“I am well-educated and raised in a good, responsible family and I faced the abortion dilemma on two occasions. The first time was in 1993 at age 18.
Having just graduated and heading off to college, I discovered I was pregnant. I was not mentally nor financially ready to raise a child and could never have given it up for adoption. I had a plan for my life and my career and I decided that an abortion was best for myself, the baby, the baby's father and my family at that time and place in my life. I went on to get my engineering and law degrees and now have a successful law practice. I have no regrets.
Fast forward 14 years later to 2007 at which time I was married with two young children, ages 4 and 5, and pregnant with my third. Approximately ten (10) weeks into my pregnancy, I started experiencing debilitating heartburn and back pain that would not go away for the rest of my pregnancy. Twenty-two weeks into the pregnancy, we learned that our baby had a severe abnormality and it would not be expected to live outside of the womb.
Given the timeframe and Ohio restrictions on abortion, my ob-gyn of 20 years would/could not terminate my pregnancy and referred me instead to an abortion clinic or to travel to Alabama or Georgia where the laws were not as restrictive at the time.
Given that I had two small children, was self-employed full-time, and did not have the extra money to travel so far on such short notice, I decided to try the abortion clinic. My husband drove me to the clinic immediately after the appointment with my ob-gyn. Of course, it was located in the rough part of the city and protesters were present.
I was then told at the clinic that I had to jump through hoops to get the procedure. I was made to feel like I was irresponsible, like I had not planned my pregnancy, like I was doing this on purpose, like I should be ashamed, like a criminal.
I left the clinic sobbing my entire one hour drive home only to have to go to work that afternoon. I then became angry - angry that I was unable to make the appropriate and necessary medical decision with my doctor. Because of the time restrictions, I was not being given any time to make a decision.
Despite my education, family support and better judgment, I then decided I would take matters into my own hands and create a health emergency that would force my doctor and/or the hospital to treat me and terminate the pregnancy. Out of desperation, I created a plan that I was going to implement within one week of the terrible news.
Fortunately, the night before I was planning on causing my health emergency, I noticed my pain was all gone. I called my ob-gyn the following morning and told her that I thought the baby died since I was no longer in physical pain. She checked me and verified that he was gone and scheduled me for delivery. I had to deliver my stillborn baby at 24 weeks. While I did not end up having an abortion, it was only because of the reckless laws preventing me from making a healthy decision.
Having experienced an unplanned pregnancy and subsequent abortion years earlier, I did not take any of my pregnancies lightly and was thankful for the healthy children I had. I cannot imagine being forced to bring an unhealthy child into this world with no real chance at life. I could not burden my family with the financial or mental anguish that would accompany that situation. I cannot imagine being forced to bring an unplanned child into this life and then having to make the decision to adopt that child to a stranger or to sacrifice in keeping and raising it when not prepared to do so.” —Bree