I was a 18 years old, a wife, and a mother of beautiful twin girls when during the thirteenth week of my second pregnancy I awoke to the feeling of wetness between my thighs. A quick inspection found a pink discharge. So I rushed to the hospital and was given a once over and told to go home, rest and return if I began to bleed. By mid morning I was bleeding-heavily. This time they gave me an ultrasound, they let me know I was indeed having a miscarriage. I was informed the fetus had not developed normally, actually stopped growing at 8-9 weeks, but since they detected a faint heartbeat and this was a Catholic hospital they could not do a D&C (*cough abortion). I was again instructed to go home and wait.
Within a few hours I was bleeding so heavily that I took my young daughters diapers to catch the blood, a normal pad was not enough. I didn't want to go back to the hospital wondering if they would even help me. When you have basically been patted on the head and told to go home twice its easy to feel that way. I was sitting on the phone with a friend at my mother's apartment next door when I passed out and an ambulance was called. By then I was going into shock and my veins were collapsing.
When I reached the hospital it took five tries to start another IV line for the blood transfusion I was now in need of. My most vivid memory was of my doctor, who was now working his ER shift, yelling in the hall “who the F*** sent her home, she could have died!” I was rushed to emergency surgery for a D&C (abortion they just call it by another name so you feel better) to remove the remaining tissue from my body. I was to be performed by the same Ob/Gyn who had sent me home.
As I was about to be put under I said to my anesthesiologist "please don't let him kill me". All I wanted was to get home to my little twin girls. After a day in the hospital and almost a week off work my life slowly returned to normal. It didn't have to be like that.
Luckily sometime while I was bleeding to death at home that day I passed the embryo. I often wonder what would have happened if I had not. Would they have even have saved my life or would they have let me die due to a non viable "person" inside of me? Never once did this hospital tell me I could go somewhere else for a D&C. They cared more about a 13 week non progressing embryo than a living breathing woman. A wife, mother, daughter, and granddaughter. A woman who went on to "choose life" 5 more times. Somehow I was not part of the equation but my pregnancy was.
I hadn't thought much about that day until recently because people keep saying that initiative 26. the personhood bill, will not change the way women are treated by their doctors. My experience with a hospital governed by the same beliefs that this bill is based on says otherwise and I am not alone and studies prove it. I was 18 years old, a wife and a mother to twins what made an nonviable pregnancy that could not be saved more worthy than living breathing thinking ME. The me that went on to have five more children who would not be in the world if my life hadn't been saved.
If you pause to think about it it's a scary thought. It made me think about the “personhood “movement as a whole and how I don't believe that the consequences to reproductive choices outside of abortion are an accident or collateral damage. I think it is by design. Women with choices is a scary concept to many and not being able to shame women through evidence of their sexual behavior doesn't make them very happy either. When you take away abortion, birth control, and access to IVF many of the things that the people behind “personhood” dislike the most can no longer happen. Women will NOT have control over their reproductive choices, condom use will be in the hands of men.
History should tell use how well that works. Homosexual couples and single women will not be able to use IVF to create a family outside of conservative religious norms. Teenagers will not be able to avoid stigma or shame brought on by teenage pregnancy. No I don't think it is an accident that this amendment will have the power to do many things that the conservative movement wants to do. Initiative 26 essentially has the power to turn back the clock on reproductive choices for ALL families. I can't help but think how 1950's of them.