Because there is so much shame surrounding the topic, when people talk about abortion, it’s usually all theoretical.
When we speak in hypothetical situations, it’s easier to moralize and talk about the decisions we would have made instead. When abortion comes up, it’s often discussed in vague terms and those discussions center around ideas instead of lived experiences.
There is special volatility around late-term abortions, and no matter what side of the issue you’re on, it’s easy to understand why. “Late-term” seems to indicate that the fetus could be birthed successfully, but as more and more women share their stories, these stereotypes are falling away.
Most often, families who choose late-term abortion have just learned terrible news that their pregnancies are unsafe for the mother or that their babies will die inside the womb or shortly after birth. Making this heartbreaking decision is complicated by the rise in 20-week abortion bans, which means that mothers whose fetuses face fatal defects after 20 weeks will have to carry unviable babies to term. These are the real-life stories of women who had to face that horrific reality.
“In my case, my baby had a lower urinary tract blockage called Posterior Urethral Valve. In layman’s terms, his urethra didn’t form properly so he couldn’t urinate out the amniotic fluid that he drank in. The fluid backed up into his kidneys, causing them to completely fail.”
“His right kidney was so enlarged with fluid that it was pushing on his heart and lungs. As time progressed, I no longer had amniotic fluid. Without fluid, his lungs had no chance of developing. If I had carried the pregnancy to term, as this bill would have forced me to do, he would most likely have been born alive, only to suffocate to death within minutes. I would have had to watch my newborn baby that I loved so much gasp for breath, turn blue, and die in my arms.” – dividefallapart
“We found out at 21 weeks that our child had a universally fatal condition. Our state had just banned abortions past twenty weeks. It was a nightmare trying to get care. We had to call clinic after clinic in different states to try to find a place to get medical care. We were told again and again by clinics that they couldn’t help us. We finally found one that would help. We had an abortion at 23 weeks.”
“I know my baby suffered much less than if we were forced to carry the pregnancy to full term. This was much more humane. Most people who don’t want a pregnancy don’t wait until 20 weeks to get an abortion. They do it at 12 or 13 weeks. These laws that ban abortions after 20 weeks hurt families who are trying to have babies, but have unviable pregnancies.” – frogfinderfred
“Four years ago, I had to watch on in horror as they gave my wife the shots that would terminate her pregnancy in order to save her life. We wanted a child so bad. We tried so hard to have a baby that we would raise, love, cherish and do everything possible for.”
“But it wasn’t meant to be. Until the day I die, I’ll never forget the scream of agony that my wife let out as two nurses gave her the two simultaneous injections of the drug that would stop the development of the child we wanted so very much. All I could do was hold her hands, run my hands through her hair, and kiss her forehead repeatedly while whispering in vain that everything would be okay.” – sarcastroll
“My wife and I…made the incredibly difficult decision to induce labor at [20 weeks] rather than carry him (he was a boy) to term only to have him die minutes later.”
“Such a horrible decision to have to make. We both believe in freedom of choice, but our choice normally would never be to have an abortion. This was different. The baby had zero percent chance of survival post delivery.” – Dougth
Reddit user dividefallapart notes, “I think sometimes when people hear ‘abortion’ they visualize those graphic bloody images that some pro-lifers put on signs, or they hear people say the phrase ‘torn from the womb’ or ‘partial-birth abortion’ or whatever. But even an induced labor that’s done early or with the intent of withholding medical intervention afterward is technically an abortion under many of these laws.”
“My first pregnancy, 11 years ago, I was struggling to get pregnant naturally and after a year of clomid and injections I finally got pregnant. Every check up, I was told everything was healthy. My Dr. didn’t perform my 20-week ultrasound until 22 weeks. It was at that time we learned our baby’s skull had never formed.”
“He had a brain, eyes, ears, skin, just no bone structure to hold it all together. He hiccuped during the exam and his head wobbled like a jello mold. His eyes wobbled. Even still, despite the urging of everyone who worried I would put myself at risk if I continued the pregnancy, I struggled to consider abortion. I wanted this baby, loved this baby. I didn’t want to lose him…I did go ahead with the abortion. I had one week from the diagnosis to the procedure. It was emotionally painful, heartbreaking, and it took years of therapy to let go of the guilt and failures I felt.” – Shelbie007
Reading the stories of women and families who have had to make this terrible choice can help dispel myths and help us rethink our assumptions about people who seek late-term abortions.
Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/late-term-abortion/