet explaining that we were terminating “the life of a separate, unique, living human being.” There are no exceptions to these protocols, even for people terminating for fetal anomaly.
For the rest click here.