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My abortion story

I started seeing a therapist again after my abortion. She tells me it’s OK to talk about this, but I know I’m not supposed to. Sometimes my 3-year-old asks why he has a baby brother instead of a baby sister. I imagine he will have stopped asking by the time I am ready to answer him.  My husband tears up, too, when we talk late at night about what our daughter would have been like. The conversation always ends the same: We couldn’t have changed the outcome. She would have been born dying. We have been lucky to have another baby since then. He just started saying mama and we cannot imagine life without him. We know we made the right decision, even if it hurt to do so.

On the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, I heard an interview on “Fresh Air” that stopped me in the middle of my workday. Terry Gross was interviewing Carolyn Jones, a woman in Texas who had an abortion for reasons that sounded familiar.  She wanted her baby, just like I had wanted mine. Unlike me, though, she was forced to have an ultrasound and wait 24 hours because the lawmakers in her state had recently decided she should. She talked about how the doctor apologized for having to do it, how the nurse spoke louder and tried to distract her while the doctor verbally documented the ultrasound. She explained how the law required that the volume be up loud enough for her to hear the heartbeat.

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