After hearing Donald Trump speak scornfully (and dishonestly) about late-term abortions during the final presidential debate, one woman has come forward with her own story about how she made the difficult and heartbreaking decision to end her pregnancy.
Alyson Draper, a corporate attorney from Midway, Utah, took to Facebook to make sure people knew that late-term abortion bears no resemblance to what Trump described on Wednesday night, when the candidate claimed doctors rip “the baby out of the womb in the ninth month, on the final day.”
When she heard Trump speak those words, Draper heard a man exploit and misrepresent one of the most painful moments of her life.
“I was so outraged and so hurt for all the women who had gone through this, and their husbands and partners,” Draper, a Mormon, told The Huffington Post. “To hear him talk about it like that was such a disservice.”
“I was so outraged and so hurt for all the women who had gone through this, and their husbands and partners.”
It’s hard to pinpoint, from a legal and medical standpoint, when an abortion becomes late-term. Some sources put it at the 20th week of pregnancy, but states vary on how they draw the line. To be clear, there are no ninth month abortions. Only 1.3 percent of abortions happen at or after 21 weeks, and the majority of those are performed because the mother’s life is in danger, or because the baby has severe birth defects.
At about 22 weeks pregnant, Draper was in danger, and so were her unborn children. The mom, who was then 40 years old, had six kids at home. In her heart wrenching Facebook post, she wrote that she was pregnant with twins, one of whom passed away in her womb, and the other had severe spina bifida and would have only lived with life support and in great pain for a few days. Her health was in jeopardy and she had to think about the children she was already a mom to.
Draper and her husband consulted with her doctors, and her local LDS bishop before making the very difficult choice.
In her own words:
I lay on the hospital floor, bawling hysterically, for twelve hours, waiting for an ethics committee of the health care corporation to decide my case justified what had to be done. My health was in danger due to the dead fetus. My husband and I consulted our LDS Bishop, who assured me I needed to do what I had to do, that it was even within LDS guidelines to do so. He reminded me I had six kids (a blended family) at home who needed their mother to live.
The abortion was terrible. It was done very gently, by Caesarean section, leaving the babies in their amniotic sacs. The living baby passed very quickly.
It was horrific. I think it even affected my dear physician, as he had never had to end a pregnancy before. I developed PTSD for which I had to be treated for years, mostly because of the fact I had to have it at all.
No woman should have to have the state have a say in the most painful decision she will ever make. Nobody is tearing babies apart in late term. They are always humanely done, only in situations where there is a non-viable or severely defective fetus and/or the mother’s health is at risk.
Draper told HuffPost that she never imagined she’d make this kind of decision. Abortions are almost always discouraged for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ― except in a few cases, such as when the mother’s life is at risk.
Draper said her mindset changed after she was faced with one of the toughest choices in her life.
“I had always been firmly in the category that I would die before I would abort a baby or a fetus, that was something I never saw doing, and I was disapproving of women who did so,” she said. “But afterward, I thought how unethical it is to judge another woman for doing that, because you never know what the circumstances are.”
Draper said she felt strongly that she needed to speak out after Trump’s comments on Wednesday night, to create a “healthy dialogue that isn’t founded on hysteria and mob psychology like Trump’s is.”
“Please don’t vote for a candidate or a party that would make these decisions for the women who will die or be forced to carry unviable fetuses to term,” she wrote in the post. “This is a decision that is so painful and so terrible. Only the parents of the baby and a physician should be involved in the decision.”
Read Alyson Draper’s Facebook post below.
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