Utah woman Alyson Draper had a late-term abortion, and she told her story in a Facebook post that is going viral. She wrote that she was pregnant with twins, and one died in her womb. The other had severe spina bifida, a birth defect involving an incomplete closing of the backbone, and was only expected to survive for a few days—in great pain and on life support. Draper’s health was in danger due to her dead fetus, and she knew she needed to live in order to take care of the six kids she already had at home—something her Latter Day Saints bishop reaffirmed.
The problem? Late-term abortion is highly restricted in the state of Utah, so she had to wait for 12 hours—lying on the floor of the hospital, sobbing—as a healthcare corporation’s ethics committee decided whether her case justified an abortion. Eventually, they said it did, and Draper went through with a late-term abortion—what she called “the worst moment of her life.”
“I had to have a late term abortion,” Draper wrote in her Facebook post. “It was horrific. I think it even affected my dear physician, as he had never had to end a pregnancy before.” Draper explained that the abortion was done “gently,” through a Caesarean section. Draper said that the fetus with spina bifida died shortly after the procedure. As a result of the devastating experience, she developed post traumatic stress disorder (PSTD).
Draper posted her story publicly to Facebook in response to some comments Donald Trump made at the presidential debate last night, and asked people to pass it on. Since then, nearly 60,000 people have shared the post, 6,000 have commented, and 48,000 have liked or reacted to it. Facebook users have rallied to support Draper in her tough decision and her brave choice to share her experience.
As it stands, 24 states have restrictions on late-term abortions. Many of these laws are based on the idea that a fetus can feel pain at that point in gestation, but the Guttmacher Institute has called this “spurious” (false) assumption. In fact, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists has said fetuses are likely unable to experience pain until late in the third trimester. And remember: Only 1.4 percent of abortions happen at or after the 21st week of pregnancy.
These late-term abortions—like the one Draper received—are rare. And research has shown that the women who choose to undergo them are often doing so in an attempt to spare their babies from immense pain and suffering. The abortions may involve rare severe fetal abnormalities and/or threats to the mother’s health.
“No woman should have to have the state have a say in the most painful decision she will ever make,” Draper continued. “Nobody is tearing babies apart in late term. They are always humanely done, only in situations where there is a non-viable or severely defective fetus and/or the mother’s health is at risk.” Draper emphasized that the decision to have a late-term abortion is “so painful and so terrible”—and one that should only involve the parents and their physician.
Thank you for sharing, Draper. We appreciate it.
Read her full Facebook post below.
Also: The Candidates Share Their Thoughts On Abortion (Newsy)