The U.S. Supreme Court just last week heard oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson, as the justices considered the constitutionality of previability abortion bans, specifically to do with Mississippi’s Gestational Age Act, which banned most abortions after 15 weeks. Predictably, both sides of the abortion issue have seen the case as an excuse to weigh in. One perspective comes from pregnant women who claim it made them “more pro-choice.”
A pinned tweet from former Rep. Katie Hill (D-CA) notes that “I didn’t think it was possible to become more pro-choice than I already was, but after 7 months of pregnancy all I can think about is how wrong it would be to make someone do this who doesn’t want to.”
I didn’t think it was possible to become more pro-choice than I already was, but after 7 months of pregnancy all I can think about is how wrong it would be to make someone do this who doesn’t want to.— Katie Hill (@KatieHill4CA) December 1, 2021
Naturally, it generated plenty of conversation. In a subsequent tweet, Hill claimed “that sometimes I legit don’t understand how we’re the same species.” She was speaking about the “right’s response,” which she called “bonkers and disgusting.”
It’s so clear that we have completely different interpretations of what it means to have respect for life or maybe even what life is? Just truly wild.— Katie Hill (@KatieHill4CA) December 4, 2021
Then there was the response from Jessica Tarlov, the head of research at Bustle, who is also a Fox News contributor.
Her Romper article from December 1, the same day oral arguments took place, shares that “Pregnancy Made Me More Pro-Choice.”
At one point, Tarlov writes that “Americans know ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ and that that extends to both the decision to have a child and then to raise it. She also writes about how she herself feels about the sentiment:
For me personally, the extent that a woman needs that village from the moment she gets pregnant couldn’t have been clearer. From the moment I became pregnant, I had a support system in my husband, my family, his family, my friends and my two places of work, and the doctors and nurses who have cared for me…
As someone who differs from Tarlov in that I am pro-life, I nevertheless know what she is talking about. Being pregnant is hard, whether that pregnancy is planned or not. Now, in my pro-life view I do not believe that women have a right to abort their children, even if that pregnancy is unplanned, even if it is hard. I am pro-life for the unborn child, who does not deserve to have his or her life ended before it’s even begun. I am pro-life as a matter of states’ rights being able to pass laws to protect the lives of their unborn residents. The so-called right to an abortion is not in the constitution, but states rights certainly are; there’s a whole amendment dedicated to them.
Perhaps, most of all, though, I am pro-life for the sake of the mother.
The points that she and Hill make are tragic for the sake of unborn children, to be sure. Their children may be ‘planned’ or ‘wanted,’ but that is not what makes them worthy of life and protection. All unborn children are worthy of that.
But it’s tragic because of what abortion does to women. I know what Tarlov is talking about because I’ve been pregnant twice and have two daughters. Both were unplanned. When I discovered I was pregnant the first time, I was single, in my early 20s, and living away from family, most of my closest friends, and the father of my daughter. I was also working on my Masters degree.
The pregnancy was physically a breeze, but it was emotionally difficult from start to finish.
Bluntly put, I was a textbook example for why people who aren’t pro-life think abortion might be a good thing. I would no longer have to be tied to my ex-boyfriend and I would be able to continue with my education, career, and the rest of my 20s as I pleased.
I found out I was pregnant at a walk-in health clinic. I, still in shock, asked if they had referrals for an OBGYN. The doctor was taken aback that I didn’t just want to have an abortion, but luckily didn’t bring it up further when I told her “termination is not an option,” other than to show a slight amount of surprise.
Abortion would not have just ended the life of my unborn daughter, but it would mean I had to make an irreversible decision I could never take back. I do believe it would bring about what would have turned out to be some very heavy emotional damage.
Had I had an abortion and had I emotionally suffered, I would not have been the only woman affected in such a way. Studies show that women who have an abortion experience greater mental health issues.
The website for Silent No More includes testimonies of women who have experienced and regret their abortions.
Physical damage would have been possible, too. It always is, even early in pregnancy. I didn’t have many pregnancy symptoms either time, and was 8 weeks when I found I was pregnant. Studies show that the dangers of abortion increases dramatically for each week after that a woman has one.
Life experience has taught me many things. I’m still pro-life, but if anything I’ve grown stronger in my resolve to be pro-life for the sake of the mother, to save her from her own bad decisions and the harm that decision can do to her. Unplanned pregnancy is difficult, but abortion is worse. I’m not just anti-abortion, I’m pro-life. Pregnant women absolutely deserve help and support.
Ultimately I got back together with my ex-boyfriend. He’s now my husband, and we have another daughter together. I also completed my Masters degree. Having children changed my life, but it didn’t ruin it. I went on a different path than what I once anticipated, but that’s what life is about. Abortion would not only have changed my life, it would have ruined it. I’m thankful knowing as much as I did kept me from making that mistake.
For those women who have had an abortion and regret that decision, they can turn to Silent No More for resources.