Given her situation, Karen Hartman was surprised and worried upon discovering she was pregnant. She was 42 and her husband was already 56. With one son just entering his freshman year in college and the other in first grade, the couple was intending to enjoy their sudden free time. Yet, at the unexpected news of another life entering the household, Karen considered having an abortion.
Despite being an abortion advocate, Karen said she struggled with the decision. Both she and her husband had well established careers, and plenty of parenting experience. She admits that they were in a position to care for a newborn baby.
“We could do this – if we wanted to,” she explained in an article posted Friday in The Washington Post. For them the decision rested in determining if they wanted to welcome a baby into their happy family, or not.
As is often the case, Karen’s decision was greatly influenced by her husband. He did not want another child, mainly because of his age, according to the article. He was also ready to retire, and was worried that a baby might require him to continue working.
Yet Karen said she still remained “uncertain.”After all, there were several factors that caused her to consider choosing life. Her connection with her siblings contributed to these thoughts, “I come from a family of four kids, and I adore my younger siblings.” These fond memories from her own childhood affirmed the beauty of life. She went on to say that she was “excited by the chance of having a daughter.” Yet despite these thoughts, she continued to consider abortion.
Karen scheduled an appointment with her OB-GYN, and explained to her that she would likely abort the baby. So when performing the ultrasound, the nurse midwife was instructed to turn the monitor so Karen couldn’t see it. Yet despite the intent to hide the baby, they forgot to turn off the sound, the article states. Because of this, Karen said she “heard that pack of horses heartbeat before she jumped to shut it off. I wish I hadn’t heart that sound.”
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Despite her ability to raise and love another child, Karen had the abortion. She wrote that this was the best decision for her, although even her recent accomplishments fail to “made the loss any less painful.” She also discusses the realization that 60 percent of women who abort are – like her – already mothers. Karen suggests that middle-aged post-abortive mothers share their abortion stories and thus show “a little more solidarity.”
But these women don’t need others proclaiming tales of their abortions. They need healing and forgiveness for the hurt they carry. Karen chose abortion out of fear of loss, “Whatever I decided, it would mean a loss – in my work, in my marriage, in our family.”
Sadly, this is the current cultural mindset. Women are told that the birth of a baby is only happy news if it works for them. If it alters their career choices or inhibits their preferred lifestyle, they are counseled to abort their baby. Yet this belief yields devastating results, as it costs the lives of the unborn, as well as the emotional and psychological well-being of the mothers.