I believe that it is the hardest thing I have ever done, to say goodbye to my babies because they had sad prenatal diagnoses. I believe it is harder than being my mother’s support person when she was hospice dying from lung cancer. I believe it is harder than all the children I helped take off life support, when I was in training to become a pediatrician.
I believe it is one of the hardest things any woman can know, to grieve for her baby and empty womb, to endure her milk coming in with no baby to nurse the pain away.
I believe that my children who died were not just fetuses. I believe they were loved and wanted, deserved good names, memorial services, and special blessings when we sprinkled their ashes.
I believe I am not evil because I and my husband decided to end 2 pregnancies when we found out our babies had trisomy 18 and trisomy 21. I believe it is OK to say out loud that I have had 2 abortions. I believe I would make the same decision again.
I believe that my fellow Christians have caused untold pain and anguish for women like me. I believe we are meant to hug each other and dry each other’s tears. I believe that is what Jesus would do.
I believe that every person with Down’s or another disability deserves as much help as we can give them to be the most they can be. I believe I am not against people with disabilities when I also say it is OK to end a pregnancy with a sad prenatal diagnosis. I believe our country has woefully neglected help for people with disabilities, we should be doing much more.
I believe that the news media have caved in. I believe they should not shy away from we who have had abortions, because it’s too “controversial.” I believe every year there are tens of thousands of women and families who make this same decision after a sad prenatal diagnosis, and we are not well served by the media. I believe a vocal minority has been allowed to dominate the issue. I believe there shouldn’t be just stories about people who continued pregnancies after difficult prenatal diagnoses, leaving us to mourn in silence without any societal support. I believe there shouldn’t be just stories about 3 and 4 year olds with Down’s, but also about 34 year olds, about what their parents face when caring for them or finding them a group home.
I believe that politicians and judges should talk about more than the life or health of the woman, when setting limits to anti-abortion laws. I believe that no politician has the right to tell me what to do, when I find out my unborn baby is dying. I believe that no politician has the right to tell me what to do, when I find out my unborn baby is very sick but not necessarily dying.