I had an abortion six years ago. Just three days after the Fourth of July.

On June 30th, 2016, our first son was given a terminal diagnosis. He had hydrops fetalis and was covered in fluid from head to toe. The fluid around his organs were crushing. If this was happening to a living, breathing human being, it would be the same as being suffocated. I was only 17 weeks along. The hydrops fetalis was so severe my doctors continued to state that they had never seen a case like mine.

I was read the chances of survival which were fatal and the potential risks that were great. However, I was a patient at a privately-owned Christian hospital, and it was against the “ethics” of the hospital to ever recommend the termination of a pregnancy to their patients. It felt icky back then, and it feels worse now.

However, my doctors were very realistic with me and recommended I “take care of myself” during this time while simultaneously handing me a sticky note with a phone number written on the front and on the back. He continued to say “I’ve heard great things about New Mexico” in reference to the sticky note. You see, the numbers were to an abortion clinic in Dallas, TX and in Albuquerque, NM.

I chose to have labs ran to check for chromosomal abnormalities, infections and genetic conditions that could be potentially passed on from me to my future children. The moments that follow the 4 hours I spent in the exam room and lab become blurred for me. I wish I would have written each moment down, so I could look back and see the strength I had during the times I feel the most weak.

On July 5th, I decided to admit to the amniocentesis they had recommended in the chance that he had a chromosomal abnormality that would not be detected by the typical blood tests. I, then, at the recommendation of a close friend, went to have his heartbeat recorded and placed into a teddy bear as a physical reminder of what it sounded like. His heartbeat had slowed drastically from what it had been at past appointments, and I was again reminded of the fact that his heart was indeed being crushed by fluid.

On July 6th, my mom drove me to the Albuquerque clinic for what I assumed would be a two-day abortion. Since I was 17 weeks, they assumed I would need to dilate overnight before being taken back for the D&E. Fortunately, after they did an ultrasound at the clinic, they decided he was smaller than normal for being 17 weeks along, and I was able to have a typical one-day procedure.

I’m not going to go into the rest of what happened. I’m not going to tell you about the following days or about how painful it was when my milk came in.

No, I’m going to tell you about how absolutely devastated I am that had I not been so lucky to have experienced this 6 years before today (and without the obvious privileges I am afforded), I would be spending this weekend with no bodily autonomy, a suffocating fetus and the unknown of what it would look like if his heart stopped beating while inside of me. What it would it would look like if I did deliver him only to watch him suffocate with organs no bigger than that of a 17-week-old fetus.

That is the reality for a pregnant woman in the state of Texas without the means to leave this state for an abortion. That is the reality for a CHILD pregnant by rape. The reality for mentally ill women. The reality for financially unstable women. The reality for victims of domestic violence. Truly, the list goes on.

If you want to give me the bullshit of “well, I support abortion in cases like yours”, turn around and leave. You are no longer welcome in this conversation because if you did care about women like me, you would be just as fucking pissed about the overturning of Roe v. Wade as I am. If you cared about life outside of the unborn, you would see that there is a lot more to this than what you have made it to be.

If we continue down the path we are headed, you will see a ban on abortions across the country. Minimal access to the morning after pill. Increased botched abortions and fatalities. An influx of foster children in an already overwhelmed system.

What’s that saying you all like to use so much? Just because you make it illegal won’t stop people from getting them. Except, by them, you mean guns which you love so fucking much. Some of you will say “well, just because women will still find ways to get abortions doesn’t mean it should be legal”! Really? Apply that to gun ownership, and let the hypocrisy in your words be seen.

To go a little bit further in the way of guns, the amount of you in the Lubbock community that watched the video of my step-dad being murdered in cold blood and then turned around and said “He was on his property, and he has a right to protect said property – God bless Texas” while singing the praises of pro-forced birth legislature really just blows my damn mind.

You absolutely cannot be pro-life and pro-protection of property over life.

For those of you that want to argue about it being sent back to the states, which right would you like the state to decide whether or not you can have? Which are you willing to put up to a vote?

For me, my sisters, my friends, my friend’s daughters just had an essential right to healthcare stripped from them, and to watch the Christians around me celebrate the taking of rights in the name of Jesus while you parade on about self-defense, gun rights, the death sentence, immigration control, etc. makes me physically ill.

I grew up being warned about an enemy that would distract me, tempt me, and fill me with evil if I allowed it, and the lot of you cannot even see that the enemy has already distracted and filled you with evil and a lack of empathy. What a shame you cannot see that. What a shame that you believe God loves you so much that your rights and beliefs are above ALL of His children regardless of their beliefs. Unless I’m wrong and God only loves Christians – which in that case, what kind of God is He truly?

You keep reading the Bible (which states absolutely nothing about abortion, btw) and Constitution that are both set in archaic times and have nothing to do with the present we are currently living in. Because one day, you or someone you know will need an abortion. The circumstances are not necessary. The fact is, you or someone you know will need and depend on the healthcare that is abortion, and when that day comes and you or someone you love are not able to access it, you will look back and think of me and wish you would have listened for just one moment.