My Out-of-State Abortion

Mar 7, 2015 | Anencephaly, D&E, Neural Tube Defects, Stories

Because of anti-abortion laws in my state, we had to drive to another state for a surgical facility that would perform the procedure to end my pregnancy.

A Mother in Mississippi

My husband and I already had a beautiful little girl when we conceived our second child. We were very excited about the pregnancy, and told everyone. I never dreamed that pregnancy would end at an abortion clinic in another state.

The day of the ultrasound where we were to find out the sex of the baby finally came. All we thought about was whether we’d be having a little girl or a little boy. I don’t think it ever occurred to us that this would turn out to be the worst day ever.

I knew something must be wrong because the technician doing the ultrasound wouldn’t say a word. She just looked and looked, then brought other professionals in to look, and they muttered things like “do you see that?” to each other.

We asked what was wrong, and all she would say is “There is a problem, but you’ll have to speak to your doctor.”

Upstairs in his office, the doctor told us our baby girl had anencephaly. Neither of us had ever heard the word, or had any idea what it meant. The doctor explained that our baby’s brain and skull had not developed and she could never survive survive outside the womb, and if I continued carrying the pregnancy I was putting my own life at risk.

I was already well into my second trimester when I was told I should abort my baby. We saw a genetic specialist several times and they told us the same thing: this was bad, we should end the pregnancy, I was in danger, the baby couldn’t live anyway.

The real slap in the face for me was that as bad as it was, we could not go to a hospital for the procedure to end the pregnancy. We would have to go to an abortion clinic. I felt confused, hurt and like I’d entered the Twilight Zone. I wanted this baby so much. How could I go to an abortion clinic? Wasn’t that just for people who didn’t want to be pregnant?

Because of extremely strict anti-abortion laws in my state, we had to drive to another state for a surgical facility that would perform the procedure to end my pregnancy. Two days later, my baby was gone. My husband and I had to find a way to explain to our 4-year-old why she wasn’t going to be a big sister after all. It was the worst time of my life.

It was a long time before I could even talk about what had happened to me. I still have a hard time every year around the month of October, the anniversary of her death. I feel that I will forever be the mother of two, but one of my children has gone to live in heaven with my mother now. The pain hasn’t gone away completely but over time it gets easier.

I never thought I would need an abortion. I wish I could have at least had it done in a hospital, but because of anti-abortion politics in Mississippi I was forced to travel to another state, to a clinic. Our prenatal diagnosis of anencephaly was dire, terrible. I felt so out of place, being that far along and sitting in the waiting room with women I could only assume didn’t want to be pregnant. I’ve since realized that probably we were all in some kind of crisis or another, but at the time my crisis just seemed so different from theirs. I’d have given anything if my baby just could have been viable with a chance at a healthy life. Having to go to a clinic added to my suffering, which given my circumstances was already hellish enough.

May God bless all of you who’ve faced a similar tragedy.

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