"We are so grateful abortion existed at the time we needed access to the care"

Story No. 566: Rachel from West Virginia, Part 2

Read Part 1 of Rachel’s story here.

I tell my story because pregnancy can be fraught with complications, as my husband and I well know. We had two pregnancies that had to end in terminations, hard fought for pregnancies that ended in tragedy.

We are so grateful abortion existed at the time we needed access to the care for the exact reason why now, in the year 2018, I am having heart surgery.

I was born with a minor heart defect that wasn’t even detected until years ago. We figured it would be okay to have a child to complete our family. It went all wrong. The fetus had the same heart defect as I have, yet it would be fatal upon birth.

My husband and I have always been for quality over quantity in life, a private medical decision for our family after seeing so many relatives suffer in life. We decided to give the fetus mercy and terminate the pregnancy so that they would not suffer after an already traumatic early birth the doctors were warning us about with an already possible scenario of my not surviving as well.

Mercy is the private medical decision we gave the child, and for me to live, and maybe one day have or adopt another child.

The second pregnancy was much the same, and mercy was the same choice we made.

If it weren’t for a culmination of Planned Parenthood, independent abortion providers, and my own free will to determine the future of myself and choose mercy for children that would suffer upon birth, and maybe my own death, I would not be here to live and rescue animals like I do, be here for my husband and my own dog and my own external family.