Sonogram of a Baby

Don’t Want an Abortion? Don’t Have One?

Sonogram of a BabyI’ve often heard the phrase, “If you don’t want an abortion, don’t have one,” as though permitting abortion only benefits those seeking to terminate the life of their unseen child and has no effect on the rest of us. That couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Please do not tell me, abortion only affects those who have one. I could go on about the tax money I am forced to pay to murder your child, a child I would gladly raise if you were to choose life and then ask me to take her.

Please do not pretend that only those faced with an unwanted pregnancy understand the stress of motherhood. Motherhood can be tough – tougher than I’d ever imagined!

Don’t pretend that abortion only saves lives of women. Women, even today, even in America, continue to die at the hands of abortionists. But what if there is more to it? What if those having an abortion are not the only ones who have their lives placed at risk through doctors who have become immune to the death and loss of the unborn?

I was about seven weeks pregnant when the bleeding began May 10th 1996 – so close to Mother’s Day. It was light spotting at first, and I wanted to believe…

But then, May 13th, a day I will remember forever, I had the appointment when I’d learn I was losing my baby. Only it wasn’t phrased like that. The words swam in my head, and over the next few weeks I’d hear things like “products of conception,” “fetal tissue,” and assorted other phrases spoken by those at the doctors’ offices. Each phrase empty of meaning, devoid of life,

but never once would I hear the word, “baby.”

On one visit, I sat in the waiting room with pregnant women of all shapes, sizes, and ages. I was pregnant too…but I was waiting for my child to die. No one sitting there knew that. Women smiled at me, and I forced myself to smile back. They probably assumed I was only a few weeks pregnant, not showing yet, but anticipating the arrival of a wondrous gift.

Instead, I was waiting for that gift to be “expelled” from me.

I would continue to feel worse over the next four weeks. I would get dizzy, feel faint, and experience an extreme stabbing pain. Some days I would bleed a lot. Others hardly at all, and I would think, “This must be it. This must be the end. It is finally over. I can get on with life again.”

But then it wouldn’t be over because the bleeding would pick up again (and in truth, even after the bleeding ended, I knew it would never be over; a piece of that child would always remain inside of me), and I would make another appointment with another doctor in the group.

At one of many appointments, the secretaries missed my name on the list, and I sat watching one smiling, joy-filled woman after another go in for her appointment, and I watched several of them leave glowing as they mooned over their new sonogram photos while I sat there.

Tears burning my eyes, I finally got up to tell the desk I was leaving. Realizing their mistake, they apologized profusely and took me right to a room. At least I didn’t have to face another woman asking when I was due, but things didn’t get better in the exam room.

A doctor I hadn’t met with yet came in shortly, and I figured they grabbed whoever was first available. He pressed on my abdomen a few times. He examined me internally. The pain was overwhelming, and I replied, “Yes I am feeling pain,” every time he asked whether I was feeling pain or just discomfort. I had the feeling he did not believe me and finally said that I wasn’t going to die from it, but that I was in pain, which made the doctor stand up and say, without looking me in the eye, that if I was not going to die from it, it was just a miscarriage, and we would meet again under better circumstances. He literally left the room in the same breath. The whole appointment took less than five minutes.

I’ve gone over that heartless wait I sat through while waiting for my name to be called and the exchange between myself and the rushed, uncaring doctor many times over the years, and neither the heaviness and confusion I felt nor the callousness of his behavior, the emotionlessness of his voice have been forgotten.

I have tried to give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe there was no eye contact because he knew the loss I was experiencing, but I have to dismiss that view every time. It didn’t match the rest of his demeanor.

I really believe he didn’t care. He could have been diagnosing the loss of my child or removing a wart. Neither mattered to him. I have also thought many times about how this doctor, about how so many doctors, must separate themselves from the fact that they are dealing with babies in utero if they are going to also perform abortions on those babies.

It must be impossible for a doctor to sympathize with the loss of one woman’s unborn child one day and pull the arms and legs off another woman’s unborn child the next.

To engage in abortion, you must tell yourself the baby moving around inside the woman, the baby sucking his thumb, the baby with a beating heart, intact spinal cord, functioning brain waves, and even tiny spiraling fingerprints is not a baby at all.

You must tell yourself there is no reason for a woman who loses a pregnancy to feel any more loss than if she had lost a job she wanted.

Yeah, it was a dream to get that promotion, but another opportunity will come up when the time is right. No big deal.

Yeah, it was a dream to have that child, but it was really just fetal tissue at this stage anyway. You can have another when the time is right. No big deal.

I left the office that day forever changed. I have always been prolife, but that day it truly hit me. Abortion is not just between a woman and her doctor. Abortion affects all of us.

I would continue to bleed for four weeks, returning to the doctor’s office many times, until finally, at 11 weeks, one doctor would have enough and kindly order the internal sonogram that found the ectopic pregnancy. I was sent quickly to the hospital for emergency surgery and was moments away from having that tube burst. I believe it is a miracle that it did not. Many ectopics burst long before that time.

An ectopic pregnancy can be difficult to diagnose, but over the years, I have wondered if the doctors who saw me had cared perhaps just a little bit about that unborn child, if they had spent just a few extra minutes with me, if they would have diagnosed that loss more accurately earlier? Was my life placed at risk by doctors who had seen caused the death of unborn children so often that they were incapable of recognizing the true pain of pregnancy loss? Did their failing to see the loss of my child as anything noteworthy place my life at risk?

Was my life placed at risk because of the practice of abortion? I believe it was.

Will someone you know have her life placed at risk because of the practice of abortion?

If you don’t want an abortion, do not have one is an invalid argument. Abortion truly does affect us all, and the doctors, who once preserved life and now choose to end it, make life less meaningful for all, putting all at greater risk of misdiagnosis.

Tomorrow prolife advocates will march in Washington DC and around the country praying for the unborn. Please pray for those innocent children, for the women holding their futures in their hands, for the fathers who often have no voice and for those fathers who selfishly or cowardly push women into abortion, for the grandparents and extended family members, for the doctors choosing this profession, and for our legislatures dictating law which truly does affect us all. 

God Bless…

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