I shouldn’t be forced to give birth to a baby who won’t live

Because I was in my second trimester, my abortion this past June cost $2,500 up front, not including anesthesia and pathology testing; anesthesia, alone, usually costs an additional $1,100. If I were unable to afford the upfront costs, as would be the case for many Medicaid recipients, I would have had to carry my pregnancy to term.

Lost in the conversation about forcing women to carry to term is any acknowledgment of the mental toll it can have, especially on those of us whose baby is likely to be stillborn, as about 75 percent of those with anencephaly are, or to die shortly after birth.

What about my husband, who would also miss work, share in our trauma, and require his own mental health care to work through his pain?

And then there is my 5-year-old daughter, who would have to bear my grief while watching my pregnant stomach swell for another 20 weeks, and know that a baby is coming, but not one who would ever be able to be a sister to her.