There are a million things that can go wrong inside you.
A couple of years ago when I first started going to a fertility clinic, Mr. A went on a business trip to, hell, I don’t even remember. We spend a hell of a lot of time together so I get twitchy when he’s not here for extended periods. My insomnia kicks in, and I do things like cut all my hair off or remodel the bathroom by myself with just a hammer. In this particular instance I stayed up all night reading stories about all the ways a pregnancy, even an advanced one, even one under the constant care of good doctors, can go wrong.
All the ways in which your hopes, finally realized, can be destroyed.
(Once you learn the names for every single part of you it starts to seem insane that anyone is healthy or can do anything at all.)
I read stories of women who lost twins at 18 weeks, who lost pregnancies at 22 weeks, who had baby showers. Who told everyone on the planet. Who bought maternity clothes. Who thought they were home free. Who were ready to have children, not hypothetically or by romanticizing a few cells in a petri dish but by feeling something kick and push inside them.
I thought of those stories when I first heard about this bullshit, and it’s taken me a few days to write about it because all I can think is that if it were possible to force every single one of these men to birth a stillborn or nearly-dead baby, I would do it, since personal experience is all that seems to get through to these thickheaded sociopaths [pdf link]:
If this bill had been passed before my
pregnancy, I would have had to carry to term and give birth to a baby whom the doctors
concurred had no chance of a life and would have experienced near-constant pain. If he had
survived the pregnancy—which was not certain—he might never have left the hospital. My
daughter’s life, too, would have been irrevocably hurt by an almost always-absent parent.
The decision I made to have an abortion at almost 22 weeks was made out of love and to spare
my son’s pain and suffering.
I am horrified to think that the doctors who compassionately but objectively explained to us
the prognosis and our options for medical treatment, and the doctor who helped us terminate
the pregnancy, would be prosecuted as criminals under this law for providing basic, safe
medical care and expertise. This bill does not represent the best interests of anyone, especially
families like mine. What happened to me during pregnancy can happen to any woman,
regardless of her health, race, ethnicity, economic status, or where she lives. This proposed law
is downright cruel, as it would inflict pain on the families, the women, and the babies it
purports to protect.
Just hearing about somebody else’s experience wasn’t enough for the fine gentlemen listening to this story:
“Ms. Zink, having my great sympathy and empathy both, I still come back wondering, shouldn’t we wait, like that couple did, and see if the child can survive before we decide to rip him apart?” Gohmert said. “So these are ethical issues, they’re moral issues, they’re difficult issues, and the parents should certainly be consulted. But it just seems like, it’s a more educated decision if the child is in front of you to make those decisions.”
Parents should be CONSULTED? Really? They should be consulted. I wonder who should actually fucking DECIDE, like a committee of maybe Rick Santorum, the Pope and a member of the Twilight cast? I mean fucking Christ on a catwalk, who else should be consulted if not the parents? And notice he didn’t say mother, he said parents, because obviously a father has just as much a say in whether his partner should die of sepsis from carrying a dead body inside her as the woman does herself.
While debating a similar 20-week ban last year, Georgia state Rep. Terry England (R) compared women to farm animals.
“Life gives us many experiences,” England said in response to concerns that a woman would have to carry a fetus to term that was not expected to live. “I’ve had the experience of delivering calves, dead and alive — delivering pigs, dead and alive. … It breaks our hearts to see those animals not make it.”
That’s his basis of comparison, because that’s his only personal experience. He’s not talking about his wife, daughter, mother, colleague, friend. He’s not talking about anybody to whom this has happened, because doing that would require making the leap we call empathy and this semi-literate titlicker can’t even spell it.
I hear these rabid wingnuts when they’re testifying about bills like this and I think, but this happens to so many women, so many that once you start looking for their stories, on a night when you can’t sleep, you spend eight hours reading them all. This happens to so many women, how can they not know anyone this has happened to?
And I guess it’s that vicious circle of you are a pig-ignorant fish-fucking ‘neck so nobody even BOTHERS to tell you about their experiences because what would be the point.Let’s see, I’ve just had to have a D&C or Christ forbid a D&E of my desperately wanted child, and it’s the most horrifying experience of my life, I’d better make sure the most backwards-ass Veggie Tale in my county knows about it so he won’t do something so buttheadedly stupid as to suggest we ban all abortions after 20 weeks, even if they’re medically necessary to save a woman’s organs or her life.
Yeah, I’m rushing right out to tell America’s Asshole Brother-in-Law about that too.