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Suzanne Profile picture
22h 17 tweets 4 min read

Pro-lifers don’t like complexity. At 17 weeks my placenta detached and he was much too small. I thought I felt my baby’s frantic attempts to breathe. My OBGYN advised me to terminate the pregnancy, there wasn’t much time. But I couldn’t.   Every doctor told me it would only get worse. And it did get. But I already loved him. I’d waited 8 years for him. They saw on the Ultrasound that his umbilical cord was yards long. An umbilical cord spinning out a lifeline helplessly. He’d stopped growing. But his heart continued to beat even as his movements – frantic at first when the oxygen cut off, slowed, and he became horribly still. I hated the doctors who couldn’t save him.

An infection spread from the placenta to him. I began to understand, to believe them – that I would die too. I felt that we were dying. But selfishly I waited for more tests, and more tests, dozens of them. In a natural world without medical science, fluid tests, ultrasounds, in a world like the one God may have intended we would have died without the nightmare of knowing beforehand. But we are in this world. When my fever rose my family insisted. I was a mother already.
My child needed me. My family arranged with New York Presbyterian Hospital for us to fly to Kansas because I was now in my 24th week and he would not have filled my palm.

I dreamt of being filled with ice, and death. His organs were shutting down so there was no amniotic fluid. He was in a dry and poison uterus, suffocating. I was panicked by the thought of his suffering. We arrived in Kansas – an arid place I had only imagined through “The Wizard of Oz”. I was delirious, things were getting worse. The doctor in Kansas was kind, but sad. He carried a shotgun because he’d once been shot in both arms. Our taxi driver slowed to a crawl and rolled all the windows down as we arrived at the clinic. I didn’t know why.

My son was in the car with us. I hadn’t realized we were coming to one of those places from TV with angry people outside. They brandished signs cruelly displaying the bodies of tiny fetuses. Pumping the signs up and down and shouting. They saw my son in the car and began shouting at him, “Your mother is killing her baby!”. A nurse pushed through to shield us and guide us into the clinic. A psychologist spoke to my son. The process took a week. There is no such thing as “partial birth”.

I held his tiny body. We had a private service with a minister. He was like a bird in my hands. My son. I had never felt so empty. A trickle of blood ran out of his nose and I wiped it. Back in NYC some too observant people in my building knew. My milk had come in. The mail carrier who delivered his ashes to me knew, and I could see she wanted me to know that she disapproved. I saw she also felt sorry, but like she was supposed to despise me. We’d always gotten along. I closed the door and held the box under my robe and sobbed on the floor.

“Don’t worry, he just forgot something. He has to go back to get it, then he’ll come back.” my son was wise. I felt so much sadness. 15 months later I had a baby.

I was nursing him in the glider, and the song “Frankie and Johnnie”, was playing. I picked up the NYTimes. On the front page I saw that the doctor from Kansas had been killed while ushering in church.

Abortion Doctor Shot to Death in Kansas Church (Published 2009) A suspect was in custody in the killing of George Tiller, a doctor in Wichita, Kan., who survived a 1993 shooting. https://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/01/us/01tiller.html

Murdered by a man who traveled miles to kill the baby killer, hunting him down on a Sunday morning. People think of abortion as ending life, but it saves women’s lives, mothers’ lives. There is life today because of Dr Tiller. Where there would have been only emptiness and death.

#RoeVWade #AbortionRightsAreHumanRights #WomensRights #SCOTUS There is a complexity in the decisions a woman makes when the situation is impossible to fix. Women should be treated like humans.