An abortion saved my life

by Anonymous

October 4, 2022

June 24, the day the Supreme Court ruled on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, was my 40th birthday.  I was able to celebrate because abortion saved my life.

In September 2020, I had my 20 week anatomy scan for a pregnancy we very much wanted.  The fetus’s kidneys and lungs were not developing, there was fluid around the heart, I had no amniotic fluid, and my placenta was severely degraded. All my doctors agreed the only choice was to terminate my pregnancy, and to wait until the heart technically stopped beating (even though no other organs were developing) would put my life in imminent risk of death due to the issues with my placenta.

Thankfully, in MD and DC, abortion up to 24 weeks was legal.  Even so, I had to jump through many stressful, challenging hoops:  switching doctors to a practice who would perform the procedure; navigating Hyde Amendment restrictions on my Federal employee insurance; and being alone at appointments because of Covid restrictions.

I am thankful every day that I was able to get the care I needed at a hospital with an experienced and compassionate medical team.

The decision in Dobbs means that pregnant woman like me will die.  Even in states that provide exception for “life of the mother,” when abortion is so severely restricted, the care is not actually available.   Who gets to decide how likely it is that I’m going to die before I get the medical care I need? How will doctors be able to provide the care we need to save our lives?

If I would have waited a few more weeks for the heart to stop, I would have had the exact same procedure. The doctors did not think it was safe to wait. Also, this was a decision I made with my experienced doctors and should not be made by judges, politicians, or internet trolls. Even in states with life of the mother exemptions the care will not be available because no doctors want to go to jail for it.

All abortion is, in some way, to save the life of the mother.  I share my story as one example of the repercussions of denying reproductive health care to us.

But for now, we rise up. We vote.  Make our voices heard. I cannot give up hope that we can change to make our country safe for women and our families.  I refuse to accept this our reality.

Remember that our stories are ours to tell. We’d love to hear your story too!