LGBTQ

Ohio Woman Forced to Drive 300 Miles for Abortion—or Have a Stillborn Baby

The emotional trauma that followed was even more devastating.

Photo Credit: c/o Daily Kos

Every day, we hear of Republican lawmakers introducing and pushing forward misogynistic bills that are not only an embarrassment to government and a huge waste of taxpayer money, they are also physically, emotionally and financially damaging to the women they attack. Jessie Balmert with USA Today reports:

An Ohio woman whose baby would have been stillborn was forced to travel 300 miles to Chicago because no Ohio abortion clinic would do the procedure.

Sheva Guy, 23, a doctoral student from Cincinnati, said her daughter was diagnosed with a fatal spinal abnormality when she went to a hospital for her second-trimester ultrasound at about 22 weeks. She and her husband were expecting to find out the gender of their child.

Guy spoke at last week's news conference hosted by NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio and ProgressOhio. She said when she and her husband went to the hospital for a second-trimester ultrasound, hoping to find out the gender of their baby, the news they received was crushing. After two tests, the hospital providers told her the baby has a spinal abnormality and would not survive.

"I just completely broke down. I mean, I was so vulnerable," Guy said. "Pantsless on the table, I was finding out this news. I was just sobbing. Both my contacts fell out. I couldn't see anything."

She was given two options: deliver a stillborn daughter or have an abortion. The first option, she says "was more than she could bear," but she was 22 weeks pregnant and couldn't find a medical facility in Ohio to perform the procedure. She ended up being rerouted to a clinic in Chicago. Due to the restrictive GOP laws passed by Republican Governor/GOP Presidential Candidate John Kasich, abortion clinics in the state of Ohio have dropped from 14 to nine, and too many doctors are afraid of getting too close to the 24-week ban, said Jaime Miracle, deputy director of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio.

As if the burden of hearing the devastating news, then having to travel hundreds of miles while in incurring a trip cost of approximately $3,000 wasn't tough enough, the emotional trauma that followed was even more devastating. On her way back home, it hit Sheva Guy.

"I had to leave my baby in Chicago," she said.

Pro-choice advocates fight for the rights of all women to make their own reproductive choices without interference. Yet we have Republican lawmakers who are relentless in their pursuit to remove the constitutional rights of women to choose what's best for their future, their bodies, their families and their lives. The fight is hardly new.

In 1996, the late great journalist, author, and commentator Molly Ivins said::

"There's something very wrong in our discussion of this. If there's anything that late-term abortion is, it is not an easy call. And I just want to say, that perhaps, I almost get the impression that somebody thinks women don't have no moral sense at all. No woman who is seven months pregnant, ever waddles past an abortion clinic and says, 'Darn, I knew there was something I've been meaning to get around to.' This is ridiculous.

You have those late-term abortions, because either the mother is going to die, the child is going to die, or both are going to die. These procedures are incredibly rare. I only know of two in the state of Texas since Roe v. Wade was passed. They were both what they call cases of babies with no brain. The brain, the child's brain stem had developed, but then something went horribly wrong and these children literally had no brains. Now, is that an easy call? Is that simple to you?

I am really, I'm… let me try and calm down - it's not going to do any good for me to get excited. If the choice… These are women who want their babies, they want the babies, terribly. What would you do, and I'm talking to the women in the audience. If a doctor said to you, 'Either your baby has to die, or you will die, or your health will be wrecked for the rest of your life, and you'll never be able to have another child.' I don't know what you'd do. I think you'd want a second opinion. But if I were you, I sure as hell wouldn't ask Bob Dole, because I don't think that's an easy call.

Thank you, Molly Ivins. You are dearly missed.

If you are pregnant and feel your rights as a woman are being violated, contact: NAPW/National Advocates For Pregnant Women

To Sheva Guy and the many millions of women who have suffered miscarriages and still born deliveries, our hearts go out to you. No one should have to go through that kind of loss. And no one should be treated less than—because of it. Thank you for your strength.

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