I had an abortion yesterday, at 13.5 weeks. Unlike most of the women who seem to have posted here, I wanted to be pregnant. Unfortunately, I found out last week via prenatal testing that the baby had a severe chromosome abnormality and, even if it survived to be born, it would live a very brief and painful life. My husband and I decided that the kindest thing we could do for our child would be to terminate the pregnancy.
Though this was a very emotionally wrenching experience, I was very lucky in that my family and friends have been extremely supportive. The only criticism I've received has been from people who think that abortion is wrong no matter what and tried to convince me that continuing a doomed pregnancy would build my character or make me a better person. I think I'm as good a person as I'm going to get, and I don't need any more character.
Since I've been open about the fact that we ended this pregnancy because of "prenatal diagnosis," rather than calling it a miscarriage, I've encountered a lot of people with opposition to prenatal testing because it may lead to a decision to terminate. Personally, I'm grateful that my husband and I decided to go through the testing. We're both over 30 and there's a history of genetic abnormalities in my family. Without testing, I might have suffered through a second or third trimester miscarriage, a stillbirth, or giving birth to a very severely damaged child. I don't believe ignorance is bliss.
While my OB performed the procedure at the hospital, my insurance is refusing to cover the $2,000+ cost. Apparently, unless my life is actually at risk, the abortion is considered "elective." I've been lucky enough to have a doctor and doctor's office who are dedicated to fighting the "moral grandstanding" of the insurance company and will try to make them pay for the procedure. It strikes me as deeply unfair that the company will pay for in-vitro fertilization, Viagra, and other fertility aids, but will not pay to end a pregnancy that will not result in a living child.
I get very annoyed with "pro-life" people who claim (or would claim) that my experience is somehow morally superior to those of women who abort because they don't want to be pregnant. An abortion is an abortion. I am amazed at the strength the women posting here have demonstrated, in making a very difficult decision and then living with the results of the decision, whether or not they think they made the right choice.
There's a lot of rambling in this post, and I apologize for that. Vicodin doesn't make me very coherent. Please, feel free to drop me a line at shorty*@*henchperson.*org (remove the *s) if you'd like to talk to me.