Abortion is practically a religion over at Jezebel, so it’s not altogether surprising that a radically pro-abortion column would be published there. It happens all the time, actually. The latest is from Kathryn Jezer-Morton, a mom of two whose IUD failed. Morton says she planned her abortion around a vacation and hid the news from her kids… you know, the ones she allowed to live.
After she found out she was pregnant, she scheduled her abortion — and then made sure to do everything she could to keep her children from finding out.
But there was a little wrinkle: We were about to embark on a long-planned family trip to the southwest, to take a road trip in my in-laws’ old VW camper van. My husband had taken on extra work for months to pay for this trip and the kids couldn’t wait to go. The abortion would have to wait a month, until I got home. I was worried that I’d be an asshole to my family on this trip, that the symptoms of early pregnancy—which, for me, have always been the worst—would make me listless. I couldn’t let my five-year-old overhear anything about a pregnancy. Once I made the abortion appointment, we stopped talking about it.
She told people on her trip that she was pregnant, to explain the changes in her mood and why she was so tired. It was only her children that she felt she needed to keep it a secret from. And she says she tried really hard to not to think about the development of her pregnancy:
We drove past many anti-abortion billboards in West Texas and New Mexico, blasting stern reminders that the fetus already had fingernails and eyelashes. I ate a lot of tacos and tried not to think about all the ways I knew my body was changing to accommodate pregnancy. When I was pregnant with my sons I loved learning about how my body was making more blood, how my joints were softening. I didn’t eat my placentas, but I did give them both a good long look and found them very impressive. The billboards weren’t telling me anything I didn’t already know.
When Jezer-Morton had her abortion, she was 10 weeks pregnant.
10 weeks is considered the most critical time in fetal development. The baby has had a heartbeat and measurable brain waves for weeks already, but now other vital organs, such as the kidneys, liver, and intestines, are functioning. And yes, the baby has fingernails.
What was the reason for having an abortion? According to Jezer-Morton and the people around her, it was for her other children, who would just be horribly burdened by having another sibling.
I was too proud not to explain myself. The older people I told—including my mom, ultimately—tended to settle on a final justification that seemed to satisfy them: “It’s better for the kids.” I would be better able to care for them if I weren’t saddled with a third, they said, consoling themselves more than me. I would be a happier mom.
Get it? Her children will be way better off not being “saddled” with another sibling. Surely when they grow up and find out that they had another brother or sister who their mother killed in the womb, they’ll celebrate, not collapse into sadness and grief. After all, they were the lucky ones Mommy decided were worth keeping. What’s to be sad about? Mom’s happy, and everyone knows that’s all that kids care about.
Somewhere, though, it seems that she couldn’t completely escape the weight of what she did.
The ultrasound tech who located my errant IUD and confirmed that I was 10 weeks pregnant referred to “the pregnancy” rather than “the fetus,” which I appreciated. And no, she didn’t make me look at the screen.
… I was delightfully medicated and staring at the ceiling, so I didn’t ask myself what they did with the fetus until I got home. I did wonder, though, in the way that you might wonder about the whereabouts of a lover from your past. I’m sure it was disposed of in the most discreet, contained, clinical way possible, but maybe those horrible billboards affected me after all. Where did the doctor put it?
But after she got rid of her baby, it was back to business as usual.
My husband came to take me home. He had taken the afternoon off from work. On the way we picked up some souvlaki for lunch, and ate it on the couch while watching a show on Netflix about a hot Danish dude living among the Saxons in medieval England. I ate an entire bar of Lindt chocolate. Then I went back out and picked up my kids.
No big deal. Just the death of her third child. Or was it?
This was another post from the #ShoutYourAbortion crowd, which claims to celebrate abortions. But even among the most pro-abortion writers, like this one, the reality of abortion can’t be ignored. Jezer-Morton’s article doesn’t come across as convincingly celebratory, that an abortion was necessary for any reason other than pure convenience, or that it was a huge relief to her. Jezer-Morton instead slips and reveals that the guilt for her decision is there, bubbling underneath the surface. She talks about her relief when the abortion clinic staff don’t mention the baby, or make her look at the baby during the ultrasound. It seems that she has to bury the humanity of the baby deep down in order to go through with the decision to have the abortion. Her anxiety over what happened to the body of her preborn baby is likewise revealing. Because ultimately, people can deny the humanity of the preborn, but they can’t deny it forever. She feels relief now… but will she feel the same way in one year? Five? How will she feel when her children read her article and find out about their deceased sibling, killed for convenience?
This story was meant to show how wonderful abortion is, but on that front, it was a failure. Because even when written by a pro-abortion advocate, it still reads as a tragedy.
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