I was moved to write after reading Yvonne Abraham’s Oct. 18 Metro column “Time to shore up abortion laws.”
My husband and I desperately wanted a baby and tried for almost a year before getting pregnant with our first. We named our baby girl Layla, told friends and family, and started decorating the nursery. But Layla’s 20-week scan revealed complications: She had a terminal chromosomal abnormality. If Layla survived birth, she would die within days. After a four-day, excruciatingly painful failed induction, I required surgical abortion. Under anesthesia, I went to sleep that morning with Layla inside me and woke up a few hours later without her.
I would have given anything that Layla live, but she couldn’t. My only choice was the medical care I could secure for her at the end of her short life. I’m grateful I had access to abortion care; many people in Massachusetts do not. Legal barriers mean that many minors can’t get access to care. Many women who receive a diagnosis similar to mine later in pregnancy have to travel far outside the state to receive care. Women who don’t have the cash or insurance to cover their abortion can’t get access to care.
We cannot rely on the Supreme Court to protect us. Massachusetts must improve abortion access here, now. I ask others to join me in supporting the ROE Act to ensure that everyone in Massachusetts can get access to essential health care and make decisions for themselves.
The writer has requested that only her last initial be included.