From Sahar Chmais
Jane, then 22, thought she was six weeks pregnant when she went for an abortion; To her surprise, they were together for eight weeks. After the recently passed Heartbeat Bill, Jane wouldn’t even have had the chance to consider that option.
(Jane is not her real name as she wants to remain anonymous.)
“If I had been pregnant, the child would be loved, but I would be so miserable,” said Jane, a Buda woman. “I would work endlessly and not have enough time for them and I couldn’t give them the kind of life I want to give them. Which is not fair. So I never think back and regret the decision I made. ”
The Heartbeat Bill, or Senate Bill 8, greatly reduces the number of times a woman can terminate a pregnancy. The bill was recently signed into law by Greg Abbott, the governor of Texas, and will come into effect on September 1, 2021. According to the bill, an abortion cannot be performed if a heartbeat is heard, which usually lasts between five and a half to six weeks. Cases of rape and incest are no longer grounds for a woman to have an abortion under this law. If a woman finds out that something is wrong with the fetus, a woman cannot terminate the pregnancy while there is a heartbeat.
Jane said SB 8 was absurd, especially considering that rape and incest victims have no choice on the matter. Pregnancy timing is another reason this calculation doesn’t work, Jane said. Jane didn’t get her period during her pregnancy, which led her to believe she was six weeks pregnant, not eight. With SB 8, every day counts.
This account neglects the plethora of situations when a woman decides not to carry her pregnancy.
“Every abortion story is different,” said MP Erin Zwiener (D-Driftwood) in front of the House of Representatives. “Each of us in this room has a different standard of what we consider a moral and ethical abortion. Rather than trusting women to know their own circumstances, families and values, the bill makes the government the ultimate arbiter for individual and intimate morals. ”
Zwiener shared her story and how she suffered from hyperemesis, a case of 24-hour morning sickness, during her pregnancy. The condition was so severe that Zwiener said she would throw up a dozen times a day, lose 20 pounds, and even though she wanted her baby, she wondered if she could continue like this.
Then Zwiener spoke of another woman who had a toddler and who experienced hyperemesis during her second pregnancy. She had to make a choice between getting out of bed or looking after her toddler or continuing the pregnancy.
“She made the decision to take care of her already born child and ended her pregnancy,” said Zwiener.
Jane, who chose to remain anonymous for privacy reasons, was also faced with a choice – she wanted children but was financially, mentally, or family unprepared.
She got pregnant during their first relationship, and a week before she found out, the relationship ended. Jane couldn’t even get her father’s financial support for an abortion, much less depend on him later for child support. From the information about the pregnancy to the termination, Jane knew what she wanted.
“I never wavered in my decision,” said Jane der Hays Free Press / News-DispatcH. “There wasn’t a single length of time from when I thought I was pregnant to when I was confirmed that I thought I might want this child.”
While Jane could not rely on her then partner for her support and had no experience in this area, she turned to a co-worker. After speaking to several older women in her workplace, she found comfort in knowing that she is not alone with an abortion.
Several workers had previously had abortions and ended up having children when they were ready. What was a taboo subject became digestible as soon as it was put on the table.
Nearly 57,000 abortions were performed in Texas in 2019. according to the Texas Health and Human Services (HHS). Almost 58% of these layoffs were among women between the ages of 20 and 29. In addition, 91% of abortions occurred 10 weeks or less since conception.
Blocking abortions with heartbeat detection will not stop abortions, it will only lead to unsafe abortions, Zwiener said.
Botched abortions account for 8% to 11% of maternal deaths in countries where abortion is illegal reported by The Atlantic.
Even with legal abortions, women face many obstacles. Jane’s abortion cost her more than $ 800 and she had to use her rental money to pay for it. At one point in her life, Jane didn’t have health insurance. Not everyone can scrape that amount together in the short term, said Jane.
Before Jane found the right clinic, Jane went to Planned Parenthood, where she told her she would have to make several visits before they could perform the abortion. The first appointment was two weeks after their consultation. When Jane walked into this clinic, she was faced with five protesters holding signs condemning abortions.
“It didn’t phase me out because I started my mindset,” recalled Jane.
Until her abortion, Jane felt nauseous from the simplest of tasks, like brushing her teeth. She was ready to move on with her decision. As soon as she finished her procedure, she felt like old.
“I don’t know what it was, maybe I knew I didn’t have to bother with it or that it was gone from my body. I felt fine straight away,” said Jane. “I felt like I could have run a marathon.”
Even though it’s been three years and Jane has no regrets knowing that she made the right decision given her situation, the experience still springs to mind. When someone who is struggling with having kids mentions it, Jane says it feels a little weird. Sometimes Jane just lets her mind wander.
“I think about it a lot,” said Jane. “At that time, I would have a three year old with me in anything I do. In any job, I would have to consider my child and my childcare. When I go to the grocery store, I have to make sure I get enough food and diapers for her. I would have to think about where I live – so many factors play a role as a parent. ”
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