Over one-third of women of reproductive age have an abortion by the age of 45. However, women who have chosen abortion are often absent from the public debate. In order to break the silence surrounding abortion, we will be featuring real stories from real women each Wednesday on our blog. If you would like to share your story with us or have it published on our blog, go to http://www.prochoice.org/pregnant/hotline/share.html.
In the 17th week of a much wanted pregnancy, my baby was diagnosed via ultrasound with renal agenesis, a condition in which the kidneys, bladder and renal system fail to form, and which is incompatible with life. I was told that if I did not terminate the pregnancy, the baby would either be stillborn or, if he survived to term, he would be born and then very shortly thereafter die of asphyxiation (a functioning renal system is necessary for fetal lung development). I chose to terminate the pregnancy at 18 weeks via induced labor and delivery (which I was advised was a safe way to terminate a second trimester pregnancy and which would allow a full autopsy on the fetus to determine if there were any genetic problems). I was in the hospital for two days, during which time labor was induced and I delivered my baby. My health insurance covered the entire procedure. Had I not been insured, I would have incurred thousands of dollars in hospital-related bills.
Honestly, I cannot imagine a health care system that would not pay for therapeutic abortions. Going through a therapeutic abortion is already emotionally wrenching and it would be a terribly cruel system that forces a woman to choose between carrying a child that will either certainly die or suffer terribly, versus being faced with thousands of dollars in medical bills that her family may be ill-equipped to pay. That is certainly is not caring for the health of myself and my family.
-submitted by Madison* through our website
*Names have been changed to protect patient privacy