Thursday, September 17, 2015

To the woman who called me a despicable human being

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.*****

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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.


10 comments:

  1. I am crying over here Chickie. I definitely don't think the article is too much - i think it is just enough. I think it brings to light why not all abortions fit into some "heartless box" as people want to put them. It isn't black/white right/wrong there are so many situations that people can't even fathom because as you say in the article people are "lucky enough to be blissfully ignorant of them."

    The only sentence that didn't quite sit well with me was the last one - where I can't get to you. :-) I know you weren't using it as an actual threat - but I feel like it slightly takes away from your message. Just my 2 cents!

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    1. Thank you thank you. I wasn't sure about the last sentence either but I have a hard time being so sad without trying to interject some comedy. Defense mechanism I guess. I agree it doesn't quite work. Thank you for reading and commenting 💗

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    2. I changed it! I think it works better with the tone of the post now. (What I really wanted to end with though was: "To the woman who called me a despicable human being: screw you." But I figured I'd take the high road :-P

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  2. I think the article is perfect. It's a view that most people don't know or have been through. Everyone has to make choices in life and they to be the choices that you feel are right for your situation. No need to judge on anyone's part. I feel terrible that someone called you those things.

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  3. I hope you do get this out to a wider audience. It is excellent and your voice should be heard. It is strong and heartfelt. I think too many people want to legislate reproductive health issues that clearly are seldom black and white and always personal. Those people will always be loud and hurtful (and often male) but your article can touch people who may sit on the fence thinking it will never be their decision to make.

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  4. This is great and well said. Some people are so damn ignorant.

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  5. What a beautifully touching piece of writing. I don't think it could have been worded any better. I'm sorry you've had to experience comments like those from the lady online and all I can say is that nobody can ever know the heartache you had to endure and how much love you had for your little Petey xoxo

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  6. Very powerful and eloquent. My heart breaks for you again reading it. Your story is just one example of why, when I am asked if I am pro-life or pro-choice I simply say "yes". There are as many different situations as there are people, and it is not my place to decide for anyone else.
    The only change I would make is to take off the very last sentence "I hope you never do." I think it is a more impactful ending without it. And I hope you are able to find a forum for it. I think it would touch a lot of people.

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    1. Thank you so much for the critique and suggestion. Also, I love that response "yes". I may have to start using that.

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  7. I am sorry that you were hurt by that stupid person's words and love everything you wrote! xoxoxox

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