"I am lying awake in bed, trying to decide whether or not to have an abortion."
June 20, 2012 1:54 PM   Subscribe

That was a good read, and a brave thing to write.
posted by Phire at 2:01 PM on June 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

Shittiest Secret Society is right. My partner and I had to terminate a very wanted pregnancy at 20 weeks, due to appalling genetic abnormalities; it was, as you might imagine, awful. Once it was over, I was shocked by how many family members and friends got in touch and said "The same thing happened to me." So many people, and we had no idea. No one wants to talk about it because, well, it's depressing. But as a result, when it happens, you feel like the only one it's ever happened to. This is really a subject people should talk about much, much more, including how it affects the late-term abortion debate. Kudos to Andrew Sullivan for his "It's So Personal" series, maybe the best collection of personal stories I've read on the subject.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 2:13 PM on June 20, 2012 [12 favorites]

some people who are against abortion will think that my abortion is acceptable

After reading that lead-in I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the pregnancy did not arise from rape.
posted by exogenous at 2:19 PM on June 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

A friend of mine runs this site with lots of good information about miscarriages and baby loss. It highlights one of the big up-sides of the Internet, which is that communities of people can form easily from shared experience, offering support that previously wasn't available because the subject just wasn't talked about.
posted by jeffkramer at 2:26 PM on June 20, 2012

If someone has to make a decision and the best they can hope for is the least-bad option, I don’t believe I have any business making that choice for them.

This sums it up painfully well.
posted by ambrosia at 2:45 PM on June 20, 2012 [10 favorites]

Opinions on end of life care certainly vary. Overall, it's understood by most people that wherever the line is, it's at a different place for people who are guaranteed to die soon anyway than for people who have a chance to live. That doesn't make losing a child any less difficult, though.
posted by michaelh at 2:50 PM on June 20, 2012

I am so very sorry for everyone who has had to terminate a wanted pregnancy. That must be terribly hard.
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:50 PM on June 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

I wish it didn't have to be such a brave thing to talk about terminating a pregnancy that's heading toward a miscarriage. What she's going through is terrible and she should get all the support she needs and wants in making a difficult decision. (Like the author, though, I think that's true of almost all women who have to make a decision about pregnancy termination.)
posted by immlass at 3:51 PM on June 20, 2012 [3 favorites]

Amazing, risky, brave article.
posted by kettleoffish at 6:09 PM on June 20, 2012

Same thing happened to me and my husband at 20 weeks, ThatFuzzyBastard. So there's one more...
posted by feathermeat at 6:27 PM on June 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

Really a sad set of circumstances behind this. However I think every woman should have the right to choose, and I hate these pro-lifers trying to control others choices.
I wonder if these pro-lifers are so keen to ensure every baby is born, that they would offer to adopt or at least care and fund those babies that would be born in to a shitty world with parents not able to support them. By support them I don't only mean financially but just as parents to raise them as a child not a burden or something that wasn't wanted.
posted by Merlin The Happy Pig at 6:57 PM on June 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

I had to do this, too. I was 14 weeks along in a planned pregnancy. In my case, the heartbeat had stopped altogether. I could have waited to miscarry naturally, but I just wanted to get it over with.

People get upset with me when I say I've had an abortion. But I had a D&C- a surgical procedure to end a pregnancy.

I was 100% pro-choice before, but this just reinforced it for me. I never got pregnant until I wanted to, and I still needed this medical service.
posted by Athene at 7:40 PM on June 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

I had to abort a very wanted 14 week pregnancy when it became non-viable.

Yet I also have had two other abortions by choice for unwanted pregnancies, which I somehow have to feel even braver for "admitting" to. These two sites have many stories by women who had abortions for all of the reasons that we choose to terminate both wanted and unwanted pregnancies.
posted by Isadorady at 8:05 PM on June 20, 2012

Wheter wanted or unwanted, I want to give all these women a hug. I couldn't imagine having to make these choices.
posted by stormpooper at 6:55 AM on June 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

Ah, good to meet you feathermeat... Atrocious, isn't it?

The worst part is that in our case, there was no expected miscarriage---the baby would have been born alive, though it would have needed to be taken into the ICU the instant the cord was cut for the first of many, many open-heart surgeries, while we waited to see if it was going to have partial or total immune system collapse. My partner and I are both pro-choice, but it's hard not to feel like you're killing your daughter when they've got the sonogram hooked up and you can see its legs kicking while they drive the needle full of potassium chloride into its heart.

The spouse and I are both, of course, still emphatically pro-choice, and this has really brought home the importance of legal late-term abortions. But it did leave us even more impatient with the pro-choicers who yelp "It's just a bundle of cells!" There was no question for us that this was a mercy killing---the life of a child born with this list of genetic deformities would be terrible for all involved. But it was pretty clearly a killing.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 7:31 AM on June 21, 2012

I'm not pro-choice, because that always seemed like a bit of distancing language. I'm openly pro-abortion, because the people who are getting abortions are the ones who need the support and care. People who choose not to have no need for the attention, and their lives aren't the ones being threatened by superstitious throwbacks.
posted by FatherDagon at 10:36 AM on June 21, 2012 [2 favorites]

"Pro-abortion" is a terrible rhetorical platform, though. Abortions suck. They're awful things to have to go through. I call myself pro-choice because one must have the right to do things that suck, especially when they suck less than the alternative.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 11:36 AM on June 21, 2012 [2 favorites]

Well, I respectfully disagree that abortions are always a terrible thing to go through. As I pointed out on my earlier post there are times when the choice, at least for me, was a relief and I would venture the same for other women,too.

Earlier: These two sites have many stories by women who had abortions for all of the reasons that we choose to terminate both wanted and unwanted pregnancies.

posted by Isadorady at 11:50 AM on June 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

The choice is absolutely a relief! In our case, it was a lifesaver. But I don't think that obligates us to say "I love abortions!" Chemotherapy is a lifesaver too, but it's still an awful thing to have to do.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 12:17 PM on June 21, 2012 [2 favorites]

I raise an eyebrow at I’ve known women who had abortions, women who gave a baby up for adoption, and women who raised an unintended baby on their own. None of those options are easy. None of those options are any less painful, traumatizing, or side-effect filled than any of the others.

Although that's true for many women, it's also true that for many women -- myself among them -- that having an abortion was an easy decision, was uncomfortable but not "horribly painful," and wasn't in the least bit traumatizing.
posted by The corpse in the library at 12:46 PM on June 21, 2012 [3 favorites]

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