Social media has been met with an uproar this past week over a bill in New York regarding women's reproductive health and pregnancy. To no surprise, many have boiled it down to something that it's not, which simply forgets about the women who need this bill for the safety of their lives.
To put it simply, the bill allows women to get an abortion in their third trimester of pregnancy. Once everyone reads this, they immediately start guffawing at the nature of it and say they don't understand. Well, I'll explain it...
Put yourself in the shoes of the person who may face the need of this bill.
You're a woman and you're at the age you always wanted to have a child. You're excited because for the past 5, maybe 10, years, it's all you've wanted.
The first trimester goes smoothly with little to no complications besides the usual morning sickness. You go to your scheduled check-ups and the doctor says everything looks great regarding your health and the baby's.
Now, you're in the second trimester and the stats of your baby are still looking great. It's healthy as far as the doctor can tell but something also looks a little wrong. It's causing some caution but it's nothing to panic about quite yet. More testing is going to be necessary to rule out any major issues.
Over the next several weeks, you've undergone countless tests and you're received concerned statements from doctors about the state of your unborn child. They're telling you that something can be deadly to your baby, but it might work itself out in the third trimester if all organs develop properly.
Of course, because you want this baby, you hold on. You hope. You pray.
You're now in your third trimester at one of your doctor's visits. He has more test results and this time it doesn't look good at all. He tells you that if you have this baby, it won't make it out alive. Even worse, you might not either. If you choose to get the abortion, although you'll lose your baby, you can still live. If you choose to have the abortion and live, you can still have the chance at getting pregnant again.
In NY, you can now make that choice to have a third-trimester abortion. In other states, even if you find out your baby will be born dead, you have to carry it around for the next couple of months knowing its fate. You're not only mourning its life, you even begin to mourn your own. You have potentially two months left to live, and you have a dying human inside of you.
What do you do?
You would probably wish to save your life.
So before you go judging the bill, look at the facts. No one can walk into the hospital at 36 weeks and choose to get an abortion. No one would want to do that. Under the law, only physical health is considered in that choice, not even mental health.
Just because not many women are forced to make this choice does not mean the decision should not be allowed. Stop boiling it down to women not wanting to keep their child, because, in this instance, it's not the case.
These women have been flooding social media with their stories of how they would have chosen the abortion if it was available to them in their state. As much as you think my anecdote is fiction, it's not. It's real. And real women go through that trauma.
If you're saying you don't understand the bill, I hope you do now.