Growing up, I don’t remember a time where I didn’t hear a great deal about my “origin story.” I was an only child and thus held a mythical role in my mother’s heart, as is usually the case with only children. My origin story thus had to really drive home just how special a snowflake I was, even while my mother was pregnant.
My mother was diagnosed with a chronic illness as a teenager. After she was married in her early 20s, she was told that having children would be too dangerous; she could die and her child likely would as well. At 29, she entered a period of remission. These periods had generally lasted no longer than a year. Her doctors told her that if she wanted to have children, this was her window. She had to get pregnant within three months or the year would pass.
A Doctor Told My Mother To Abort Me
Miraculously, she did indeed find herself pregnant the first month, despite having used birth control pills for the last decade. The pregnancy was fraught: she was on bed rest for most of it, and a few months in, her obstetrician informed her that I would likely be born with a fatal birth defect. She was told to abort and “try again.” But there was no time to “try again,” so my mother sought a second opinion with a top rated high-risk obstetrician in New York City, who disagreed with the first doctor’s assessment. So she decided to continue the pregnancy.
Upon birth, my mother’s kidneys ceased functioning. Again, miraculously, they began working again on their own within a few days, and despite being born barely five pounds at 42-weeks gestation, we both made it out of the hospital in one piece. I was born sans defect.
Why did my mother risk her life to have me? Why did she ignore her first doctor’s advice and continue her pregnancy? She always told me it was because she knew how special I was, even when I was just the size of an apple. Is there anything more powerful than a mother’s love?
Before And After My Birth, My Mother Chose Abortion
It wasn’t until later in my childhood I learned some inconvenient truths about my origin story. One of the only things my mother found more magical than mothering me was Roe vs. Wade. She brought me to counter protests at abortion clinics, teaching me to say “My body, my choice” around seven years old. Naturally, I had no idea what I was saying or what any of it meant. Later, I heard her speaking with other pro-choice activists about her personal connection with abortion.
I’ll never know the number, but my mother had a handful of abortions in her teens before she met my father, and had several scheduled after her divorce (though she always miscarried before the scheduled abortion appointment rolled around). She wasn’t particularly careful with contraception, apparently, and was a bad combination of irresponsible, fertile, and ill prepared for a new baby.
Suddenly, I realized my mother carried me to term not because I was a mythical child loved from the outset, but because I happened to be in the right place at the right time. I wasn’t any more special than my siblings—just lucky enough to have been a planned and wanted pregnancy.
The Siblings I Never Got to Meet
My entire life, I thought I was an only child because of my mother’s medical condition. Suddenly, I became aware I could have in fact had siblings, and I felt cheated. My anger at bearing the brunt of my parents’ divorce—and later, their deaths—alone was not due to my mother’s illness, but due to her choices.
And what of my unfortunate siblings? Over the years, once I learned the science behind pregnancy, I saw past the slogans of the Left and learned they had heartbeats, functioning internal organs, arms, legs and noses. They weren’t just clumps of cells, but little people who found themselves in the wrong womb. Knowing this, and knowing my mother knew these facts about her unborn children at the time, suddenly did a great deal to help my mother shed the nurturing and selfless persona I had pictured her with throughout my childhood.
Recently, comedian Andy Richter had some glowing words for Planned Parenthood. Richter aborted his first child with his then-girlfriend, now-wife and mother of his more fortunate children. While the abortion-loving left might have cheered his blasé attitude toward his children’s siblings, his own kids might not think Planned Parenthood so wonderful for depriving them of a brother or a sister when they are grown.
It may be one thing to support the right to choose in theory, but when that abstract choice is actually your own brother or sister, and you were never part of making that choice, abortion can often be perverted from a right to be championed, to a destructive and tragic force in your own family.