Nathan is a film critic and aspiring author with a true passion for the film industry who hopes his writings will help launch his career.
Controversy has once again spread throughout America. This time, however, it's not something that can just be shrugged off or dismissed. This is a serious matter, one that requires everyone's full attention. Our lawmakers are trying to pass new abortion laws. In some states, legislation is being introduced that will make abortion illegal after the six-week mark during pregnancy. That's right around or even before the time most women even find out they're pregnant. If anyone gets an abortion after the six-week mark, not only will the mother face possible jail time, but the doctor who performed it can get up to 99 years in prison. A couple of states even want to restrict abortions in cases of rape or incest. Think about this: your 11-year-old daughter was raped by her stepfather. Because of the new laws, she will be forced to carry the child to term and give birth. How is that even remotely logical? Obviously the rape is not the fault of a child. But she will be labeled a murderer if she has a backdoor abortion and will most likely be thrown in juvenile detention or even face real jail time.
But what do I know? Physically, I'm male, so what do I know of pregnancy and abortion? Well, while you're reading the story below, think about this: if you're sitting there telling me to be quiet because I can't get pregnant, then why are you allowing a room full of men to make laws about your bodies?
Kadijah Runge, a mom from Australia, recently spoke with me about an experience she had. But first, before we get ahead of ourselves, let me give you a little background. Kadijah was with someone when she had her son Kai. She was 19, nearing 20, and ended up leaving that man after he laid his hands on her. He physically assaulted her and verbally abused her, both multiple times. Just like any good mother would, she left to protect her son. She became the single mother of a boy who was born with multiple congenital issues ranging from spinal to renal to respiratory to cardiac to ENT. Over the next year, Kai had to undergo countless surgeries and hospital admissions.
From the day he was born, Kai was at risk of death. His esophagus wasn't attached to his stomach and he had to have surgery as a one-day-old baby. Kadijah couldn't even hold him for a week. Kai was in ICU for a little over five weeks before finally being released. Five days after that, he was right back in the hospital. He had caught RSV and his lungs were so full of mucus that they stuck together. Kadijah couldn't do anything but sit and wait and cry. She was terrified that she would lose her son. Kai had to be on an oscillator for an entire month, completely sedated and muscle-relaxed, covered by a plastic sheet to blow warm air constantly around him because his temperature was 95 degrees Fahrenheit, the point where hypothermia begins. The oscillator is what ultimately saved his life. Oscillators are set at 300 breaths per minute compared to the standard ventilator, which is set for just 50. Kai had so many blood tests that he had to have a transfusion because his little frail body couldn't keep up. Finally, at 13 weeks, he was able to leave the hospital. At three months old, he was pushing a mere 7 and a half pounds. But Kai proved to be a fighter. Somewhere inside, he wanted to live.
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One Year Later
Kadijah discovered around this time that she was pregnant again. This was, by all accounts, an accidental pregnancy. She used protection, but the condom failed. It didn't break but rather was just ineffective. She had tried to take steps to avoid pregnancy but it happened anyway. She didn't take "Plan B" because she never anticipated she needed a plan B. In this moment, she had a huge decision to make. She could have the baby and risk dying all over again; risk the new baby having the same genetic disorders as Kai; risk not being able to provide for both children, one of them already being high-needs. She had promised herself that she would not potentially put another child through the absolute torture that Kai had experienced. She had to make a choice and her decision was to have an abortion.
Kai had to have a spinal surgery the week before Kadijah had her abortion. Once again, Kai's life was in peril. This only cemented Kadijah's decision once and for all to abort her pregnancy. There was no promise that the second child would grow to be any different and, on top of that, the man she became pregnant with had a disorder of his own. More than likely, her second child would have been born with a disability.
In Her Words
"This choice was not made lightly. I still lie awake at night sometimes, apologizing for the fact I couldn't care for the child that fetus would grow into. I was a girl with a son who I'd already given birth to, and needed me and my attention more than anything else. If I would've carried that baby to term, not only would I have willingly been risking dying from the pregnancy like the first time, not only would I have knowingly taken the chance that child would have congenital problems, I would have been bringing a child into this world that I was financially unable to care for and that wouldn't have the opportunities or support that any child should be given."
"I love being a mum. I would've loved nothing more than to have that second child. It just wasn't feasible. It would have been detrimental to myself, Kai and the potential baby."
"According to these new laws in the United States, I deserve to be imprisoned. For what? Making the right choice by the life that would've resulted from me choosing to go to term. This is going to result in more unwanted children in homes and in the system. This is going to result in backdoor abortions which will KILL women. This is going to result in a mourning mother who miscarried and will then be prosecuted as if it was her fault."
No government should be able to strip basic human rights away from a woman. As you can see, abortion is not all black and white. There's a lot of grey area that is being willfully ignored and overlooked by the lawmakers of this country. We need to take a stand against corruption. each individual woman should be the only ones who have a say in what happens with their bodies. Abortion needs to be legal and there needs to be assistance provided for women who undergo these procedures. Don't hesitate to call your senator, congressman, governor, whoever you need to and voice your concerns and oppositions. People like Kadijah need security that they won't be imprisoned for doing what they know is right.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2019 Nathan Jasper