The doctor walked into the small office and sat down at his desk. I tried to read his thoughts, but he gave nothing away. He returned my stare with a blank one of his own. My wife and I were both in our early 30s and she was pregnant with our second child. The doctor had run several prenatal tests on my wife and the baby and one of the scores came back higher than the doctor liked.
To clear things up, he completed a procedure where he used a thin needle to remove a small amount of fluid from the sac surrounding the baby. The fluid is often successful in diagnosing chromosomal and genetic issues.
Amniocentesis is estimated to give a definitive result in 98 to 99 out of every 100 women having the test. However, it cannot test for every condition and, in a small number of cases, it’s not possible to get a conclusive result. As our luck would have it, we fell into the that small percentage in no-man’s land.
The doctor looked at us and then back down at the paper in front of him. He was hoping that the test would give us a better sense of what to expect. He couldn’t: The baby could be perfectly fine or it may not even survive childbirth. My wife and I left the office frustrated and confused. We were devastated. We were heading directly into hurricane-like winds with nothing more than a small umbrella to protect us.
When we got home, we checked on our daughter, a toddler at the time, and then ran to our corners. My wife stayed downstairs, I fled upstairs, until later in the evening when we came back together. We knew that we had to get everything off our chest and express our deepest worries. We cried some, talked some more, and even prayed for guidance.
We looked at our future, from both a best case and worst case lens. When we were done late that night, we decided to keep the pregnancy going. We were adamant about pushing forward to the end. We knew that our love for our baby was endless, no matter what happened. Of course, our son was born and was a normal healthy boy. The original test was a simple irregularity.
Some may think that our story proves that I’m Pro-Life and support the recent Supreme Court ruling. They would be wrong.
We were fortunate. We were a young, but growing family, with plentiful resources. If there were significant issues, we had extended family that we could count on to support us. We both had good jobs and were on solid financial footing. We knew where to turn for help. Finally, we were in love and viewed our relationship as a partnership. We had each other’s back.
However, we saw many other mothers-to-be in the hospital who weren’t so fortunate. They came from broken homes. They didn’t have spouses or significant others or even other family members attending doctor’s appointments with them. They weren’t living happily-ever-after, love stories. I couldn’t be sure but one mother in our labor and delivery class looked like she was just getting by.
Yes, yes, we were having our baby “come hell or high water.” Anyone who knows my wife knows that that question was never in doubt, but, that’s us, that was our decision. As crazy as it may sound to some people, I don’t think my wife’s and my choice in how we handled our situation, should be thrust upon someone else as the law. I wouldn’t want that to happen to me, I don’t think it should be that way for others.
A supreme mess
I believe the Supreme Court with its recent decision to overturn Roe v. Wade has ventured into questionable territory. On one hand, the court is trying to control women and how they live their lives, but cares little about controlling the threat of violence based on their recent gun rulings.
(In 2020 alone, more than 45,000 Americans died from a gunshot, whether by homicide or suicide, more than any other year on record. The figure represents a 25% increase from the previous five years, and a 43% increase from 2010, according to the Pew Research Center. By comparison, the gun death rate in the U.S. is much higher than in most other nations, particularly developed nations, but is still far below the rates in several Latin American countries, including Venezuela and El Salvador.)
I’m all for hunting and gun rights, but you can’t overlook those numbers, especially around assault weapons. You can’t hide them under a rock and forget about them. We have a problem and young children are caught in the crosshairs.
Are you a hypocrite?
But back to the issue at hand: the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade. I’m bothered by the hypocritical nature of the issue. I hear the Pro-Life claims that abortion is murder. They claim life is sacred. We would disagree on when life happens, but for the sake of their argument, I’ll agree that life is sacred. Why then do many of these same people react harshly against immigrants running for their lives? Isn’t the immigrant’s life sacred too? Or, you’ll hear many of these same folks talking about the need to bring back capital punishment or coming out against stable healthcare for the young and the aged. No, no, you don’t get to force your view that birth begins at conception and then treat every other life like it doesn’t matter. That’s Pro-Fetus, not Pro-Life.
Where’s this lead us?
I worry that we’re headed down a slippery slope, with both sides yelling at the other — white old men “mansplaining” to rape victims what they need to do and on the other side, pro-choice advocates so upset they forget the mothers they’re supposedly representing.
I fear for poor mothers forced to bring unwanted children into the world and then being abandoned at the first opportunity by society. And yes, before anyone goes there, I know that many churches and agencies exist to help young mothers, but there’s not enough of them, far from it.
Finally, I’m left with the thought that the Supreme Court has not outlawed abortions, it’s just changed the landscape, making it about control and influence. The wealthy will still have options, they’ll force their girlfriends and mistresses, and God forbid, their own children, to travel to other states to get an abortion. It’s the lil peasants on the street who will suffer. In the words of Marie-Antoinette, “Let them eat cake.”
It’s a tough issue and it’s not going to go away. It’s just gotten messier that’s all.