Did you cry when you read the essay by a mom who opted to terminate her second-trimester pregnancy because of a diagnosis of Trisomy 18?
One of the best articles I’ve seen written in the wake of the murder of Kansas Dr. George Tiller for his decision to perform late-term abortions, The Hardest Choice was at times heart-wrenching and hard to stomach. And not because this woman decided to terminate. But because she had to face the option at all.
I walked into pregnancy pro-choice. I was raised that way (ironic considering I was raised Catholic!), and I have always believed in the idea that I can’t choose for another woman.
But everyone told me that being pregnant, being a mother, would change that. That I would suddenly go from being pro-choice to on-the-fence. For maybe a second, it did. I got into a car accident while I was pregnant, and when I went in to the doctor that day, terrified that the trauma of the accident would have hurt my baby, I went through that short period of alpha mom, nothing is going to take this baby from me, attitude.
But as my pregnancy progressed, and as happy as I was to have this baby, I returned to being more and more pro-choice. Because I love my daughter, and I was so happy to be pregnant after six months of trying. But I was a miserable freakin’ pregnant woman. I couldn’t keep food down for seven months without drugs. My wrists ached constantly from carpal tunnel. My sinuses were driving me crazy, and I was off my depression meds because of the baby. I was a horrible person to be around.
But I kept wondering, how could I expect someone else to go through this if they didn’t want to? Or if they knew at the end, that they’d have only heart ache to deal with?
The trouble with the pro-choice/pro-life argument is that so many have tried to paint it black and white. Is there anything we can paint with those colors in this life? Is there anyone who can tell me there’s one set way a woman gets pregnant, one set way a pregnancy progresses, one set way a family’s life will go once she pees on that stick?
Please go read The Hardest Choice. And tell me, could you step into that mother’s shoes right now and really make any other choice?