Leo is our first baby. March 2019 we found out we were expecting. We were so excited and started to imagine what our family would look like with the new addition. All appointments went well until the 20 week anatomy scan. We came away from that appointment completely confused and anxious. We were told Leo had a 2 vessel umbilical cord when there should be 3. This was a red flag and they referred us to a larger hospital for a detailed ultrasound. That ultrasound confirmed that Leo had severe, unsurvivable fetal anomalies (missing his stomach and parts of his heart and brain, among other things). Through amniocentesis he was eventually diagnosed with Trisomy 18. We were absolutely devastated. In a little hospital room we sat together and grieved our son. When we were ready, a genetic counselor sat us down to talk options. These options included terminating the pregnancy or continuing the pregnancy knowing Leo had 0% chance of survival. It was with the purest love and compassion we decided to make the hardest decision we’ve ever made and terminate the pregnancy. Because abortion is political, and essentially our decision was regulated, we had one day to make the hardest decision of our lives. ONE DAY. In Iowa (like many states) you can’t receive an abortion after 22 weeks. On top of the incredible stress of making a life altering decision in one day, we were also informed about the cost. The procedure could be done at the hospital for around $15,000 or a more accessible option at Planned Parenthood. The closest Planned Parenthood was in Chicago – which is in a completely different state about 3.5 hours away. This is because conservative politicians find women’s health facilities like Planned Parenthood “abhorrent” and seemingly revel in the fact that their female constituents have little to no options for affordable health care. When calling Planned Parenthood, they were justifiably so busy they couldn’t get us in until a few weeks later. Again, because abortions are regulated we couldn’t wait that long or it would become illegal. And the last part is insurance companies likely won’t cover any of it, even if your baby has unsurvivable anomalies. We had to make a life altering decision, scrounge up an insane amount of money and grieve our baby in one day. This process is completely insane and cruel. Leo would be 2 this November and I struggle frequently, but I have to believe he existed and this life experience exists to bring empathy to this subject. Why a woman or couple chooses abortion is no one’s business, it is incredibly personal. Politicians have no place in this conversation. It’s not black and white. Humanize the right to choose.