One mom has recently sparked a debate after she admitted she wishes she had a "long-term abortion" instead of having her daughter... And her story is utterly heartbreaking.
Now, we're all aware that the topic of abortion is a sensitive one for a lot of people.
via: Getty ImagesAbortion has long been known as a somewhat “taboo" topic, with women historically being forced to risk their lives in order to terminate their unwanted pregnancies.
The Roe V. Wade legal case marked a revolution that saved many women's lives.
via: Getty ImagesA 1973 U.S. Supreme Court case, Roe v. Wade, affirmed that a woman’s access to safe and legal abortion is a constitutional human right.
But the right to an abortion has been dealt a heavy blow in recent years.
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Here in the U.S. the right to safe and legal abortion has been the law of the land for more than forty-five years and is a part of the fabric of this country.
Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation to the Supreme Court dealt a huge blow to our right to access safe, legal abortion, however. Kavanaugh was nominated by Trump, who had previously made a clear promise to nominate judges who would “automatically" overturn Roe v. Wade.
And, of course, the Alabama abortion ban sparked huge outrage and controversy...
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On May 14 2019, Alabama legislators passed a bill banning abortions. The passing of this bill triggered an outcry across the world, with millions standing forward in support of women's rights.
Republican, Governor Kay Ivey, said after signing the bill: "The bill stands as a powerful testament to Alabamians' deeply held belief that every life is precious and that every life is a sacred gift from God."
4 other states imposed a similar bill...
via: Getty ImagesGeorgia, Kentucky, Mississipi, and Ohio have signed bills in recent months that ban abortions if an embryonic heartbeat can be detected. These are often referred to as “heartbeat bills," meaning abortion is banned after 6 weeks of pregnancy, when the fetus has fully developed a heartbeat.
It can feel as though we're going backwards...
via: Getty ImagesAnd there are still so many people who don't think women deserve the right to a safe abortion.
There is still a huge stigma attached to the topic.
via: Getty ImagesWhile it's now legal in many countries across the world, there's no doubt that abortion remains a taboo topic, with the right to a safe and legal abortion facing numerous challenges.
There seems to be no middle ground...
via: Getty ImagesBoth pro-life and pro-choice activists feel very strongly about their views. Although there's no doubt that pro-lifers can go to extremes to air their views.
Often they will protest outside abortion clinics...
via: Getty ImagesThese people, or anti-abortionists, as they are commonly referred to as, claim that they believe in “pro-life" and that terminating a pregnancy is up in the same ranks as “murder." And with phrases like “murderer" and “baby killer" often thrown about, it's no wonder so many women feel frightened and ashamed when it comes to abortion.
But what people don't understand is that the opposite of pro-life isn't abortion...
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It's believing that the right to choose what happens to your body is fundamentally important.
And this week, one woman has gone viral after she shared her heartbreaking story with Huff Post, about a tough decision she was forced to make.
Trigger Warning: This story discusses some really sensitive topics , including sexual assault, that some readers might find distressing.
Dina Zirlott was r*ped when she was seventeen-years-old and ended up having the baby when she was eighteen.
But by the age of nineteen, her daughter died and it left her traumatized.
In her own words, she explained the harrowing details of her ordeal, while outlining her path to recovery.
Our whole lives we hear: Don't talk about your period. Don't talk about sex. Don't talk about infertility. Don't talk about miscarriage. Don't talk badly about a pregnancy. Don't talk about PPD. Don't talk about anything post-partum except the baby. Only a baby matters. Not you.— Lucy Huber (@clhubes) October 1, 2020
She explained how even if she was to miraculously be able to get a late-term abortion, she "would still be obstructed by time, paperwork, politics, and money."
This is her story 8 months after she had been r*ped.
"When I thought it could not be any worse, that there was nothing below this, my mother took me to her gynecologist to have me tested for STIs and pregnancy. Only the pregnancy test came back positive," she writes. "I was so mentally unstable in the months after my r*pe, my mind ripped away from my body and it never occurred to me that the sickness I had been experiencing over those months could have an origin."
She didn't even notice because there were no proper physical signs.
"I was frail. My stomach was hardly swollen. My periods had always been splotchy and irregular. I was poison ― what could possibly take root in me?"
She let the doctors know she was r*ped and they talked her through her options after finding out the baby had some serious health problems.
"The doctor came to us and spread the ultrasound pictures across the table... She called it hydranencephaly, a congenital defect in which the brain fails to develop either cerebral hemisphere, instead filling with cerebrospinal fluid. The fetus continued to experience development because the brain stem was still intact, but she would be born blind, deaf, completely cognitively stunted, prone to seizures, diabetes insipidus, insomnia, hypothermia and more. The list of every agonizing disorder she would suffer was tremendous."
Even though this was the case, Dina had very few options because she was too far along.
"At the time, abortions were allowed in Alabama 'up to the stage of fetal viability, usually between 24 and 26 weeks gestation.' It was already too late for me. Even if I was able to go out of state to seek out the possibility of a 'late-term abortion,' I would still be obstructed by time, paperwork, politics, and money.
"'I wish I could do more,' [the doctor] said. 'I know how wrong this must seem to you'."
"The words that came to my mind were 'cruel' and 'inhumane.'"
She continued to go through many stages of trauma before her daughter was born.
"My daughter was born Oct. 27, 2005. I named her Zoe Lily. I did not want to touch her at first, convinced I would cause her more pain. I was afraid she would die in my arms, afraid I would look at her and feel the same disgust I felt for myself."
"They took her away."
Zoe Lily underwent lots of testing because her brain was not functioning as it should and this caused Dina to be re-traumatized.
"My milk came in, and I was furious ― it felt like a cruel joke. I could not imagine then how this would evolve over a year, how I could be so full of love for this child and also wish she had never been born."
"Sometimes I hoped she would go still, that her heart would stop so that she would be free from suffering."
"Between all of this, I started college at the local university. I was in and out of classes to take Zoe to doctor appointments, to switch out with my mother so she could go to work. I enrolled in the nursing program because it made the most sense at the time, given the situation. I made one friend, who 2 years later would become my husband. My life was in a spiral, but I felt like I had some tenuous control over it."
But then the worst happened.
"'We need to go to the hospital. Zoe just died.'" She wrote. "I crumpled to the floor. It seemed like the only thing to do. I laid there sobbing, and just as it was during my assault, I was no longer in my body. I fixated on a dead moth on a window sill. The sun beat down on me through the glass."
"It should not have been this way. If I had been allowed the option to choose a 'late-term abortion,' would I?" She asked herself.
"Yes. A hundred times over, yes. It would have been a kindness. Zoe would not have had to endure so much pain in the briefness of her life. Her heart could have been stopped when she was warm and safe inside me, and she would have been spared all that came after."
"Perhaps I could have been spared as well."
Dina now uses her voice and her story to raise awareness on the importance of women being allowed to make the decisions they want to with their bodies.
"These are our bodies and our lives," she added at the end of her moving piece.
"Rarely do we ask for the circumstances that command the weight of these critical decisions, but these choices are ours. We should not have to beg for permission to decide what is best for ourselves and our children, even the ones who may never be born ― and maybe never should be born."
So the next time if you're compelled to scream "murder" outside an abortion clinic, just decide against it and go back home.
If you want to read Dina's full story, you can by clicking here.
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