Thank God for my TFMR

by Jen

January 6, 2022

Hi I’m 42 years old, and I recently had an abortion, which is termed “termination for medical reasons.” The reason is that our fetus came up positive for Down’s Syndrome. I am staunchly pro-choice and always have been and in fact had an abortion I do not regret when I was 19. I knew at the time that I was 100% not ready for a child and also had a partner and a family that would not have been supportive. So I don’t regret that abortion.

Fast forward to now, and I’m as ready as I’ll ever be for a child. I have a wonderful partner, and 2 masters degrees, and have travelled and have a semi-lucrative career that has it’s ups and downs, but I feel 100% confident that I could provide for a child and that I’d be 100% without regrets that I’m missing out on anything in life. So when we found out we were pregnant we were ecstatic.

All of that came crashing down when we got a call from our genetic counselor telling us that our early screening came up positive for Down’s Syndrome.

Hypothetically, I had always thought I would end a pregnancy with any genetic malady. I have always been one of those “maximize the good” type thinkers and just always thought it was unfair to bring a child into the world that automatically had it much harder than others. Especially considering that although I myself have almost perfect health, I had almost nothing but hardship and emotional turmoil growing up that spilled into adulthood (think alcoholic, mentally ill parent, multiple family members with terminal illnesses, divorce, death, and general instability). Regardless, when the fact of ending my wanted pregnancy became a reality I don’t think I have ever cried harder. I did all of the research I could to make sure I was making the right choice. I am still grieving, but in the end I know I made the right choice. After our abortion, my genetic counselor admitted a bunch of things to me that I think she may have held back in fear she would affect our decision too much. She said that it was an extremely risky pregnancy with a high chance of stillbirth or infant death. And she reiterated what I already knew from my research: that the Down’s kids that you see on the advocacy ads are the lucky 1% and the rest die in infancy of respiratory disease, heart disease, childhood leukemia, and malformed bowels (yes, some Down’s kids are born without proper intestines). I just know this is not the life I wanted for my sweet little baby.

So I thank God for abortion and for the choice I was able to make to stop my child’s suffering and also to make the right choice for MY HEALTH. Because the other side of the coin that they don’t want to tell you is that a late term infant loss can cause irreparable uterine scarring and subsequent infertility, and there was actually a 50% chance I would miscarry between the diagnosis and term. Why isn’t this commonly shared knowledge?? Why are there these irrational people advocating for women to risk their own health and fertility to bring sick or dying children into the world?? It’s complete trash. So I wanted to share my story here to start.

I am SO thankful I had early prenatal screening and testing that allowed me to save my child suffering and to make MY OWN DECISION ABOUT MY HEALTH. I was able to have an abortion just before the end of the 1st trimester which meant a simple medical abortion rather than the trauma of a dangerous D and E or worse yet L and D. Thank God for abortion and thank God for sites like this and everyone who are sharing their stories.

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