Lorenzo’s story is breaking my blogging silence just as it so often breaks my heart. That phrase is particularly apt in this case, as this is a story of a friend’s pregnancy which was ended due to a fatal heart defect. Now, a year on, news of restrictions on abortion coming from the US and presidential candidates’ positions on abortion in Chile affect me differently than before.
Jenn tells the story of her son, the decision she and her husband made, and its aftermath eloquently on her blog. Today, she shares her experience in the San Francisco Chronicle and explains why some of the legislative steps being taken in the US to restrict abortions are potentially devastating to families.
The argument against the irresponsible use of abortions as birth control doesn’t apply to me. I am married, financially stable, and perfectly capable of caring for a child (ok, maybe just “somewhat capable”). If I were to find myself looking into an abortion, it would be due to a life-threatening complication for me or the baby or as a result of rape.
Yet as it stands, in Chile I would be out of luck. This table sums up candidates’ positions in advance of the presidential primary elections this past weekend. Although it is heartening that all but the right wing candidates support some access to abortion, I am not thrilled that winning center-left candidate and former president Michelle Bachelet – notably the former head of UN Women – only supports abortion in cases of fetal inviability and rape. So if pregnancy puts my life at risk I’ll just die, it’s fine.
I have the option of traveling to the US for life-saving surgery thanks to a passport and a savings account, but I am one of a lucky few. More importantly, will that option still be there if I ever need it?
Hearing my friend’s voice catch as she describes the grief of losing her son brings tears to my eyes every time. I cannot imagine how much more the collective suffering would be had that loss come after days, weeks or months of watching her child in pain.
I wonder if those who are vehemently anti-abortion under any circumstance have ever known someone who needed the law to support them in making a brave decision on behalf of an unborn child. If they can imagine that choice yet still support restrictions that would outlaw it, I have to wonder how they can be so heartless.
For more on this issue, please visit – and join! – the #chainlinkheartproject. All of the pictures in this post are links in the chain.
Fair warning: I’m pulling the “my blog, my way” card on this one and will delete any dissenting comments. This is not a debate.