Why would any woman go through all the discomfort, exhaustion and hormonal issues of carrying a pregnancy for six months just to have an abortion?
Dana Weinstein explains her own very personal decision in Mother Jones:
“We noted a number of different brain malformations,” explains Rhonda L. Schonberg, the coordinator at the Center for Prenatal Evaluation at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC, where Weinstein was given the diagnosis. “Her fetus was really at a significant risk for developmental delay and seizure disorder.” It was a rare diagnosis, and it’s unclear what caused it, Schonberg says. It is also a condition that was not clear in Weinstein’s 20-week checkup; most brain development occurs in the third trimester, so it would have been difficult to foresee this earlier in the pregnancy.
Weinstein was faced with the prospect of giving birth to a baby that was expected to suffer from nearly constant seizures, could have required feeding tubes to stay alive, and could have been in a vegetative state, if it survived at all. She decided to end the pregnancy rather than continuing for another 11 weeks and prolonging the suffering. It was a very personal decision, she says, one made between her, her family, and her doctors. “We wanted her and loved her,” Weinstein says. “In some ways I feel a little bit lucky, in that she was so sick that the decision was almost made for us. I don’t wrestle with guilt.”
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Sadly, the only thing easy about her situation was the actual decision itself. Between astronomical medical costs, a week away from family and support, and a fight with her insurance company over the necessity of the procedure, Weinstein had to fight on all fronts just for her right to preemptively end her child’s suffering.