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A wanted baby that needed an abortion


A wanted baby that needed an abortion

Mar 29, 2023 | 4:00 am ET
By Abby Waller
A wanted baby that needed an abortion
Pregnant couple having sonogram (Getty Images)
I was 13 weeks pregnant when I found out my baby girl wasn’t going to make it. The doctors told me she was not viable.  

Under Nebraska’s proposed near total abortion ban, I wouldn’t have been allowed to end my pregnancy, despite being told by doctors that we only had a 15% chance of the baby making it to term. 

I was devastated by the news. I found out that I was pregnant in early January 2020. I was so excited to have a second baby that I told everyone I knew that I was pregnant, even though I hadn’t had my 10-week ultrasound. At the end of February 2020, just weeks later, I had genetic testing done.  

My baby was diagnosed with Down syndrome, which we were completely fine with. However, she also had a fetal cystic hygroma on the back of her head that was affecting her brain development. She also had a heart defect.  

The doctor explained her chance of survival and life expectancy — saying the same thing as all of the other doctors I also consulted. My pregnancy wasn’t viable, which means my baby was not going to live.

So, my husband and I were faced with a difficult decision — wait for the baby to pass on her own or end my pregnancy. As her mom and a health care professional, I knew what I needed to do.

Ethically, I did what was right for my baby because I didn’t want her to suffer from all the problems she would have had. 

Abortion bans, like the ban being proposed in Nebraska, assume that all pregnancies are the same. They aren’t.  

Under the proposed abortion ban, I would have had to wait for my baby to die on her own rather than make the choice for my body, family and mental health. Those decisions should be between a person and their doctor, not politicians. 

In January 2023, a press conference of 50 doctors in Omaha came together to share that this near-total ban on abortion does not consider “medical emergencies with the same nuance that they deal with in their daily practice.” 

This legislation takes away Nebraskans’ ability to control their bodies and futures. It would have taken away my rights and control.  

Everyone has their own unique situation, and it shouldn’t be up to politicians in the Statehouse to make personal and private health care decisions. My abortion was my decision, and every single person deserves the same right. We never know what circumstances we will face in life. I grew up Catholic, and I had an abortion. Abortions were not allowed in my faith, and those values were ingrained in me. I never thought I’d decide to have an abortion.  

But I did decide that abortion was right for me, and every person deserves the right to make their own decisions, too.