Abortion Story #277: Meredith’s abortion at 22 weeks

Roar will publish a first-person story about abortion, “My Abortion: A Daily Story,” every day for at least 365 days. What follows is the opening excerpt of Meredith Isaksen’s story. She shares what it was like to learn of a fetal abnormality in her second, wanted pregnancy and to make the decision to obtain an abortion. Meredith considers how her experience “made [her] more compassionate.” Read her full story that was published as an opinion editorial in the New York Times.

Note: Federal lawmakers are seeking to restrict access to the care Meredith needed. On October 3, the US House of Representatives passed HR 36, a bill to ban abortion after 20 weeks’ gestation and criminalize abortion providers. US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell recently stated that its legislative companion, S 1922, would receive a Senate vote in the near future. To urge your two senators to reject this harmful ban, find their contact information online here.

“I was 21 weeks pregnant when a doctor told my husband and me that our second little boy was missing half his heart. It had stopped growing correctly around five weeks gestation, but the abnormality was not detectable until the 20-week anatomy scan. It was very unlikely that our baby would survive delivery, and if he did, he would ultimately need a heart transplant.

In the days that followed, after the poking and prodding, after the meetings with pediatric cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons and geneticists, my husband and I decided to terminate our pregnancy. I was 22 weeks pregnant when they wheeled me into the operating room, two weeks shy of viability in the state of California…”

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