Why the Texas Abortion Law Terrifies Me as an Autistic Person
I’m going to be very blunt about this. I dislike children. They are sticky, loud, and produce various substances from every orifice of their bodies. For me, having a child sounds like my worst nightmare. I know for a fact that if I ever got pregnant, I would go for an abortion as soon as I could. That’s why Texas’s new six-week abortion law both scares and insults me, especially as an autistic.
I want to preface this article by saying that having autism does NOT mean you would be a bad parent. This article is written from my own viewpoint, regarding my own sensory issues, maternal instincts, and lifestyle.
I have some severe sensory issues, especially when it comes to noises. A child crying or screaming hurts every fiber of my being. Not only that, but one of my worst sensory issues is the shushing noise. When I hear that noise, I have to start punching or pinching myself, to make the indescribable feeling inside of me go away. I also have a lot of autistic meltdowns where I often hit my head on the wall until someone comes and helps me. What would happen if I was holding my child and I went into meltdown mode? What if someone made the shushing noise to my child and I broke down? If I was forced to have a child, I truly fear that I would inadvertently end up hurting it, just because of autistic reactions I can’t handle.
I also need time to myself. I need to be able to sit down, process, and breathe. You can’t do that with a small child. You constantly have to be on alert to make sure they don’t kill or maim themselves.
At this point, you might say, why don’t you just have the child and put it up for adoption? My answer to that is there are issues with me just being pregnant. One of those concerns is the fact that I don’t take the best care of my vessel. Due to sensory and executive functioning problems, I will often forget to or don’t want to eat or drink water. I also get very little sleep and the sleep I do get is not restful. I am honestly surprised I haven’t collapsed at this point. I also have a condition called POTS that messes with my heart rate and blood pressure. There is no way I would be able to sustain a healthy pregnancy for either myself or the fetus inside of me.
All in all, I feel like this is something basic that we shouldn’t even have to discuss. People should be able to make their own choices about their bodies. If people truly cared about the child growing inside of someone, they would take into consideration the life they would lead when they exit the womb.
Getty image by Tinnakorn Jorruang.