“Purely a genetic fluke, nothing you could have done,” said Dr. Iglesias, who then asked for our family medical histories, and our medical histories. He handed us pens. We were confused, shaken, tired. “If it doesn’t die before you deliver it, it will have very serious problems,” he said. “It would likely not achieve consciousness and certainly would not live without some kind of extraordinary intervention.” That’s when I was given three choices: terminate the pregnancy now, do nothing and likely miscarry, or induce and deliver vaginally a baby who will die or be dead. Terminate. Miscarry. Induce.
“But I am still pregnant,” I insisted.
“Listen to me, Mira. ‘Partial Birth’ abortion is an inaccurate term,” is what Dr. Stein told me, over the phone, when I’d finally accepted her phone call. “You must understand that.” She explained how the term I had used to describe the D&E was a political one. Incorrect. Inaccurate. Charged with meaning. That the phrase was coined by the National Right to Life Committee, and that it was not recognized as a medical term by the American Medical Association. Or the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. That the term “partial birth abortion” was false. A generalization. A terrible term. She told me that my situation, right now, was my body’s. That I hadn’t done anything wrong, that I couldn’t have prevented any of this, that I needed to understand this, and that this was a decision I needed to make for myself based on what was best for me. And that the best decision, the healthiest choice, for me, in her opinion, as a health professional, as my doctor, was to terminate the pregnancy, immediately. The only one who was going to survive this was me. Period.
Commonly referred to as a “fetal pain” bill, House Bill 954 would tighten medical exemptions for terminating pregnancies and requireany abortion performed after 20 weeks of pregnancy be done in a way to bring the fetus out alive. No exemption is made for rape or incest. The measure says that a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks, therefore the state has an interest in protecting it.
Supporters of the new Georgia bill said it would save lives and protect more fetuses.
And try not to punch anyone in the face.
They have no idea, the people making these laws, how women’s bodies and women’s lives actually work. They have no idea all the things that can happen inside you, all the things that can go wrong. And so they make these glib and ridiculous laws that wind up hurting women who are already alive, while paying lip service to preserving life.