Stand up!

May 24, 2019 | Opinion, Stories, Trisomy 13 (Patau syndrome)

Bethany spoke at a Stop the Abortion Ban rally. This is what she had to say.

by Bethany

My name is Bethany, and I am here today because I am sick of being dehumanized. I am sick of my lived experiences being judged. I am sick of my body and my choices being exploited so that extreme Republicans can gather votes and money. The reasons people have abortions are varied. There are no right or wrong reasons. We need to stop allowing lawmakers to sit in judgment of the reasons we have for the choices we make for ourselves, our bodies, and our families. Stop the bans. Stop these harmful laws.

I had an abortion in December of last year. My son was given a terminal diagnosis, and my husband and I were told that as he developed, his body would turn on him, likely causing his death in utero. If he made it to term, he would live hours, days at the most. We made the choice to end his life before his suffering grew. I had a second-trimester abortion. My reason was to stop my very loved, and very wanted son, from suffering. His name was Robin. I am here as a grieving mother because extreme lawmakers would send my doctor to jail for 99 years. I am here fighting for my rights and my freedom, and for everyone to have bodily autonomy.

My message to the people pushing these laws is simple: leave me alone. Leave all of us alone. Our reasons are none of your business. My grief is none of your business. I will show up and tell my story and stand up for my rights as many times as I have to, but it is not decent of you to force me to do so. I have been through enough.

And to everyone else—fight. Stand up. Use your voice and share your story, because there are more of us than there are of them, but if we don’t stand up together, we will lose. I am here today sharing the worst thing that has ever happened to me. I am not OK. None of this is OK. Please stand up so I know I’m not alone. So that I know that people in this country, and in this state respect my rights to do what was best for me, and for my son. No one needs these laws to further complicate their options, their choices, or in stories like mine, their grief. We all have our reasons, and we must protect the freedom to make our own choices. Abortion is healthcare, healthcare is a human right, and we will fight to protect our rights.

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