On the pages of one of the most prominent newspapers in the world, a U.S. congresswoman wrote with both pride and pain about how she aborted her unborn baby.
U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal, a Democrat from Washington state, admitted that her abortion was “heartbreaking” and deeply emotional, but she still defended the so-called “right” of any woman to abort her unborn baby for any reason, at any time in her pregnancy.
In an op-ed for the New York Times, Jayapal described her life 22 years ago when she aborted her second child.
Her pregnancy with her first child, Janak, was difficult, and the child was born severely prematurely, weighing less than 2 pounds. She said Janak struggled with multiple physical health problems, while she had difficulties with postpartum depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.
After remarrying, she said she and her husband wanted another child, but she was worried about going through the same problems that she had with her first.
“I wanted more children, but in numerous conversations with my doctors, they told me that any future pregnancy would be extremely high-risk and could result in a birth similar to Janak’s,” she said. “I knew that I simply would not be able to go through what I had gone through again.”
Jayapal said she and her husband “diligently took precautions” to make sure they did not get pregnant, but she did anyway.
She said her decision to have the abortion was “excruciating,” though she did not explain why. She did not mention that she was carrying a unique, living unborn baby – her own child – or that her abortion ended that child’s life forever.
I was so grateful that Janak had survived, but I could not tempt fate again. It had to be my choice, because in the end, I would be the one to carry the fetus in my body, I would be the one to potentially face another emergency cesarean section, and I would be the one whose baby could suffer the serious, sometimes fatal consequences of extreme prematurity. I could not simply hope for the best — I had to make a decision based on the tremendous risks that had been clearly laid out for me.
… The doctor who performed my abortion was incredible: extremely skilled, thoughtful, kind and compassionate. She knew and had seen, over and over again, what it took for women to make these choices.
Though she said she felt “heartbroken,” Jayapal also claimed it would have been irresponsible not to abort her unborn baby.
“For me, terminating my pregnancy was not an easy choice, but it was my choice,” she wrote.
She concluded by defending that “choice” for every woman in America, for any reason she wants to and at any time in her pregnancy.
The congresswoman wrote:
There are so many stories that are far more traumatic than mine — low-income pregnant people, including people of color and rape victims who face untenable choices. There are also stories that are not traumatic at all — just the free exercise of a protected constitutional right. I am grateful to those across the country who are speaking out about the tremendous diversity of experiences and what it truly means to be empowered, even as I respect the choices of those who keep their stories private.
She said she decided to share her abortion story for the first time because she is “deeply concerned” about the pro-life laws and other political efforts to save unborn babies from abortions.
But there is something almost contradictory in Jayapal’s story. After 22 years, she said she still thinks about her abortion and feels “deep emotions” about it. Why? If an abortion is just “health care,” as Democrats like her often claim, it is difficult to understand why she still has so many strong, painful emotions about it.
The lingering pain does not come from nowhere. It comes from the fact that an abortion ends a life, a child’s life. From the moment of conception, that child is unique and irreplaceable. And though likely only subconsciously, Jayapal seems to realize it.