Go in mercy, with all my love.

deBeauxOs over at Birth Pangs has issued a call; for posts in defence of Dr Tiller in the US. It seems the nutbars have issued a list of the clinic's (that Dr Tiller operates) employees, as well as their home addresses.
It is a thinly veiled call for violence. We know that some of those who oppose all forms of reproductive rights, are not balanced. We have been down this road before. (As deBeauxOs so ably points out in today's post)

We know that the anti-women-anti-choicers have been busy in Canada, they use the fact that Canada has no abortion law as some sort of "proof" that women in Canada are electing to have abortions right up to the day of delivery.
They allude that it is because women simply decide one day that pregnancy isn't for them. That it is a style choice. Like....shoes.

Misconstruing reality is something they do on a daily basis. If you have to lie, perhaps it's YOU who is wrong? 

They do not believe that we as women have the capacity to make any of the decisions that will effect our lives or our families. It is a form of gender bigotry and twisted chauvinism. It is a form of control.

But there is something that is rarely talked about. (certainly the fanatics don't want these stories known.) These are the silent women. The ones who have had to make the decision about a late term abortion are rarely heard from, they rarely speak up. Some of it is the absolute pain that never subsides, some is the social stigma. Being called a monster, being told they are evil. (Compounding the pain, for no other reason than the fanatics have no conscience.)

Some of the silence, is because no one else really wants to hear these stories.

If you are a normal caring human being, they will tear you apart inside. But they are something that everyone should have to hear, before they even begin to think that they "know".

At roughly the same time as that fateful meeting, I sat in my obstetrician's office and listened without fully understanding as the doctor repeated the medical term "anencephaly" over and over in reference to the child I carried.
More than a month later I sat in a university hospital with obstetrician number five as he patiently and painstakingly presented ultrasound scans from "normal" pregnancies and then scans from my own pregnancy.

Each of the multiple anomalies present -- omphalocele, spina bifida, anencephaly and others -- were explained and, for the first time I fully understood why the child I already deeply loved and wanted would never survive outside of my womb.

Indeed, nor could it survive inside. When the fetus passed away, this woman developed an infection which would not have occurred had she not been denied a "waiver" in her own state. The above post was directed to Obama. From statements he has made, this woman would have had to suffer even more to be eligible for a medical termination.

Posterior Urethral Valves,  Kansas Story

The doctor mentioned a doctor in Kansas that, based upon this medical situation, could perform a late termination. The idea was so surreal- going to Kansas to terminate my son; he was supposed to be born to me and complete my family. After weeks of not knowing the prognosis, but gradually learning that this baby was so very sick, it didn’t take us very long to realize that travelling to Kansas to have this procedure done was saving our son from a brief life of respirators, dialysis, surgeries and pain.

A parents job, is to save their children from a life of pain, even one so short and so very brief.

Out of the Darkness

At 3:30 a.m. on the morning of April 14th, I delevered the following testimony in front of the Texas State Legislature. 
In June of 2002, on the first anniversary of our marriage, my husband and I conceived our first child. We spent the next five months attending uneventful doctor’s appointments, debating names, and decorating the nursery as we watched my belly grow.

 In November, when I was 22 weeks pregnant, we received news that would forever change our lives. A sonogram at the perinatologist’s office revealed that our son, Thomas, had a condition known as arthrogryposis. The doctor’s face spoke volumes when he returned from fetching a medical book to confirm the rare diagnosis. He explained that arthrogryposis was a condition that causes permanent flexation of the muscle tissue. The condition could be caused by over 200 different diseases and syndromes, with a wide array of severity.

 He asked for permission to do an immediate amniocentesis, and for the first time he used the word “termination. It was then that I first realized the gravity of our situation.

-snip-

Thomas would lead a very short life of only a few years at the very most. During those years he would be in constant pain from the ceaseless, charley-horse-type cramps that would rack his body. He would undergo numerous, largely ineffective surgeries, just to stay alive. He would never be able to walk or stand; never grasp anything, never be able to hold himself upright. He wouldn’t even be able to suck his own thumb for comfort. And this was only if we were lucky. The more likely scenarios tended toward fetal death and serious health complications for me.

 

Again. In many of these cases, not only is the pregnancy lost, but through inaction and fanaticism, the woman's life could be in danger. The chances of any future pregnancies are at risk. 

 

Last April, my husband and I learned late in my fourth month of pregnancy that we were having twins. Everyone was thrilled. But we soon learned that the amniotic sac around one of our twins had ruptured, and it was very unlikely he would survive. In fact, we were told, it was very unlikely either twin would survive. Our physician recommended that we induce labor and deliver the boys.

My husband and I firmly said, "No thank you," and my family quickly gathered from all over the world to lend support.

Three weeks later the sac around our other twin ruptured, and again we were told that inducing labor would be the safest coarse of action, otherwise I might develop an infection, risking infertility and possibly death. Again, we stood firm as a family and let the doctors know that, until my life was in danger, we would go forward with the pregnancy.

Two days later, my white blood cell count was found to be rising drastically; it was obvious that an infection was setting in. That forced us to make the most difficult choice we'll ever face: We chose my life over our sons.

I am now healthy and fertile, and we're expecting a new baby boy this August. The decision we made almost a year ago made this possible. But not a day goes by that I don't miss my boys, and if I could, I'd have them here with me today.

The Supreme Court's decision last week wouldn't have allowed me to be where I am now. Now, a woman in that position would not only have to face the devastation of losing her child, but also very possibly the hope of future babies as well. That's an act of violence more sinister and underhanded than the mass murder at Virginia Tech.

These are only a small, small handful of the actual stories. I have one more. It is not a clip from a story on the internet, it is someone who lived in my area.

A 12 year old, mentally handicapped girl was raped by a family member. She hid what had happened, and the ensuing pregnancy. When it was discovered it became a late term abortion situation. If she had been forced to continue the pregnancy, what would have become of her?

Last that I knew, she was just a teenage girl, hanging out with friends. She has a long hard road as it is with all of her struggles, but imagine?

89% of abortions are before the first 12 weeks. There are far less squibbles about that. 

But the late term options have to be there too.No matter how abhorrent someone finds it personally, they are not in the position to have to decide. And they should be grateful every day that they are not.

Women do not suddenly decide that pregnancy was just a bad idea at 23 weeks.

No, that would be what the anti choice fanatics would have everyone think. The reality is far worse, and far more heartbreaking. By demonizing the real families who have gone through this, they only accomplish causing more pain. That is not of consequence to them though. To them, women are expendable. We kind of knew that.

The re-occurring thread in the majority of these stories after survival, is of mercy and love. And that is what being a parent is all about.

Comments

Mercy is another quality

along with truthiness the fetus fetishists are short on.

Thank the goddess for brave people like Dr. Tiller and his staff (including the cleaning lady) who continue to offer help to women facing such horrible situations.

And may peace be upon everyone who's been through something so wrenching.

Powerful

Very powerful, pale, that brought tears to my eyes. Excellent post, just outstanding.

My quiet reply

Strong. Powerful. The stories you've presented touch the heart and shake the soul.

The lies the opponents of abortion (and womans' rights in general) are thin and unbelievable.

However, we only ever hear of the opponents' lies, and never the stories from the people who've had to follow through on their late-term abortions.

I get the feeling people who oppose abortion should they hear these stories (and they probably ignore them at all possible costs) wouldn't even be convinced. It's absolute insanity.

The stories they don't ignore

are the ones that end in "and I've regretted it to this day, and now I commit my life to removing the right to make that decision from all other women".

The stories that abortion criminalizers don't ignore

are the stories they use to bully and shame us.

It makes many fetus fetishists go absolutely ballistic to know I am a mother, that I've carried a pregnancy to term, that I've given birth to a daughter AND that I'm resolutely pro-choice because that is what I know and believe to be the truth of women's capacity to give life.

Those heart-wrenching stories about late-term, mercy abortions need to be told.

Powerful and moving post, pale.

This was harsh.

For me to write. Thank you all for all your support.

The silent women and their loved ones are the ones who should be heard the most.

If you believe you can tell me what to think, I believe I can tell you where to go......