National Partnership for Women & Families

In the News

In Op-Ed, Woman Shares Abortion Story To Combat Encroaching Restrictions on Access

In an opinion piece for the Boston Globe, a woman shares her abortion story in the hope "that our elected leaders, especially those who are chipping away at our freedoms, will pause to listen."

Trish Karter explains that she was pregnant with twins in 1993. During her 19th week of pregnancy, her physician told her that while one fetus was healthy, the other was diagnosed with Trisomy 8, a rare fetal anomaly. According to her doctor, this condition meant the fetus "might not make it to term and would probably not survive childhood." Further, Karter "learned that [the fetus'] condition might cause a spontaneous loss of" pregnancy and that there were "unquantifiable threats to [Karter's] health" if she tried to carry both to term.

She writes, "We had 48 hours to make a decision: Terminate the pregnancy of one twin and pray that we could bring the healthy [fetus] to term, or try to survive the pregnancy and hope for a manageable outcome ... a hope not supported by medical literature."

According to Karter, "There was no one better qualified or with any greater moral right to make the decision." However, she notes that abortion rights now "are under assault" and that with them, the "right to weigh our family needs, our individual values and our own health hangs in the balance." She adds, "The consequences of reversal are sobering. Had we not been able to do this procedure, it was the opinion of our doctors that there was a significant risk of losing both [fetuses]."

Karter writes, "I don't share our story now because it is unique; I share it because it isn't." Noting that everyone's "stories deserve to be heard and respected," she concludes, "Can good decisions be made in Congress and by the populace without hearing them?" (Karter, Boston Globe, 11/2).