My own experience, as written to my friends and family in a January 30, 2019 email:

To our family and friends:

Yesterday we received the devastating news that our 13 week old fetus has a neural tube issue in the brain. This came as a total shock, as less than 1 week prior, we were told our chromosome testing was negative and our baby looked good. We fully expected that after yesterday’s appointment, we would explaining to our 3 year old that she would be promoted to big sister, and we would be sharing happy news with our family and friends.

As I sat in the dark, sterile examination room, with imaging gel on my stomach, all I could do was cry. While tears streamed down my face, my partner proceeded to ask the doctor all of the questions he knew I would have (and that he already knew the answers to), but in a way that I would understand. No medical terms – What is the level of disability (unclear, mild at best, severe at worst); What is the prognosis (unclear, but high likelihood of death); Are there corrective options (No); Would this child ever have a normal intellectual level (No); What’s next? (further testing, monitoring, termination) etc.

The radiologist left the room to give us “time to discuss and determine if you have more questions.” There was nothing to discuss. Before 9:00 a.m. we made the decision to terminate the pregnancy. As one of my doctors said to me yesterday, “It’s shitty, shitty luck, it’s a tragedy, and I would do the same thing.”

So, as I gear up for my first (and hopefully last) “therapeutic abortion” (I’ve been told this is what it’s medically referred to), I can’t help but think about how fortunate I am that I live in a state where my right to choose what to do with my body is not being debated a half mile down the road.


Let me be crystal clear…if I did not have access to a safe abortion in the hospital and I was forced to have that baby, my then three year old would be put on the back burner for the rest of her life, we would have moved, I would no longer have my career, and our lives would be forever changed in ways I cannot begin to imagine. I will forever be indebted to my incredible family and friends, and the compassionate medical staff who supported me along the way, held my hand in the hospital, and NEVER questioned my right to choose.