I was 37 and thrilled to be pregnant with what would have been my second child – and despite a 7-year gap, I seemed to be sailing through this pregnancy with flying colors, just as I had with my first. I knew we would go for thorough testing, given my age, but never really expected anything to be wrong; indeed, during the CVS procedure, the doctor and tech both remarked that things looked great – there were no suggestions of anything being amiss.
After waiting more than 2 weeks for my results – something that could have been done in 24 hours, if my insurance had been ‘better’ – we got the devastating news that there was no happy outcome for this baby. My OB-GYN office essentially told me that since I was in my 2nd trimester, it was up to me to ‘figure it out’ – and this was in a theoretically liberal ‘blue’ state. The one hospital-based doctor who would perform abortions could not fit me in for weeks – and so I ended up at my local abortion clinic.
While the staff there were caring and kind, I was still forced to jump through humiliating hoops – a 24 hour waiting period, counseling, etc. – even to end a pregnancy that would not possibly result in a healthy baby. I realized that there were creeping restrictions in many states, but to be faced with them personally was horrifying.
I have always been pro-choice, but my own experience has made me even more aware of the hurdles other women face in a variety of situations – and those hurdles are not acceptable. I can only imagine the horror of being forced to carry a tragic pregnancy to term – not only putting my own health in jeopardy, but potentially making me lose my job and having to share such a terrible situation with my young son, who would have been devastated to know that he had a sibling who didn’t make it. I am thankful I had the option to have the abortion done safely and with compassion, but I am still extremely angry that restrictions – often even worse than those I faced – exist in this country and elsewhere.