Blog post

I Can Love My Baby, Grieve My Loss, And Still Have Had An Abortion

October 29, 2018

They say, we are perfectionist uptight women who are unable to tolerate the thought of a child with special needs.

They say, we took the easy way out, to avoid dealing with a medically complex child.

They say, we are cold, uncaring women, throwing away our child the minute there is a problem.

They say, we didn’t love our babies, because we had an abortion.

They say, we are not allowed to mourn our babies, because we had an abortion.

They say, we gave up too easily because we had an abortion when our baby was sick but not dying.

They say, we don’t care about people with disabilities, because we chose to have an abortion for our baby who had a significant prenatal diagnosis.

They say having an abortion when your baby is very sick or dying is different from taking your 2-week-old dying baby off life support. Because it’s an abortion. Because we didn’t wait for nature to do it for us. They say we were pushed by our doctors or families into having an abortion, that we didn’t know what we were doing.

They say we’re not as strong or noble as women who continued a doomed pregnancy until the baby died of natural causes. They say we shouldn’t talk about mourning our babies. Because how can we mourn, if we had an abortion? They say we are greedy and selfish because we chose to value our own health and have an abortion for a sick or dying baby. When we might have died from continuing to carry a sick baby. When we might have died or had complications from delivering a stillborn baby who was several months more developed. They say it is eugenics to have an abortion for a baby with a prenatal diagnosis. As if our only reason for deciding on abortion was to change the gene pool.

The reality is, NONE OF THOSE STATEMENTS IS TRUE.

We can love our baby with our whole heart, and still have an abortion.

We can be fierce advocates for people with disabilities and still have an abortion.

We can decide to have an abortion, and fully support those who decide to continue their pregnancies. We can realize that sometimes life is not black and white, but very, very gray. It is not always either/or, but often both/and. We can listen to information, evaluate it, and come to our own wise decisions. We can ask our doctors to help us in our time of need, knowing full well it will lead to losing our babies.

We chose a path that leads to mourning in silence. Alone. Not socially supported, but with stigma instead. It takes enormous strength, love, and altruism to do what is needed and say goodbye to your baby, and then face a society that calls you “murderer” and worse.

We know that each woman needs to be able to decide what is best for herself and her family, no matter why she is considering abortion. We know that women are intelligent and capable, able to make sound decisions for their own lives and their children and family’s lives. We know that there are many religions in this country and that none of us should be forced by the government to follow the dictates of one religion, especially if it is not our own religion.

It is immoral, to say horrible things to women who are about to have or have just had an abortion.

It is immoral, to tell women they don’t know what they’re doing when they make sound medical decisions by deciding to have an abortion. It is immoral, to shame women instead of supporting them in one of the most difficult times of their lives. It is immoral, to make someone’s personal private medical decision an acceptable topic for public conversation and debate.

It is immoral, to tell women what kind of feelings are acceptable after they had an abortion.

It is immoral, to not pay women fair wages and then shame them when they have an abortion because they know they can barely support the child(ren) they already have.

It is immoral, to use the force of government to make everyone live by the precepts of one religion, especially when is not their own religion.

Trust women.

 

Photo by Elisabetta Foco on Unsplash

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About the Author: Anne Mellinger-Birdsong

I am a pediatrician and epidemiologist who lives in Atlanta, and the mother of 2 children on earth and 3 in heaven. 

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    6 Comments

    • JP

      October 29, 2018 at 3:54 pm

      I dont agree with you
      It’s not ok to abort for any reason.God chooses life and death.we are never suppose to take a life unless in self defense, or war which is self defense. If we do we must ask to be forgiven and never do it again.pro- life all the way .as simple as this ,dont get pregnant if you dont want children or put up adoption.
      No one has right to take life.
      When we see the atrociste caused to these helpless infants..its barbaric.
      Go see the movie Gosnell and then tell me how you feel.
      All I’m saying is I’m not condemning..just stop the behavior

      1. Raging Banshee

        October 30, 2018 at 5:17 am

        You’re a bad person, JP. I hope you learn this in some way and change your horrible, immoral thoughts and views.

      2. Sabrina

        October 31, 2018 at 10:57 am

        I think you totally missed the point of this article. It doesn’t really matter what you think Anne should have done. It’s like you didn’t even read her words here. As a fellow mother who has had to terminate, both because I didn’t want my baby to suffer and because I could have lost my life, we just want to listen to our stories.

        I have been rejected from other bereaved parent groups because of people with hateful viewpoints like yours. The worst groups are those that claim to be “christian.” I deserve to grieve my baby. I doesn’t matter if you understand or not in the end, but you could refrain from posting garbage like your comment above on a website meant to help grieving parents.

    • Judi

      October 29, 2018 at 5:55 pm

      The Gosnell case is not representative of safe legal abortion, quite the opposite. He was not practicing within normal standard of care and exploited desperate women. What he did was not legal or safe or at all what happens in a normal legal later term abortion. Desperate women do not disappear if the procedure is declared illegal, it just makes the world more welcome to future Gosnells. Women (and the men that impregnate them) will continue to have sex and unwanted or even wanted pregnancies with poor prenatal diagnoses will continue to happen as they always have.

    • Hester

      October 30, 2018 at 10:13 am

      Yes you can!!!!

    • Andi

      November 2, 2018 at 10:45 am

      wow I grieve my daughter 17 years old every second of every day and you think it’s ok to murder your unborn baby b/c it wasn’t perfect! God help you. I have NO sympathy for you.

    {Thoughts}

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