Although research shows that women are undoubtedly sure of their decisions to have abortions, that doesn’t mean the decision is always easy — especially when we’re talking about late-term abortions, which are rare procedures that are usually done for heartbreaking reasons, such as news that the fetus won’t survive or that the mother’s life is at risk.
In response to Donald Trump’s horribly inaccurate rhetoric surrounding these procedures at last week’s presidential debate, one Utah woman took to Facebook to talk about her own difficult experience with a late-term abortion.
“I had to have a late term abortion. It was the worst moment in my life,” Alyson Draper writes. After becoming pregnant with twins via in vitro fertilization, one of the twins had died inside of her. The other, she says, had developed a severe case of spina bifida, a birth defect that impairs the development of the spine. “There was ZERO hope, and no medical miracle that could save him,” she says. “Our dreams were shattered.”
The pregnancy also put Draper’s health at risk, so she consulted with her doctor and a representative from her church (the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) to make the difficult decision. Although she says the abortion was performed “gently” via Cesarean section, she also describes it as “horrific” and “terrible.” Ultimately, she says, “I developed PTSD for which I had to be treated for years.” Still, with six other children at home, she says her abortion was medically necessary and had to be done.
Of course, not all abortion decisions are made under heartbreaking circumstances like these. But late-term abortions are usually only performed in exceptional cases, including those that pose a risk to the mother. “Women don’t have abortions in late term for convenience,” writes Draper.
Ultimately, Draper says, this is a personal medical decision: “No woman should have to have the state have a say in the most painful decision she will ever make,” she writes. “Please support candidates who support free will and the autonomy of our individual bodies, and not those who use sensationalized terms to get votes.”
At the time of this writing, the post has more than 100,000 likes and 146,000 shares.
Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?