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My abortion was at 23 weeks, barely within the legal limit to have an abortion in the state of Arizona.

I would like to share my story to help understand what an act of love and compassion my choice was.

My husband and I were so excited when we learned we were pregnant. We starting making plans for our future as a family. We went to all the normal OBGYN checkup appointments. Everything seemed fine. We were excited for the full-fetal anatomy ultrasound so we could start planning the nursery based on the sex. I had no reason to be nervous. It was just another ultrasound. My husband and I were studying the fuzzy black and white screen wanting to hear the sex of the baby. Instead, we had to walk down the hallway to the doctors, still my husband and I didn’t think anything was wrong. The OBGYN explained we need to see a prenatal specialist because one leg seemed to be shorter than the other and he made the appointment. My husband was already thinking about how to modify our house to accommodate her leg issue.

The waiting room at the prenatal specialist was excruciatingly painful—seeing other women happy holding their belly, while I was trying to hold back tears. Finally we were called back. I had another tech squirted the cold jelly and took another very in-depth ultrasound. Time seems to stand still. During the ultrasound, I start to have those full body cries. My husband helped calm me in order for the tech to get clear images. Finally she was done. The prenatal specialist would be in soon and said words I will never forget, “Oh good, the tissues are there.” We knew this was bad.

Being a women means making tough decisions about your body, your child, and your motherhood.

Maureen C.
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NARAL Member

The doctors confirmed our worst fears, yes one leg was shorter than the other. She also had tumors on her liver, half vertebrates and water on the brain. Our daughter, Zoey, had Vacteral Syndrome. Once the doctor got to her brain and vertebrates issue, I know as a mother what I wanted to do for my child. Our daughter could make it to full-term but she had a high chance of not leaving the hospital and not living to her 1st birthday. So though our daughter might live, it was not a life that we would choose for our child, a child that was deeply loved and wanted.

My husband and I were utterly devastated and drove home mainly in silence. My husband rushed through the house and removed all the baby stuff. Our family came over to offer their support.

I had always been pro-choice, but never would have thought I would get an abortion. This baby was wanted. Being a women means making tough decisions about your body, your child, and your motherhood. It means making a choice that you selfishly don’t want to, but which you know you have to, because your love for your unborn child is greater than the pain you will endure in going on without them.

My husband needed more time to try to process everything that just happened. But after talking to the prenatal specialist I knew time was not on our side. We decided that day to terminate the pregnancy. It was out last prenatal decision and one made with great compassion and love. And a decision that the prenatal specialist supported because she would have no quality of life, no higher brain function, no ability to live in the true sense of the word.

These doctors and their staff are the more compassion and kindness people I have even encountered. They are helping the vulnerable women in their most vulnerable of times.

Everyone should be able to decide if, when, how, and with whom they start or grow a family.

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