Stringent anti-abortion legislation has been passed by lawmakers in Ohio, Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Utah, Mississippi, and Missouri, with similar measures pending in other states. The Republicans’ ultimate goal is to repeal Roe v. Wade altogether, making abortion illegal in the United States.
In response, women are taking to whatever platforms are available to them to share stories of their abortions and relating the countless reasons that women get abortions. Some are using hashtags like #ShoutYourAbortion and #YouKnowMe to get others to join in. The fact that women are being so open with their stories is heart-warming, but at the same time, it’s frustrating that they should have to, all in order to simply have more rights than a fetus growing inside of them.
An OB/GYN with 17 years of experience working with women took to the Scary Mommy page on Facebook to share why she doesn’t think women should have to make a case for their own humanity.
I have been an ob/gyn for almost 17 years. And I would like to invite you to come into my exam room just for a moment,…
The doctor, who doesn’t give her name, writes that other people’s feelings about a woman’s pregnancy and decision to terminate aren’t relevant. The only choice that matters is the woman’s own. She begins by sharing some of the reasons women have given her for wanting or needing an abortion.
I have been an ob/gyn for almost 17 years. And I would like to invite you to come into my exam room just for a moment, to listen to the stories I have heard from women. Listen carefully to what is said to me behind closed doors. And then get the f*ck out, you and your decisions about her life don’t belong there…. I can’t afford to feed my children I have now. I fear for my life. I went into heart failure with my last pregnancy. My tubes were tied, I never intended to have more kids. I’m starting grad school in a week. I had an affair and made a mistake and I don’t want to break up my family. I am alone. I had a one night stand and don’t know who the father is. I was raped. I am 13 years old. I’m 48 years old. I have breast cancer and am getting chemotherapy. My uterus ruptured during my last pregnancy. My diabetes is completely uncontrolled. This pregnancy put me in kidney failure. I have malignant melanoma. My baby has multiple anomalies. I’m worried I will kill myself if I keep this pregnancy. I don’t want a baby right now. I don’t want to be pregnant.
She concludes by saying that while all those reasons are valid, they’re not the only valid reasons—any reason that a woman has for not wanting to carry a pregnancy to term should be good enough.
Here’s the thing. Even with all those statements, the truth is, it should not matter. You don’t need a reason other than, this is your choice.
My body. My choice.
And if I get sent to prison for 99 years for taking care of my patient during such a personal and difficult decision, we have gone too far!
She also added on a few hashtags: #stayoutofmyexamroom, #everyoneshouldhavethechoiceandaccess, #isupportplannedparenthood, and #plannedparenthood.
The Guttmacher Institute conducted a survey in 2004 that involved 1,209 abortion patients at 11 different providers. The results showed that the most frequently cited reasons for having an abortion were that having a child would interfere with a woman’s education, work, or ability to care for dependents (74%); that she couldn’t afford a baby at the time (73%), and that she didn’t want to be a single mother or was having relationship problems (48%). Nearly four in 10 women claimed they were done childbearing, and almost one-third said they were just not ready to have a child.
People spoke out in the comments about how much they appreciated and respected this OB/GYN for her post.
At least one commenter was personally anti-abortion, but still pro-choice for other women.
One woman also reminded people to make donations to organizations like Planned Parenthood, NARAL, or the ACLU.
And one woman added that while women shouldn’t have to share their reasons, it was helpful to hear some of the common reasons that have nothing to do with rape or incest.
The world needs more doctors like this one.