I used to be pro-choice in the first trimester. I didn’t like it, and could never personally do it, but I supported women making their own choice for their bodies and lives, and not bringing unwanted children into the world (many of which would have difficult lives and end up living in poverty or with emotional issues being raised by parents who should not be parents). I had this accepting view on abortion because I was ignorant.
But then I delivered my baby (“fetus” as doctors called her) who had been growing inside me for only 13 weeks. She had a body just like a tiny infant – little arms, fingers, a face… before she stopped growing she had a heartbeat. She had a name and she had a future. We took her home from the hospital and buried her. She was our daughter and we loved her and grieved her – just like any other human being/person with a soul.
Thinking of women aborting babies like mine enrages me. How is it fair that they can discard something my husband and I desperately wanted but couldn’t have? How can these women not love something that we cherished more than anything in the world? How can women, who don’t want kids, have healthy pregnancies when I couldn’t carry my daughter past 13 weeks? I’m not judging these women at all — I know everyone has different circumstances– I’m just completely crushed thinking of babies like mine being killed on purpose, when I would have given anything to save my little girl.
Now that I’ve seen a baby in the first trimester, I can no longer believe in ignorant bliss that abortion only kills a “clump of cells.” Now that I’ve delivered a baby in the first trimester, I know an abortion isn’t just a blood clot that comes out of you that you wipe away and flush down the toilet. The “my body, my choice” argument just doesn’t make sense to me now that I’ve seen the other body that was inside me. I can no longer believe that a “fetus”/”embryo”/”ball of cells” isn’t a person (at any gestational age). Others may not have a name or a future like mine did, but just because the mother doesn’t want the baby doesn’t make him or her any less human.
I understand why we tell the woman who have had an abortion that the fetus didn’t matter and that her life was more important — I do the same when I kill a spider or eat a chicken. It’s the only way to live without all-consuming guilt and shame. But furthering the mindset that fetuses aren’t human beings makes losses like mine irrelevant and unrecognized. My daughter won’t be seen as my daughter by anyone else but me and my husband and our family. She didn’t get a birth certificate so it’s as if she never existed. If we hadn’t had insisted on picking her up from the hospital lab she would have been in some trash can somewhere. I’m not considered a mother by today’s society because she was never “born.” Just like women who have had an abortion don’t consider themselves mothers.
Since I delivered my daughter and the placenta naturally, I did not need a D&C surgery, which is performed when the body doesn’t recognize the baby has stopped growing. I did, however, look into what it entails, and it turns out it is the same procedure used in abortion (except in abortion the baby is still alive). The surgery pulls the fetus out of the uterus piece by piece, dismembering the baby. Despite how physically painful the contractions of delivery were for me, I am so incredibly thankful I went into labor and that my daughter was intact. I can’t even imagine choosing to tear my child to pieces, while she was alive. It is brutal, barbaric, and inhumane, and I would be devastated to have had that done even if she had already died inside my womb. My heart truly goes out to women who have miscarried who had a D&C, and to women who are pro-choice: please educate yourselves on what an abortion procedure entails.
Again, I’m not here to shame women who have had abortions — I know their experiences are often traumatic as well, and it breaks my heart that we live in a world where women are made to believe that inflicting trauma and violence upon their bodies is the solution to their problems. I just wish things could be different. So very different…
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Human Defense Initiative.