This reader wrote in with her personal story in response to my post about Tiller. She has given me permission to post it, anonymously.
Just wanted to share my experience. At [the hospital] where I was a patient, they promote prenatal testing and abortion. Both are always options they mention. When I found I was unexpectedly pregnant with my second child I was highly distressed (to put it mildly) as was my husband. My first pregnancy ended with a beautiful daughter but a horrific birth that left me with post traumatic stress. I had severe postpartum depression for over a year. I was physically and psychologically in terrible shape and didn’t plan any more children.
When I went to my doctor to begin prenatal care I was sobbing saying how terrified I was of having the same experience again. Over a year after the first birth I was still waking at night from nightmares. The resident refused to refer me to an OB for a C-section saying “There is no medical reason” for a referral. How ironic given that I was in psychiatric care and literally suicidal at the thought of giving birth again. I had told my husband I would wait until the end of my pregnancy and then stab myself to force an emergency C-section if I couldn’t have a planned one. I was not being dramatic, I literally would have rather died than give birth again.
I did not for a minute consider abortion but that was the first thing I was offered since my pregnancy was unplanned. Since I didn’t want an abortion no one wanted to help me. I had to return to the doctor repeatedly until I saw someone different who gave me the referral. Ironically, the OB told me I did have a medical reason beyond the obvious psychiatric reason. If I had a similar birth experience I would have stand a high risk of not healing a second time and facing lifelong problems.
I want to make a complaint about the practice for refusing me the referral but haven’t yet. Once abortion is on the table as an alternative people stop considering other more nuanced, non-violent, patient-centred approaches.
“Once abortion is on the table as an alternative people stop considering other more nuanced, non-violent, patient-centred approaches.” How true. Thank you to this reader for sharing her story.by