Wednesday, January 23, 2008
My abortion story
While I missed Blog For Choice Day, which was yesterday (on the 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade), I still wanted to write something about abortion and how it has affected me.
I don't have a personal abortion story to tell, although I might have. My story is about an abortion that might have been, if things had turned out differently.
When my husband and I decided to get pregnant, we knew that we were about to face a big decision. My husband has a genetic disease called Neurofibromatosis (NF). I should do a longer post on this, but basically, if one parent has the gene, the child has a 50/50 chance of getting it. NF, which is characterized by neurofibromas, or growths on the nerves, can be as mild as a few bumps on the skin, or as severe as numerous growths causing disfigurement, pain, and can even turn cancerous. You never know how severe a case can turn out to be. My husband has been very lucky in this regard, but others in his family have not. Both his father and his brother died of complications related to NF. So my husband was very clear that he didn't want to pass this disease onto a child.
At that time, which was 1998, there was a test available for the NF gene after you got pregnant. (I believe that now there is pre-implantation testing, but it wasn't available at that time.) You had to have a CVS at about 9 or 10 weeks, and a few weeks later, you would find out if the fetus had the gene or not. So basically, if we wanted to have a child, our choice was to get pregnant, have the test, and if the baby had the gene, have an abortion. At about 12 or 13 weeks. Not a great choice, but that was all we had.
So that is what we did. We got pregnant. (And I had really really bad morning sickness... but that's another story...) I had the CVS. We waited around for the test, two very very very long weeks. And then, finally, we received the result. Remember, there was a 50% chance that we were going to terminate this pregnancy.
Luckily for us, the results were negative, and we continued the pregnancy. But if the results had been positive for NF, we would have terminated. Because my husband didn't want to see another person suffer with a disease that had already devastated his family.
So that's my story. If abortion hadn't been available to us an an option, my son wouldn't be here today.