Do you remember when I jabbered on and on before the State Senate speaking against a bill that would ban any and all abortions after 20 weeks? The bill didn't pass last year and a similar one was proposed this year and I was asked to come speak again. However, that was exactly during the time when I had a new project at work and I was moving and there was no time for me to spend an afternoon at the capitol building, even though I would have loved to because it was so interesting last year, and because it's good to be helpful. Things became intense though and video testimony was approved so a small camera crew came to my house, days after moving so it was a disaster there, and recorded me reading my testimony. I don't know if the video was ever used and I seriously feel sorry for anyone who had watch it because I am not good on camera (there would be no question of if an actor was doing the reading - it was definitely a real-life person!). So this year the bill was approved by the state senate and congress and the version I read goes something like this: abortions are prohibited beyond 20 weeks gestation EXCEPT in the event that the fetus receives a fatal diagnosis and then the pregnancy may be terminated at a hospital, which may mean only through induced labor and delivery (the language was pretty ambiguous). First thought - there were no exceptions written into the original draft of the bill so I really wonder if the video was used since the exception addresses the exact situation I was speaking about. Second thought - what about the very sick fetus's that are not given a fatal diagnosis and what if a woman would rather do a d&e over labor and delivery? From what I have heard (laws may vary in different areas), babies that are very ill and have uncertain life expectancies but are born alive MUST receive treatment (which can be invasive, intense, and takes the baby away from their mother which means they could die in the arms of healthcare workers instead of their parents). There is a lot to consider if your fetus does not have a clearly fatal diagnosis. It's so sad. Moving on to the labor and delivery requirement, that is what I chose based on what my doctor advised but it would not be for everyone for a bunch of reasons including the cost (my bill was $10,000, thank goodness I had great health insurance), the time (I spent over 4 days in the hospital), and it is freaking scary to birth a very premature baby and have no idea if they will be born alive (Toren died during delivery) and what they will look like that young (beautiful anyway!).
I ranted on for hours about the bill. Poor SnuggleBunny :(
The bill has not been signed by the governor yet and I was asked if I would be interviewed for the news to speak about how my experience would be different if it were taking place after the bill becomes law. I agreed but explained that my experience would actually not be different so I'm probably not the best person for the interview (which would be a relief since I don't like being video taped).
I was invited to an awards gala for the agency I've been helping (no, I'm not receiving an award) so I'm going to that tonight. I've never been to something like that so I'm curious to see what it's like. And it could be an opportunity to become more involved. But I don't know if I want to be more involved.
In my opinion, access to abortion is important for women. It's not nice but neither are some of the life circumstances that many women find themselves in. Those important, life-altering, choices should be made by the people involved. FURTHERMORE, women who have just heard that the baby they want is very ill or is going to die should be left alone. Hold their hands, provide comfort, listen to the dreams they had for their child, bring them cases of wine and a punching bag (or whatever they personally need for the long recovery period). Restrictions on next steps to finish off that doomed pregnancy are not helpful.
But I may not want to get more involved because it's kind of painful to focus on that time in my life. And I don't think of Toren as aborted. And then I sort of feel like everything should have turned out fine. Like, I was in a terrible position and ended a pregnancy early but then everything turned out fine. Instead I'm childless, divorced and not sure where to go from here.
Maybe my work with the women's health group will end up filed away with the March for Babies, which I stubbornly did not do this year since I don't have a subsequent baby to bring along (again, that feels like tragedy is supposed to be followed by a very specific success story).
All of that is to say that my vow of doing something awesome in my last post is becoming difficult because I am directionless. And depressed. Again.
So this borderline incoherant post is because I am making myself do a little expressing in hopes of working through feeling so down. Ta da!
How about some happy thoughts?
1. I don't know where I'm headed but at least I'm no longer married to a jerk :)
2. I'm saving part of my tax return to buy some rediculously beautiful and expensive shoes as a present for when I'm no longer in the the overweight BMI category.