I desperately want a baby, but would immediately need an abortion if I were to get pregnant.
My husband and I have been trying to conceive for about two years. We tried tracking. We tried medications. We got all sorts of invasive testing. The best the doctors could say was that I had low follicle count for someone my age, and to keep trying. We could also consider IVF to increase the chances.
Then came a kick to the gut. At a hematologist appointment, I found out that I have two rare clotting disorders, leading to an exponentially increased risk of blood clots during pregnancy. Any single blood clot can be fatal, depending on where it starts and where it travels, and the hematologist said I would probably have a 15% to 30% chance of developing a blood clot during pregnancy. This percentage would be even higher if I went through the process of IVF or other hormonal treatments in the attempt to get pregnant.
Not only that, but I would also be extremely likely to miscarry, even if I were lucky enough to get pregnant, and not die in the process.
“I have two rare clotting disorders, leading to an exponentially increased risk of blood clots during pregnancy.”
I was heartbroken, but we pressed forward in exploring other opportunities to have children, and are very excited to hopefully add a child to our family in the near future.
So what happens if I do get pregnant, despite the odds stacked against it?
If we were living in different times, or in a different place, it wouldn't be such a huge concern. Medical advancements in the past decade or two have made abortion accessible, safe, and virtually painless.
Now, with recent US Supreme Court decisions, and upcoming Ohio abortion laws (including a ban after six weeks), we are left wondering how to keep me from dying if I get pregnant. It's not that we don't want children, nor do we plan to be irresponsible.
But that doesn't matter. A group of (mostly) old men with no medical training has decided that a clump of cells is more important than I am.
“Some doctors may take that risk. Many won't.”
This clump of cells is now more important than my life – unless a doctor is willing to go to court to fight for their decision to save me.
Under Ohio's "heartbeat bill," as the new six-week ban is "lovingly" called, abortion is still legal for the first six weeks, or in cases of serious threats to the mother's life. There is not a clear exemption process for what defines a threat and when doctors could proceed with abortion. This law only allows doctors to present an "affirmative defense." This means that my doctor would have to perform the abortion, wait to be charged, and then hope that their argument for saving my life is strong enough to avoid the penalties of felony charges, financial penalties, and loss of their medical license. Some doctors may take that risk. Many won't.
My doctor's ability to determine the best way to treat me has been limited. My right to make decisions for myself about my own body has been severely restricted. My husband's wish to keep his wife alive rather than protect a clump of cells has been ignored.
“People are celebrating that women are going to die, because their doctors won't be able to perform life-saving procedures.”
All of this happened in "the land of the free," and people are celebrating.
People are celebrating that mothers in poverty are going to be unable to feed their children due to one mouth too many. People are celebrating that the number of children in foster care or up for adoption is going to skyrocket, when we can't even keep up with the number we have now. People are celebrating that women are going to die, because their doctors won't be able to perform life-saving procedures.
I am lucky. The chances of me getting pregnant are extremely low, and I have a husband who puts my life above that of a clump of cells. Upon the repeal of Roe vs. Wade, he immediately agreed to look into a vasectomy. We have our own company and set our own hours, and could easily drop everything to travel to a nearby state or country that allowed abortions, if it were needed.
Other women aren't so lucky, and their blood is on the hands of Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito Jr., Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett.
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