I have been thinking about writing this for months now so I finally did. I usually make a point to stay out of the pro-choice/pro-life debate but it had been eating at me and I felt the need for my voice to be heard. I wrote it with the intention of submitting it as an article...somewhere
I am interested in your (my trusty readers) honest opinions and critiques of this "article" if you are willing. Here goes:
*****All the trigger warnings. Seriously.*****
To the woman who called me a despicable human being
Well, not to my face. And not even to me specifically. But that didn't keep me from letting those words eat at me for months.
The words were spewed from behind the safety of her computer screen in an online thread about abortion. Heartless! Monsters! Anyone who could even think about having an abortion is a despicable human being!
Well, I had an abortion. A year and a half ago. At age 32. Happily married and financially secure. After struggling through years of infertility. After enduring in vitro fertilization to finally become pregnant. Never would I have thought I would have an abortion. Becoming pregnant at long last was my dream. It was what my husband and I had tried so hard for and prayed so much for. It was the happiest few months of my life.
Until it wasn't.
Until the doctors told us that this child whom we loved so much was so deformed he likely would not survive; that he would die in my womb and I would deliver a stillborn. And that if he somehow continued to grow enough to reach a very premature delivery he would need immediate brain surgery, spinal surgery, experimental procedures. There was very little chance his small, not yet fully developed body would be able to endure that. And he would suffer. It would be painful. And then, if he somehow miraculously defied all odds and survived he would be severely mentally and physically disabled. Permanently paralyzed. Likely unable to live even a shred of a normal life.
We couldn't cause that pain to our child. Or to ourselves, watching that happen. Or to his future siblings should he defy all odds. To sentence our child to a "life" like that would have been worse than death. We chose instead to terminate. We chose for him to pass away peacefully in his mother's womb, never knowing pain or surgery, never gasping for air that his underdeveloped lungs wouldn't be able to process, never feeling trapped in his jail of a body (if indeed he could think or feel at all). Instead we chose compassion. We chose love. And it was the hardest thing I have ever done.
I hate calling it an abortion. "Abortion" generates thoughts of women abusing the procedure, uncaring, using it as a form of birth control. But an abortion it was; and a late-term one at that. And I am thankful we had the law on our side and could make the choice that we did. My husband and I chose to suffer so that our child wouldn't have to. We certainly didn't make our decision lightly and we didn't make it because we didn't want a child with special needs. In fact,
as I hold my second baby in my arms, an amazing little boy who
has special needs due to a genetic condition that some choose to terminate for, I feel that we made
the right choices for both of our children. We have had hard decisions to make but I feel at peace with them. I was not a monster for terminating that pregnancy. And I am certainly not a despicable human being. Heartless? Absolutely not. I feel the loss of my first child every day. I mourn him every day. And I love him every day.
I am a mother. I made the most difficult decision a mother should (n)ever have to make. But I made it out of love.
So to the woman who called me a despicable human being: Be grateful. Grateful that you have been lucky enough in life to be blissfully ignorant of how wrong your words are and how deeply they hurt. Be grateful that you don't know what it's like to walk in this woman's shoes.