Thursday, January 9, 2014

Again I've almost missed the anniversary of my abortion

until this article reminded me. 

Second-Trimester Tragedy

Thursday, January 3, 2013

coming up on anniversary

although I'm not even sure which one (just checked 3rd).

I come back every year to share that I still have no regrets.  No "traumatic stress" follow me.  Nothing.  I remain fine with the decision I made.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Abortion and Electoral Politics Blog For Choice Day 2012

The theme of this year's Blog For Choice day is "What will you do to help elect pro-choice candidates in 2012?"

Dear Voters,

Are you, along with 37% of Americans represented by the latest CBS/New York Times poll in support of abortion being generally available? Or even, along with another 37% concerned that abortion remain legal under stricter limits? Then you'd better start paying attention to the position on abortion of the candidates you elect this year! There are several bills about to enter the Senate, where if they pass, will become law.

May 4, 2011 58% of the House of Representatives voted (H.R.3) to restrict federal funding of abortion, an admittedly long standing restriction.

More worrisome however was The May 26, 2011 vote by 56% of the House that banned the use of federal funds to train physicians to perform abortion, the only legal medical procedure to be treated as such (consider for example the use of federal funds to train physicians on fertility treatments to which there are also moral obligations).

Not content to limit physicians with access to training to perform abortion, in Oct 2011 58% of the House voted to preclude individuals from using federally provided funds to purchase health insurance that included abortion coverage (The President has threatened to veto this Bill should it pass the Senate as well).

There were actually 8 votes in total affecting reproductive choice. See the voting record here (and at the bottom look at all the additional attempts to limit women's access to legal abortion!)

Want to see how your legislator is doing? Check out Naral website!

Write, call, petition, picket, do whatever it takes. if you are in the one out of three women who has had an abortion in her lifetime, please make sure that abortion remains legal for women in the future.

Very best regards, and with my fingers crossed for good luck,

Feminist Professor

BillStatusLast Action
H.R. 3: No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion ActPassed HouseMay 4, 2011 5:19 PM
S. 906: No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion ActIntroducedMay 5, 2011
S. 1241: Child Interstate Abortion Notification ActIntroducedJun 21, 2011
H.R. 2299: Child Interstate Abortion Notification ActIntroducedJun 22, 2011
S. 165: Abortion Non-Discrimination Act of 2011IntroducedJan 25, 2011
H.R. 361: Abortion Non-Discrimination Act of 2011IntroducedJan 20, 2011
H.R. 217: Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition ActIntroducedJan 7, 2011
H.Res. 430: Providing for consideration of the bill (H.R. 358) to amend the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to modify special rules relating to coverage of abortion services under such Act.Passed HouseOct 13, 2011 2:06 PM
H.R. 358: Protect Life ActPassed HouseOct 13, 2011 7:18 PM
S. 1374: Stop Deceptive Advertising for Women's Services ActIntroducedJul 14, 2011
H.R. 593: Taxpayer Conscience Protection Act of 2011IntroducedFeb 9, 2011
H.R. 2543: Stop Deceptive Advertising for Women's Services ActIntroducedJul 14, 2011
S. 167: Child Custody Protection ActIntroducedJan 25, 2011
S. 314: Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act of 2011IntroducedFeb 10, 2011
H.R. 1232: To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to eliminate certain tax benefits relating to abortion.Reported by CommitteeMar 31, 2011
H.R. 3130: Heartbeat Informed Consent ActIntroducedOct 6, 2011
S. 1005: Parental Notification and Intervention Act of 2011IntroducedMay 16, 2011
S. 1488: Hyde Amendment Codification ActIntroducedAug 2, 2011
S. 121: Pregnant Women Health and Safety ActIntroducedJan 25, 2011
S. 877: Protect Life ActIntroducedMay 4, 2011
H.R. 165: To authorize the Secretary of Health and Human Services to make grants to nonprofit tax-exempt organizations for the purchase of ultrasound equipment to provide free examinations to pregnant women needing such services, and for other purposes.IntroducedJan 5, 2011
H.R. 1319: Global Sexual and Reproductive Health Act of 2011IntroducedApr 1, 2011
S. 1904: Welfare Reform Act of 2011IntroducedNov 17, 2011
H.R. 1167: Welfare Reform Act of 2011IntroducedMar 17, 2011
H.R. 536: Indian Healthcare Improvement Act of 2011IntroducedFeb 8, 2011
H.R. 2085: MARCH for Military Women ActIntroducedJun 2, 2011
S. 1214: MARCH for Military Women ActIntroducedJun 16, 2011
H.R. 3541: Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act of 2011IntroducedDec 1, 2011
S. 1484: Hyde and Related Amendments Codification ActIntroducedAug 2, 2011
H.R. 364: Common Sense Health Reform Americans Actually Want ActIntroducedJan 20, 2011

CBS News/New York Times Poll. Jan. 12-17, 2012. (N=1,154 adults nationwide. Margin of error ± 3.

"Which of these comes closest to your view? Abortion should be generally available to those who want it. OR, Abortion should be available, but under stricter limits than it is now. OR, Abortion should not be permitted."

stricter limits



Wednesday, January 18, 2012

oopps I think I

missed my abortion anniversary

ok, just checked the dates on this blog and I didn't quite, but there we have anecdotal information about post abortion trauma. I've none, whatsoever. I don't think about my abortion really ever unless the topic comes up. I've become even more zen with the grey area in which abortion exists for me. As I wrote at the time, I know what fetal development looks like. I realize that with time and luck fetuses ex utero become people. And I'm still quite OK with having an abortion.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Blog for Choice Day 2011

Given the anti-choicegains in the states and Congress, are you concerned about choice in 2011?

Yes in particular as a woman who had a “later” abortion, and the moves by “moderate” abortion advocates to ‘compromise” I’m quite concerned about CHOICE in 2011.

The most likely outcome of the anti-CHOICE gains is not an outright repeal of Roe, which would no doubt galvanize pro-CHOICE people the way the Webster decision did in the late eighties, but rather a gradual restriction to the right to abortion. The most likely moves regard second trimester abortions. With the frontiers of medical intervention pushing viability ever earlier, although often without regard for consequence or quality of life, seemingly reasonable people find it difficult to argue to with parsing the semantics of abortion. i.e. abortion in the first trimester but not in the second. This criteria, is of course, imbedded in Roe’s vague language about viability. However, reasonable people may differ in their criteria of “viability,” i.e. breathing independently v ventilator, eating alone v nasal gastric tube. The logistics and logic are never as clear as “reasonable” people may believe. And until you face the CHOICE yourself, you have no idea what CHOICE you would make.

CHOICE is a relative term of course. One can only make a CHOICE for example, if aware that there is a CHOICE to be made. I made my CHOICE with all due speed, within a few weeks of becoming aware of my pregnancy, but given the present climate of “compromise” I am all too aware that a woman in a similar situation in the very near future may face NO CHOICE at all.

Or rather the only CHOICE many women may face is where to obtain their illegal abortion, because if the past is any guide to the future, we can be assured that women will still CHOOSE to pursue abortions. The CHOICE we face is whether we return to illegal abortion, killing women in the process.

Because ONE OUT OF THREE women of reproductive age in the United States has had an abortion, I encourage them all to raise their voices, and their vote, to ensure that their CHOICE is still available for women in the future.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

From Prochoice Thankyous

Just in time for Roe V Wade anniversary and blog for choice! What a wonderful thing! My abortion provider is my hero! My (no longer) OB/gyn is not.
I just stumbled onto your blog. I just spent some time combing through it and I think you're an incredible woman. I love that are so many of us that are strong, and brave and honest and can talk about our thoughts about experiences. The truth is, that's what we need. Honest perspectives, good, bad and ugly. as long as it's all true. That's why I'm inviting you to submit to my blog The goal of my project is to encourage pro-choicers to send their thanks to anyone that makes abortion possible in this world. Lord knows they have to deal with a tremendous amount of shit. It's nice to show them a little appreciation. You can go to my site for more info or examples and of course you're welcome to email me. Let me know what you think.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Another account

I am so happy to be able to bring you another woman's account of her second trimester abortion. The true complexities of abortion will never be approached if 1 out of 3 all remain silent!

First of all I want to say thank you for giving me the chance to share my story.

I’m in my mid twenties, happily married, and a mother of one. I have a beautiful eight month old who took eighteen long months to conceive. So to believe I was in “this situation” took two pregnancy tests and a confirmatory ultrasound.

The instant I found out I was pregnant I fell to the floor in tears. I knew I couldn’t have another baby, not yet. There are so many things that run through your head when those two pink lines come up, and in a perfect world, you should be happy if not overjoyed. I was neither of these two things. I was mortified, scared, and felt like my whole world got flipped upside down and came to a complete halt. I couldn’t function. Every time I thought about having another child so soon, I would burst into tears on the verge of an anxiety attack. We had so many great things planned and all of those things were coming crashing down around me.

I don’t have health insurance, my husband is a contractor which is short for a full-time, year round employee, and “we don’t want to pay for your benefits.” He makes too much money to qualify for any type of government/state aid and for all other medical coverage we pay cash. Working in the medical field I know a complicated pregnancy can financially ruin people. A normal pregnancy can cost in excess of $11,000, not to mention ultrasounds, anesthesia, and stress tests.

Since I had found out I was pregnant I knew I didn’t want to carry this pregnancy to term, I had this strong feeling that I just couldn’t do it. That it wasn’t right for our family. I couldn’t jeopardize all we had worked hard for to give our child the best possible life. And maybe when the time is right we can have another child, but that time is not right now.

When I went in for my ultrasound (at the local pro-choice clinic) I found out I was eighteen weeks pregnant. WHAT?! How could I not know I was pregnant, I mean I just did this a year ago. I was shocked and called around to the local OB’s in the area thinking I had no other choice then to have this child. Each and every one of the offices I called was less than helpful. Sure they did what they could (0ffered 20% discounts) but each and everyone I spoke to said it was going to be costly and they couldn’t help with hospital costs. I went into the ultrasound knowing that if I was thirteen weeks or less I would set up an appointment right away to end the pregnancy. Being eighteen weeks was a little too much to handle. The nurse practitioner at the clinic was very helpful and talked to me about ALL of my options. I never felt pressured into anything, every option was available and whatever I chose they would support. To think about all the pregnancy no-no’s I had committed the past eighteen weeks terrified me. I had already given this pregnancy less than it had deserved.

In all honesty I left the clinic thinking I had NO choices at all. I went home and talked (cried) it over with my husband. We’ve been married for six years and have been through three Iraqi deployments plus multiple shorter absences. This has made us excellent in communication and I knew that if we were going to make a decision we had to do it together and soon. We talked it over for what seemed like hours, which was really minutes and came to our decision.

The clinic I went to for my ultrasound only does first trimester abortions, so I had to call and get referred to an outside clinic. Since we live in upstate New York the closest place was near the city. I called the clinic and spoke to a wonderful woman who had explained I would need to have a two day surgical abortion. The appointment was scheduled for two days after my ultrasound.

When I got off the phone I felt instantly relieved, it was like someone took the shades off my life and I could see clearly again. I, as a woman had options. I have always been pro-choice I just never thought I’d be the one making this decision.

We made the trek to the city and my husband and daughter dropped me off at the clinic. For obvious reasons they didn’t want the baby in the office so that meant I would have to do this alone.

I was advised to not eat anything after midnight, which is standard of care for any chance of anesthesia and/or surgical procedure. I arrived at the clinic at 11am, the clinic was full. There were many African-American couples in the waiting room. There was a Latino woman with her mother, and two Caucasian women also without a support person. The office was sterile, it was like any other medical office and they were very discrete when it came to signage and office location. I was asked to fill out a few medical history papers and told to have a seat. In the process I met with a financial counselor, a regular counselor who explained the process to me more like a pre-op nurse than a counselor, had an ultrasound, and a finger stick to determine my blood type and blood count.

At around 2:30pm I was called back and put into an exam room. I first met with the physician who would be doing the laminaria insertion. He was rather rude at the beginning. Asking me how I got myself into this situation, didn’t I know better? I was on the verge of tears within the first few minutes he was in the room. I listened to what he had to say, then asked a few educated questions I had prepared from earlier in the day. He looked at me dumb founded and told me he was shocked I had asked these type of questions. I am a college educated woman who may not always look that part in print, but when it comes to my life and my family I make myself as educated as possible to the situation. After his shock wore off he informed me that I had placenta previa. Meaning the placenta covered the opening to my cervix. This made not only the abortion procedure more risky, but if I had decided to carry the pregnancy to term I would have lengthy bed rest as well as a c-section to deliver. There are a handful of other possible risks as well that I don’t want to get into.

I had opted to not to get anesthesia during the laminaria insertion for two reasons, the first I’m terrified of general anesthesia, and two I’m breastfeeding my eight month old and didn’t want to have to pump and dump for 48 hours. Due to the placenta previa the doctor urged me to receive the general anesthesia due to the risk of bleeding during insertion.

The anesthesiologist came and talked to me about the risks of anesthesia and assured me receiving it two days in a row is no dangerous than receiving it once. She was very nice and helpful, and completely understood my reasoning for not wanting it for the insertion. There is one thing I know, doctors don’t recommend things you don’t need, even when their bed side manner is less than desirable. So I elected the general anesthesia after calling my husband for confirmation.

I was told to undress and put my stuff in a large container. I walked across the hall with my container, set in on the counter, took my glasses off and got up on the table. The anesthesiologist placed my IV and before I knew it, I was off to sleep.

When I woke up I heard the nurse call my name. It was 4:00pm when I looked at the clock. I was told there was a complication during the procedure and I started to bleed. They had to complete the whole abortion during the laminaria procedure. I was in shock and relief at the same time.

I had “moderate” bleeding while in recovery and to get an injection of a uterine contracting medication. I had pretty bad cramps for about two hours after the procedure. They advised me to take prescription strength ibuprofen and that seemed to ease the cramps pretty well.

We went back to the hotel room and I kept me feet up while my husband took care of the baby. I slept pretty well, better than I had for the past two nights. And when I woke up in the morning I felt pretty well.

I am now a week and a half post-op and I feel great. I have light bleeding and absolutely no cramps. I think about less and less every day and I feel like everything is returning to “normal”.

I can honestly say that I do not have one ounce of regret about the whole procedure. There are times where I wonder what sex the baby would have been or if it would have the same deep blue eyes as my eight month old. But I know that when the time is right we will have another child, a wanted child, one that will have all the opportunities it deserves. And that fact alone gives me peace and comfort.

Although no one close to me knows about my abortion I chose to share my story because I believe women deserve to have an unbiased view of what really happens. Why some people choose to do it, and know that after it’s all said and done, a woman who is comfortable in her decision can resume normal life and have no regrets.

My hope is that the scare tactics used by some pro-life organizations can be weeded out and the real, medical backed facts can shine through, so that women who believe in the right to choose have all the information they need to make an educated decision that’s best for their families and themselves.