I had an abortion when I was 31 because my baby had downs syndrome. The pregnancy was unplanned, but not unwanted. I was engaged to my now-husband, and although the timing was not great in terms of work/finances, we planned to have a family at some point, so we were shocked, but quickly became happy and excited about it. We were picking out names, we booked a daycare, started reading about birth plans. Then we got a call from the doctor saying there were some abnormalities with the scan, and that a blood test had shown an elevated possibility of downs syndrome. We had to have several weeks of tests and waiting, and then it was confirmed that our baby did have Downs. We had talked about it and for us, there was no question that we would terminate. My husband truly believed that was the best thing for the baby, and that it wasn’t fair on him to have such a severe disability. I did not feel that way, I knew we would love him and that he would be happy, but I also knew I just would not be able to mother him the way he would need to be mothered, and that we wouldn’t have the money to get him the special help he would need to be happy. I just couldn’t imagine going through with the pregnancy. Because by the time all the tests were done I was in the second trimester it was really, really difficult and expensive to get the abortion; we had to fly out of state, deal with a waiting period etc. This made me so unbelievably angry, that the government was trying to force me into creating a life I didn’t want and that I would not be able to support. What was even more difficult was knowing that we were going to terminate, but not being able to tell people around us, so having to deal with people asking us about the baby and wondering why we weren’t excited all of a sudden. If there had been less stigma and we could have shared what was happening it would have been so, so much easier. I don’t regret the choice. We are now married and we have a beautiful, healthy son. I am grateful I had the opportunity, and it scares me that people are trying to take that right to control their lives away from others.
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