Draw the Line

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Tara

Ohio

Topics: Abortion, Pregnancy Care
Area of Life Affected: Dignity, Safety

I Felt Safe

When I was 20 weeks pregnant with my first child I learned that he would not survive outside of my womb. If he did survive birth he would face thousands of surgeries, pain, and no quality of life. No one could give us a definitive diagnosis, but ultimately his condition was fatal. We were shocked and numb.

“I always saw abortion as a black-and-white issue—until I was actually faced with it.”

My OB mentioned an “early induction,” but it wasn’t something she could perform. I’d have to call the hospital and arrange that myself. Turns out an early induction is basically an abortion in the eyes of that hospital. The hospital told me “they don’t really want to be associated with that.” Guess what? Neither did I. But the thought of carrying a baby who wouldn’t live seemed like a terrible alternative. I had never given birth, what did I know? I wanted it all to be over and done so I could move on.

The hospital told me to call the Center for Choice, which was the only place in town that performed abortions. I could not believe I was about to consider ending a pregnancy that I so badly wanted.

I went to the Center, paid my $75 “deposit,” and met with the kindest, most loving nurses and doctors I’ve ever met. The pain and love in their eyes showed me just how passionate they were about helping all women, without passing judgment. Their number-one concern was my health and safety. So much so that the doctor was willing to drive 200 miles round-trip that weekend to make sure the procedure was done on-time and as safely as possible. Because you can only get an abortion on a Friday in Toledo. And the process takes several days from start to finish. I had no clue.

Ultimately, this was not the right choice for me. I decided to carry my baby as long as he would have me as his mama. I can not describe the immense relief at both making that decision and knowing it was my decision to make. It absolutely sucked to have had to make that choice but at least I had the choice. The nurse at the Center for Choice held my hands, gave me a huge hug, and wished me the best of luck. It was the safest I had felt since we first heard that fatal diagnosis.

I always saw abortion as a black-and-white issue—until I was actually faced with it. But it is, in fact, one with mostly gray areas. Every woman has her own story. No one should tell her how that story should start, what should happen in the middle, or how it should end. I chose to get pregnant. I chose to seek out an abortion. I chose not to have an abortion. All of these choices were mine. I am so thankful that I had the choice.

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