This article was originally published back in June but only recently came to my attention–and originally published in Self magazine of all places. Self does cater to a slightly older readership, so that might be why they took a chance on it. I speak from experience on this–a couple of years ago a freelance writer interviewed me for an article she planned on publishing in Glamour, which definitely targets the twenty-something crowd. She kept me abreast of the editorial process. The editor she worked with at Glamour kept delaying and pushing everything back, then told her flat out “we can’t run a piece about a site where women are happy about getting abortions, the advertisers will scream.”
This is not a happy article. It’s actually very sad, but it drives home a point that needs to be made to the antis–that second-term or later abortions are not the result of a woman taking months to make up her mind or skipping into a doctor’s office chirping “I, like, really don’t wanna be pregnant anymore!” and the doctor cheerfully replying “Okay then!” They are the result of irregular cycles, legal roadblocks, financial problems … but more often than not they are the result of the discovery that the child won’t survive to be born or will be catastrophically handicapped. Pro-choicers, however, routinely condemn women for choosing to continue such a pregnancy and that’s not fair either. I didn’t know that perinatal hospices existed and if such places put women’s minds at ease than I’m all for it. However, I agree with Paul D. Blumenthal, a professor at Stanford University Medical School, who says in the article that “Forcing a woman to carry a fetus with a lethal anomaly can be tremendously psychologically traumatic.”
The most important idea, as always, is that women in these situations have the choice as to how to handle an incredibly heartbreaking situation–and that no one call them “murderers” or “fetus lovers” because of how they choose.