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Anorak | Abortion in Texas – one woman’s horror story

Abortion in Texas – one woman’s horror story

by | 16th, March 2012

HERE’S a horrible story of they do abortion in Texas:

Halfway through my pregnancy, I learned that my baby was ill. Profoundly so. […] “I’m worried about your baby’s head shape,” she said. “I want you to see a specialist—now.”

[… B]efore I’d even known I was pregnant, a molecular flaw had determined that our son’s brain, spine and legs wouldn’t develop correctly. If he were to make it to term—something our doctor couldn’t guarantee—he’d need a lifetime of medical care. From the moment he was born, my doctor told us, our son would suffer greatly.

So, softly, haltingly, my husband asked about termination. The doctor shot me a glance that said: Are you okay to hear this now? I nodded, clenched my fists and focused on the cowboy boots beneath her scrubs.

And then it got worse:

She started with an apology[…]

That’s not a good start, is it? An expression of sympathy, maybe. But an apology? It’s as if she knows that things are about to get worse. And they are.

My counselor said that the law required me to have another ultrasound that day, and that I was legally obligated to hear a doctor describe my baby. I’d then have to wait 24 hours before coming back for the procedure. She said that I could either see the sonogram or listen to the baby’s heartbeat, adding weakly that this choice was mine.

And:

“I don’t want to have to do this at all,” I told her. “I’m doing this to prevent my baby’s suffering. I don’t want another sonogram when I’ve already had two today. I don’t want to hear a description of the life I’m about to end. Please,” I said, “I can’t take any more pain.”…

“We have no choice but to comply with the law,” she said, adding that these requirements were not what Planned Parenthood would choose. Then, with a warmth that belied the materials in her hand, she took me through the rules. First, she told me about my rights regarding child support and adoption. Then she gave me information about the state inspection of the clinic. She offered me a pamphlet called A Woman’s Right to Know, saying that it described my baby’s development as well as how the abortion procedure works. She gave me a list of agencies that offer free sonograms, and which, by law, have no affiliation with abortion providers. Finally, after having me sign reams of paper, she led me to the doctor who’d perform the sonography, and later the termination.

… For the third time that day, I exposed my stomach to an ultrasound machine, and we saw images of our sick child forming in blurred outlines on the screen.

“I’m so sorry that I have to do this,” the doctor told us, “but if I don’t, I can lose my license.” Before he could even start to describe our baby, I began to sob until I could barely breathe. Somewhere, a nurse cranked up the volume on a radio, allowing the inane pronouncements of a DJ to dull the doctor’s voice. Still, despite the noise, I heard him. His unwelcome words echoed off sterile walls while I, trapped on a bed, my feet in stirrups, twisted away from his voice.

And still it went on:

When the description was finally over, the doctor held up a script and said he was legally obliged to read me information provided by the state. It was about the health dangers of having an abortion, the risks of infection or hemorrhage, the potential for infertility and my increased chance of getting breast cancer. I was reminded that medical benefits may be available for my maternity care and that the baby’s father was liable to provide support, whether he’d agreed to pay for the abortion or not.

Finally, my doctor folded the paper and put it away: “When you come back in 24 hours, the legal side is over. Then we’ll care for you and give you the information you need in the way we think is right.”

This is bullying by the State. The State does not own your body. It should not own it.

Image: A statue of Thomas Watson, former Georgia politician who, in early years, fought for the working class, is seen as hundreds of people around the Georgia Capitol protest against two pieces of legislation they say are unfair to women Monday, March 12, 2012, in Atlanta. The rally Monday comes after the Senate last week passed measures banning abortion coverage under state employees’ health care plans and exempting religious health care providers from having to cover birth control. 

Laura writes:

Arizona legislators have advanced an unprecedented bill that would require women who wish to have their contraception covered by their health insurance plans to prove to their employers that they are taking it to treat medical conditions…

If a woman wants the cost of her contraception covered, she has to “submit a claim” to her employer providing evidence of a medical condition, such as endometriosis or polycystic ovarian syndrome, that can be treated with birth control.

Spotter: BMJ



Posted: 16th, March 2012 | In: Key Posts, Reviews Comments (4) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink