This letter was actually written on Sept 1st 2011 in comments on Stavvers Letter to Nadine Dorries. But now I have this very suitable blog given that it is a letters blog to host it on I am posting it here:
Dear Nadine Dorries,
I am following the lead of @Stavvers and writing to you about the contents of my uterus. I think you might be especially interested in mine. You see it has a 21 week old foetus in it and I know how much you love foetuses. Sadly if my baby was born now it would be extremely unlikely to survive no matter how much you try and pretend that extremely premature babies have a fighting chance of survival as an argument for reducing the abortion time limit- they really really don’t. In the very low chance they did survive they be beset by health problems. I really really hope my baby stays alive and kicking where it is until full term- this is a planned and very much wanted baby.
We recently had our twenty week abnormality scan- we are having a little girl- as far as they can tell from the scan she has no abnormalities. I don’t know what our decision would be if major abnormalities were found and I am thankful we were not put in that position to decide but I am also incredibly grateful that we would have been able to have the choice and up to 4 weeks to decide (or possibly longer if needs be due to the situation).
I think you might be interested in the history of my uterus. I had a miscarriage at 10weeks once. We had had a scan at 6weeks- I saw a ball of cells with a flicker, the cells stopped growing after that and 3 weeks later I lost it. That was a planned and very much wanted pregnancy, I was absolutely devastated when I lost it. Where was the counselling then to support me through that- or even the support about my decision whether or not to actually have a baby? How come only women deciding whether or not to end a pregnancy have to have counselling? Seems a bit unfair really.
I also had an ectopic pregnancy recently- I lost my fallopian tube and nearly my life. Thankfully although ectopic surgery although still technically being a termination of pregnancy they are not subject to rules around two doctors approval or getting counselling- because if I had waited I would have died. Again no counselling was offered but eventually after a lot of pestering and a waiting list I was able to get 4 sessions through my GP. Why wasn’t it automatic in this case?
Actually as it happens I am far more traumatised by my pregnancy losses and a horrible birth of an extremely ill baby than any of the many women I know who have had terminations. Where is our support and counselling or don’t we matter because our babies weren’t able to be saved? I’m not sure why you are so obsessed with saving unwanted babies- why do you want to bring more unwanted babies into the world when every day wanted babies are lost- surely a more positive valuable use of your time should be focusing your attention onto saving them?
Although I am extremely fortunate not to have been in the position of needing to look into the possibility of having a termination, I still wholeheartedly believe that it is an essential option that needs to be available for all women to choose if they need it. Counselling should be offered but not mandatory for a woman if she requests it. It is essential that that counselling is impartial- but that’s the thing- it already is- what you are trying to implement will be to offer possibly extremely biased prolife counselling and delaying treatment. If I ever do need a termination of pregnancy (and I do hope I don’t but I recognise that no method of contraception is 100% safe- or do you suggest I abstain from sex with my husband for the rest of our lives so that we don’t get put in that position?) I would want that termination done as soon as possible- within days not weeks- for me personally I like many women would want a first trimester abortion and really before 9weeks gestation. As you know the abortion procedure is much less invasive and traumatic the earlier it is done. Delaying will cause additional upset where there needn’t be.
I think me and my uterus are very worried about what you are trying to do. Soon I will have two daughters. I hope that when they grow up their rights to access abortion are stronger and not weaker than they are currently.
Me and My Uterus.