Disabled Woman: No One Questioned My Abortion, But People Criticized Me When I Had a Baby

National   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Sep 22, 2019   |   6:17PM   |   Washington, DC

Sometimes even people who support legalized abortion admit to being troubled by the discrimination inherent in modern abortion advocacy.

Women frequently report feeling pressured to abort their unborn babies after a disability diagnosis. And it is well-known that Margaret Sanger, who founded America’s largest abortion chain, Planned Parenthood, was a strong advocate for eugenics.

But less discussed is the stigma that some parents with disabilities face when they choose life for their unborn babies.

This week at the global news site Quartz, Nicole Lee of Australia opened up about the different attitudes she experienced when she was pregnant and chose abortion compared to when she became pregnant and chose life for her children.

“As a disabled woman, my abortion wasn’t questioned—but my pregnancy was,” she wrote.

Lee, who is wheelchair bound due to a spinal cord injury, said she was treated differently because of her disability. While many women’s pregnancies are celebrated, hers were met with questions and concerns. And when she had an abortion, she said “no one blinked an eye.”

“As a disabled woman, to the outside world my choice to end a pregnancy was seen unquestionably as the ‘right’ decision,” she said.

Lee continued:

This view potentially stems from fears around passing on genetic disorders. It’s a fear that has its origins deeply rooted in eugenics, and what is subjectively deemed as whether or not a disabled person can live “a good life.” Or it could have come from the unwittingly negative views that surround our bodies, and our ability to adapt or cope with motherhood. In other words: People seem to think that being pregnant was going to be too hard for me.

Lee aborted her unborn baby, her second child, when she was 22 years old. She said the decision was difficult for her, but no one counseled her or questioned her about it. No one, apparently, offered her parenting or adoption resources, and no one supported her after she went through with the abortion.

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A number of post-abortive women, not just those with disabilities, have shared similar experiences: little to no counseling, unsympathetic abortion workers, few questions, and basically no support from the abortion provider after the procedure. Former abortion workers have admitted that their jobs were to sell abortions, not help women make informed choices.

Still, Lee’s overall story did make an important point about discrimination. The problem became even more obvious to her a few years later when she became pregnant again.

“As I was only 18 when I had my first child, I thought all the negative attitudes would be behind me,” she remembered. “I’d already proved myself to be a competent parent who has a disability, after all, and my oldest was happy and healthy.”

She said she was excited and her family was supportive. But others were not. Lee said people asked her things like, “How are you going to cope being pregnant?” and “How are you going to take care of a newborn baby?”

She continued:

Imagine you are about to welcome your second child into the world, and everyone is expecting you to fail. This is vastly different to how other women are treated. It was certainly vastly different to how my older (able-bodied) sister was treated while pregnant: I wasn’t showered with congratulations from shop assistants when shopping for baby gear the way my sister was. People outside of my immediate family and circle of friends simply couldn’t see past my disability.

It was also so utterly different to how I was treated when terminating a pregnancy. Why wasn’t I asked about my ability to cope after having an abortion? Why was no one concerned about my welfare then?

Lee urged people to take a “step back” from the abortion debate and think about “the reproductive rights of all women,” including those with disabilities.

She came so close to the mark, but ended without recognizing that the rights of all women should include females in the womb as well.

Pro-life advocates long have pointed to the discrimination inherent in abortion advocacy. Pro-life feminists believe abortions treat a woman’s body, her ability to become pregnant as a disease, rather than an ability to be celebrated. And the abortion industry tells women that they need abortions to be equal to men, as if women are not strong enough or capable enough to bear and care for children.

But, even if this was not the case for women, abortions, by their very nature, discriminate against the unborn child. Abortions treats a unique, living human being as valueless, disposable. When unborn babies are diagnosed with disabilities, some abortion activists even tell women that it is more “compassionate” to kill the child than to give them a chance at life.

Every human being deserves the same rights and freedoms. And it should not matter if a person has disabilities, is male or female, young or old, born or unborn. Each is a unique, valuable human being.