Women Making Frivolous Medical Decisions

I joke all the time now, as I take Kick to doctor’s appointments and research various child care options, that I’m so hopelessly behind the 8-ball because I didn’t actually come to terms with being pregnant until month 6 or so.

In truth I started to feel like this was happening around the 18-week scan, when Mr. A and I met with a genetic counselor (necessary because of my “advanced maternal age”) and started going through the seemingly endless lists of everything that could be wrong with me and the child I could barely feel kicking yet.

We discussed tests and the reasons to perform them, and the counselor was gentle: If you want to “do anything” about the potential results of an amniocentesis, of this screen or that one, you have to get it all done in the next two weeks.

You have only this much time, before things get really complicated.

In recent months, there has been high-profile legislation across the country seeking to ban abortion after 20 weeks or earlier. This is precisely the point at which many fetal anomalies are diagnosed in a pregnancy. My own state, Michigan, recently passed a bill prohibiting insurers from providing coverage for pregnancy termination, with no exceptions for circumstances like fetal anomalies or rape, unless women have purchased a special policy in advance, as though this is a situation anyone would anticipate and plan for.

We were lucky. If we hadn”t been?

The people who write these laws genuinely think women are stupid, genuinely think women don’t understand their own bodies or what their bodies can do, genuinely think that an 18-week or a 22-week or a 28-week abortion is something you’d do on a whim.

Some of them have children and I do not get how you go through that and come out the other side feeling determined to make sure that if something does go wrong with somebody you’ve never met, that person suffers twice as much as is humanly possible.