Story No. 278: Dr. Sara from Washington

A few weeks ago, I met a patient I’ll call Trisha, a 24-year-old married woman pregnant with a wanted, planned first child. 19 weeks into her pregnancy she had a ultrasound that showed that her pregnancy was complicated by anencephaly, in which the developing fetus has little or no brain and skull, which is often lethal and can lead profoundly traumatic deliveries. She was already 19 weeks pregnant by the time this was diagnosed. She was devastated by this news and unsure of what to do next. I saw her again for her abortion at 21 weeks. Trisha was grateful to have those two weeks to process this news and make the best decision with her husband. She was incredibly grateful that she had the ability to still access a safe, legal abortion, which would not be the case if there had been a ban on abortion after 20 weeks.