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Why Halsey Talking About Her Post-Miscarriage Abortion Was Lifesaving

Ever since SCOTUS made their landmark (horrible, shitty, selfish, racist, ableist…the list goes on) decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, many celebrities and prominent figures have come out to speak about their experiences with abortion in relation to their health, and one of those figures is none other than Halsey. Halsey wrote an opinion piece for Vogue on their experience with abortion, and how it changed their life after three miscarriages, ultimately leading to a healthy birth for their 1-year-old son, Ender. “One of my miscarriages required ‘aftercare,’ a gentle way of saying that I would need an abortion, because my body could not terminate the pregnancy completely on its own and I would risk going into sepsis without medical intervention. During this procedure, I cried. I was afraid for myself and I was helpless. I was desperate to end the pregnancy that was threatening my life.” Due to the past miscarriages, Halsey prepared for the worst. They rewrote their will in their third trimester, saying that should their brain stop but their heart continue, they wanted their organs to be donated to help others. “How funny that while my own heart would amount to nothing more than a series of involuntary movements on an operating table, a beating heart in my womb could mean I couldn’t consent to saving my own life.” This experience only radicalized Halsey more on their abortion stance. It’s because of their past abortions they were able to have a healthy baby and give him life. “Every person deserves the right to choose when, if, and how they have this dangerous and life-altering experience. I will hold my son in one arm, and fight with all my might with the other.” Ever since Roe v. Wade was overturned, people haven’t shied away from vocalizing how despairingly upset they are, and how fearful they are for the future. Some of those voices belong to our very own Mighty community. In A Letter to Birth Moms Who Are Hurting After the Reversal of Roe v. Wade by Maya Lorde, she pens a few steps for birth moms who are distraught over SCOTUS’ decision: “ 1. Take a nap. You deserve it. There is no shame in it. 2. Surround yourself with like-minded people who are not in the adoption fog (aka think adoption has no negative consequences). 3. Journal just for you and contain it. 4. Write your feelings and share in safe groups on social media and elsewhere. 5. Segregate your social media into spaces that are safe for now. 6. Write your child a letter. (I set up an email for my child and I periodically send her emails that she can see when she is older.) 7. Share with your family or social network about your real experience around adoption. It is the Each One, Teach One model. You may successfully change some minds. 8. Do advocacy such as make a TikTok video about your experience, start a blog, work in your state to change the adoption laws, support abortion laws, educate others about the risk of adoption and the true experience, hold adoption agencies accountable, give money to adoptee groups, vote. 9. Seek out adoption-competent therapy (not a clinician in the adoption fog). If you do not have the financial access, seek out birth mom support groups. If there is not one in your area now, many of them are virtual so you can attend from anywhere in the country. You can take your power back. Adoption does not have to make us victims. We do not have to remain silent (but we can if we need to for now). There is significant stigma, and it looks like it is up to us to change the narrative.” You aren’t alone if you’re angry, fearful, depressed, and/or anxious from the current news cycle. Just as Maya added, there are steps you can take to protect yourself to the best of your ability, such as downloading menstrual tracking printables versus using menstrual tracking apps. Halsey proves abortions save lives (as if we didn’t already know that), and I’m praying that our rights will be defended so they can continue to do so.

Community Voices

If you have a miscarriage, you are now a suspect

Few people seem to understand this, but a ruling to overturn Roe allows for every woman who suffers a miscarriage to be treated as a murder suspect. How ghoulish. #Abortion

Monika Sudakov

How the Roe v. Wade Reversal Has Triggered My PTSD From Sexual Abuse

Ever since I heard the news that the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision affirming the constitutional right to an abortion, I have felt my mental health take a nosedive. My PTSD got triggered in a myriad of ways that I partly didn’t anticipate but certainly comprehend, as with one fell swoop, those possessing a uterus had their fundamental human rights ripped out from within them. At first, it began with somatic responses fueled by rage and disbelief. My head felt hot and like it was going to explode. I felt nauseated and sick to my stomach and I had a sense that I was being smothered or restrained, as though someone had bound me up in a straight jacket. Then I had a good old-fashioned panic attack complete with the inability to breathe, elevated heart rate, and a sense that the whole world was spinning. Once that passed, I slowly devolved into a catatonic state, dissociated and numb to everything, as if my body had been attached to an electrical supply that had experienced a short circuit, frying all of my internal mechanisms and halting them from functioning. Then came the nightmares. My most pervasive PTSD symptom is the persistent intrusion of violent dreams that terrorize me and wake me up. Most are permutations of feeling in danger or out of control, but every so often I will have dreams that are more direct recollections of my sexual abuse. These types of abuse dreams have taken over again, a nonstop barrage of having men violate me in various capacities against my will, and no matter how hard I protest nobody will do anything saying their hands are tied. I’m so beyond exhausted from nightmares that I’m operating in a zombie-like capacity somewhere between “I haven’t slept in five years” and “I’m a sloth on Xanax.” Not exactly conducive to a job involving customer service and working with sharp objects and fire. But the worst part of it is the degree to which this has triggered old feelings of inferiority and a sense of helplessness. As an 8-year-old child, I had zero control over my own safety or capacity to protect my bodily autonomy. I was a vulnerable little child whose agency over her body was destroyed by the violation of being sexually abused. And now, the abuser reaching down my panties is the government and they are transgressing each and every one of us with a uterus. This may sound hyperbolic but it’s not. To be told that you do not possess the right to determine what happens to your body is an abuse of power and for anyone who has experienced sexual assault, there’s a visceral and soul-crushing guttural pain reminiscent of what we endured in the past. Let me be clear, this isn’t a political statement, it’s a human one. I have spent years in trauma therapy processing my sexual abuse. The gnawing sense that I was somehow broken, flawed, disgusting, dirty, and that I deserved to be abused because of something I must have done coursed through my veins… a part of the very essence of who I thought I was. Disentangling these beliefs from the abuse of power and infringement of my rights as a person was no small feat and now it’s as if all of that work has been nullified. If the government can force their way into a person’s body with zero concern for how it affects that individual physically, emotionally, or financially, then they clearly don’t care about bodily autonomy or agency. Those who inhabit a person with a uterus, be they men or a fetus, are worth more than that human who has a uterus. It’s shaming, disenfranchising, and ultimately tells me I don’t matter in the same way that I felt like I didn’t matter when I was sexually abused. All I know is that I’m grieving. I’m grieving for those who have experienced sexual violence and understand the ramifications of this all too well. I’m grieving for those who will be violated in the future and will have to deal with a double violation. I’m grieving for those who will lose loved ones because their lives are endangered by carrying a child to term. I’m grieving for women who have to carry non-viable fetuses to term. And I’m grieving for the loss of potential of so many who will have to give up on their hopes and dreams because they didn’t have the opportunity to plan the timing of beginning a family for whatever reason. It’s a tragedy and I know that I’m hardly alone in the angst that I have been experiencing. If you are struggling to regain your sense of balance since the ruling, there are many things you can do. I know that for me, action helps to reset my nervous system and pull me out of my freeze trauma response. You can donate to abortion access funds, protest, write your congressional leaders, volunteer at local women’s health clinics, and above all… vote. Unlike when I was a child, I now have a voice. I can and will share my story, uplift and amplify the stories of others who have had to obtain an abortion for various reasons, and take up space by advocating for the rights of all human beings to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Megan Glosson

How Roe v. Wade Being Overturned Harms People With Health Conditions

This past Friday, the Supreme Court voted five to four in favor of overturning Roe v. Wade. This landmark court decision from 1973 established the constitutional right to abortion. Now, individual states will get to decide whether or not they will allow abortion. People across the country are experiencing mixed feelings about this perplexing court ruling. However, many people, including the justices who voted in favor of overturning the court’s previous ruling on the matter, are not thinking about the way in which this decision will impact the millions of American women and people with a uterus who live with chronic health conditions. So, here are just some of the people the justices of the Supreme Court of the United States failed to consider when they overturned Roe v. Wade and all but outlawed abortion for over half of the states in our country. 1. The Transplant Recipients Whose Medications Make Pregnancy Problematic Although it is possible for a transplant recipient to get pregnant and carry a baby to term, there are many potential complications. First and foremost, many anti-rejection medications can cause birth defects that would make life unsustainable for the fetus. They can also build up to toxic levels in the fetus’ bloodstream, which can lead to other complications. Although there are some medications that are safe for the fetus, any change in immunosuppressants must be made gradually so doctors can measure if these medications are actually doing their job (because not every medication works for every person). Also, because medication levels are based on weight, pregnancy can impact the medication levels in a way that leads to organ rejection during the pregnancy, making it a life-threatening situation for parent and fetus. 2. The People Whose Autoimmune Disorder Could Cause Complications Many autoimmune disorders cause your immune system to attack healthy tissue. This means that a pre-existing autoimmune disorder can interfere with the pregnancy by harming the fetus. Even if the autoimmune disorder allows the pregnancy to continue, the mother’s antibodies can enter the fetus’s system and disrupt its development and growth. Furthermore, some people don’t even know they have an autoimmune disorder until their pregnancy triggers it. In these cases, a person may find that being pregnant is interfering with their life so much that it’s not possible to continue living while pregnant. 3. Those Who Live With a Genetic Disorder That Could Prove Fatal for the Baby Living with a rare disease is not an easy road. However, some genetic disorders can be fatal, and passing them down to a child can increase the risk of fatality for the baby. These conditions include Huntington’s disease, vascular EDS (vEDS), cystic fibrosis, Marfan’s syndrome, and many other genetic disorders that someone can either have or be a carrier for. Even if the baby makes it through delivery, they will have a hard life (assuming they can sustain life). 4. The People Whose Endometriosis Caused an Ectopic Pregnancy People with endometriosis are twice as likely to experience ectopic pregnancies than the average person. Unfortunately, there’s zero possibility of an ectopic pregnancy becoming viable, no matter what marvels of modern medicine an OBGYN can perform. Usually, ectopic pregnancies are treated with injections that end the pregnancy or surgery to remove the fallopian tube. Either way, these life-saving medical procedures can be considered forms of abortion, and would now be punishable by law in some states. This means that people could face jail time for something completely out of their control just because they chose to save their own life. And without Roe v. Wade, there’s nothing a person can do about it if their state’s court system decides to rule against them. 5. Those Whose Cancer Treatment Would Affect the Fetus Breast cancer is the most commonly occurring type of cancer for women, and breast cancer rates are on the rise for women of childbearing age. Unfortunately, many of the recommended forms of cancer treatment can cause harm to a fetus and are not compatible with pregnancy. There are instances where a pregnant person with cancer can either wait until after their child is born to undergo treatment or select treatment methods that are least harmful to the fetus. However, there are also times when someone may need to decide whether it’s better to end a pregnancy during the early stages so they can undergo cancer treatment, or risk bringing a baby into the world while also dying. It’s not an easy decision to make either way, but the overruling of Roe v. Wade now makes it even more challenging. 6. The People Who Live With Mental Health Conditions That Require Daily Medications There are countless mental health conditions that require daily medications. Some of these conditions include depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. However, even with the wide variety of available medications out there for each and every single mental health condition, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists still says a majority of these medications are not safe during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester. Whether a pregnancy was planned or unexpected, a pregnant person who uses one or more psychiatric medications may be forced to decide whether or not they want to expose their fetus to the risks associated with the medication. In many cases, these medications can cause harmful birth defects or even harm the fetus in a way that makes life unsustainable. Therefore, these individuals need as many choices as possible available to them, including the right to terminate the pregnancy if that’s what they and their medical team feel is best. 7. Those Whose Epilepsy Puts Them At Risk for a Stillbirth Women with epilepsy are up to three times as likely to have a pregnancy that results in stillbirth than women who do not live with epilepsy. Sometimes, there’s no way of knowing whether they will experience a stillborn birth, whereas other times an OBGYN may no longer detect signs of life before the pregnant person even hits the third trimester. Without the option to abort, these individuals will be forced to carry a pregnancy to term even though the fetus will no longer grow and develop. 8. The People Who Almost Died With Their First Baby and Don’t Want to Go Through That Again There’s a lot that is still unknown about how pregnancy impacts the body. Conditions like pre-eclampsia are largely undetectable until it’s too late, as are other rare pregnancy complications. However, people who experience these issues during their first pregnancy are more likely to experience them again. This means a person may take active measures to avoid additional pregnancies. Unfortunately, no form of birth control is foolproof, and a person can still end up pregnant even when actively avoiding it. Should these individuals have to go through the same hell they endured during their first pregnancy if they don’t have to? And is that really someone else’s choice to make? 9. The Trans Man Who Would Struggle With the Dysphoria of a Pregnancy Thanks to the advances in modern medicine, trans men can do many things to counteract the gender dysphoria they experience. However, up to 30 percent of trans men still experience unplanned pregnancies. These pregnancies can lead to depression and other concerns due to the mixture of dysphoria and judgment from society. Before the overturning of Roe v. Wade, trans men could decide whether or not they wanted to go through with a pregnancy. Now that it is overturned, trans men in states with abortion laws in place may have no choice, and this combined with the stigma they likely already face due to society’s general view of the trans community in their geographic location, could cause depression and suicide rates to climb even more. This list isn’t exhaustive. However, it does provide a view into just how many people will be impacted due to the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. In many cases, people who live with health conditions are already marginalized and mistreated by medical providers and society as a whole. Now they may face even more problems and harsh judgment just for making decisions that can help them continue to live. This isn’t the type of treatment anyone deserves, especially people who already have to fight for their right to live day in and day out.

Community Voices

Lots, lots, and lots of anxiety… What do I do?!

Yesterday, the SCOTUS decision was the perfect topping on the messy cake of emotions that I have currently been feeling. Being a person who is pro-choice it was a tremendous blow that we as a nation just took a 50-year step back! Don't get me wrong, I do not like the thought of killing babies but until you are at that door of judgment only can you understand having the right to choose which direction your life goes in and the life of your unborn child is a huge blessing. My abortion saved my son, my unborn child, and myself from a really disturbed man who was supposed to love us appropriately.
That's the first time I have shared this publicly. I apologize if this hurts or offends anyone. This is not my intention.
I think I allowed my trauma to take over all the depressive and anxious emotions I was feeling already and get the best of me. I posted a harsh tik too, which I hardly ever post on social media lol, and let my frustration run over into today.
I'm trying to find the balance of caring about the causes that I seek to fight for and not allowing the causes to trigger my trauma. Boundaries are difficult for me and I want to learn how to create them so I can navigate in life without taking emotional punches. #Depression #Anxiety #Abortion #PTSD #Trauma

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Amanda Van Eps

Patient Management and Consent in a Post-Roe Era

I was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2020 as an incidental finding after a routine MRI for migraines during the height of the pandemic. This was not my first diagnosis with a chronic or invisible illness, but proved to be an annoying diagnosis. I say this because it came with more questions than answers. Until you have the tumor removed or biopsied, there is no way to be 100% sure exactly what it is beyond the educated guesses of your amazing medical team. In what I thought would be unrelated, I had an IUD eject itself a month or so prior to finding the tumor, so I was in the market for a new form of protection and menstrual control. Because I also have POTS, birth control has been extremely helpful in controlling some related blood pressure and migraine symptoms. While updating my OBGYN provider to get a new IUD, I was refused until I received clearance from my neurologist. The reasoning was that the hormones from birth control may or may not worsen the status of the tumor. Now while I agree it is the provider’s job to inform the patient, the patient’s consent is the only consent that matters. As if I didn’t understand the repercussions when the duality of the hormones from an unwanted pregnancy wouldn’t be just as precarious, but obviously more so. My medical history is complex and nuanced and that IUD helps manage other conditions I must deal with on a daily basis. I did not have the luxury of just managing the tumor and leaving other conditions and their symptoms to be reactive. I wrote my neurologist a light, but snarky email about how I’d rather be afflicted by the hormones of birth control than those of an unwanted pregnancy. His office faxed a letter to my OBGYN to clear me for my IUD, but the fact I had to ask him for birth control sits oddly to this day. I share my story because we are now in a post-Roe climate where patient autonomy, needs, and consent are often secondary to blanketed thought. Thirty-eight percent of American women face one or more chronic illnesses. The symptomatic nuance chronic illness places on childbearing years will never see the inside of a courtroom because justices are not qualified physicians. These blanket bans by the states will never know how to regulate exceptions, acknowledge women as whole patients, or address their patient outcomes. Now that the Supreme Court has asserted that all uterus-bearing patients no longer have the right to privacy, there is no longer a threshold or standard for patient care independent of a state’s belief systems. Risk assessments are no longer the choice of just the patient, depending on your location. Where does this leave an already complicated relationship between physicians, their patients, and the conditions they’ve vowed to treat?

Community Voices

IF US Supreme Court Overturns Roe, The US Is IN Violation of International Charter on Human Rights

<p>IF US Supreme Court Overturns Roe, The US Is IN Violation of International Charter on Human Rights</p>
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Community Voices

You never know who that child could be

<p>You never know who that child could be</p>
Monika Sudakov

My Experience With Having My Bodily Autonomy Questioned

I have stopped and started this article more times than I can count. The recent leak of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade has gotten me completely wrung into a knot and so despairing that my mind just keeps swirling, unable to fully grasp the myriad implications of what erasing 50 years of precedence will mean for future generations of women. While I have never had to make the heart wrenching decision to abort, several people I love dearly have, and I can assure you that their decisions were not made lightly. They were some of the most devastating but necessary choices of their lives and having the option of obtaining a safe, legal abortion was their only saving grace. I’m a doer. I see injustice and immediately want to do something to help. I was feeling immobilized as to what that something could be, until I realized that the best way I know how to advocate for the reproductive rights of women is to write my own truth. Something I do understand intimately is the demoralizing feeling of being completely disregarded as a human being where matters of the womb are concerned.  In the 30+ years that I have lived with endometriosis I have endured my fair share of that. Not just in the blatant disregard of my symptoms and the complete ignorance on the part of countless medical professionals who failed to recognize what my combination of symptoms meant, but more deleteriously in the period post-diagnosis when after years of attempting to manage my symptoms unsuccessfully I kept begging for a hysterectomy. For nine years my repeated pleas were either met with silence or comments like “what does your husband think?” and “what if you change your mind about not wanting children?” as if I was too stupid, incompetent or reckless to thoroughly comprehend the implications of my decision-making. Even more infuriatingly, when my husband was present in the office to offer his vehement support for my decision to not procreate and obtain a hysterectomy, they’d discuss my care with him like I was completely invisible. At every turn I was abjectly ignored, silenced and rendered powerless by white, male, heterosexual doctors who insisted that they knew what was best. Having grown up in an environment where I was taught that my needs and feelings needed to be silenced to placate others, I just sat there and took it like a “good girl.” My womb was treated like an independent piece of real estate that existed within me, but over which I had zero jurisdiction. My doctors assumed management over who they deemed it appropriate to inhabit that property with utter disregard for how I felt about the arrangement. It was like having an abusive landlord who refused to actually do any maintenance of the property, but insisted that I continue to put said property up for lease for free without any financial, emotional, or physical assistance and zero consequences when any inhabitant, be it endometrial lesions or a fetus, were causing damage to said property. It’s humiliating, dehumanizing and infuriating to constantly feel as though your worth as a human being is less than that of anyone else. Your pain is irrelevant, your feelings unimportant, your quality of life an afterthought. Your husband, your doctor and even a hypothetical fetus that you have already stated you don’t want and are actively trying to not allow to move in have more rights than you do over your bodily autonomy. And because we, meaning women, have been socialized to listen to authority, we don’t dare question it, no matter how painful it is to just sit there and take it. Make no mistake, women’s reproductive care is under attack. For any advances we may be making in comprehending etiology, symptoms, and treatment of diseases affecting women’s reproductive organs, like endometriosis, the policing of how, when and what care we can receive is an affront to our individual rights. We are descending into the dark ages where safe and reliable medical care for women was non-existent. Medical justice is being fundamentally erased for half of the population because a few individuals are allowing their religious beliefs to infiltrate their political agenda, completely disregarding not just the tenet of separation of church and state, but decades of scientific evidence indicating that access to safe legal abortions doesn’t lead to more abortions, it simply leads to fewer women dying horrendous deaths due to obtaining illegal ones, particularly women in marginalized communities. We can’t just let that happen without putting up a fight.

Community Voices

A poem

To my abortion,

I still love you.
The suffocating stillness,
my breath catches in my chest.
I feel as though I’m some black hole
where good things go to die.
I did my best with what I had.
Each summer punishes me with grief.
The sweltering heat,
the blistering heartache.
The guilt that guts me like a white-bellied fish.
Cold, slippery intestines in a fisherman’s fist.
I am trying to process.
I am trying to move on.
I am trying.
It is hard to be soft
when you are both
a woman and a grave.

#Abortion #ChildLoss