Why I Had My Abortion at 23 Weeks
Mother says medical problems weren't clear until then
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 21, 2013 11:44 AM CDT
File image   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – The House bill to ban abortions once a fetus is 20 weeks old has no chance of becoming law of the land this time around, but Judy Nicastro offers her own wrenching story to make the case why it never should be. She and her husband chose to abort one of their twin fetuses at 23 weeks because it wasn't until then that the full scope of his medical problems became clear, she writes in the New York Times. Doctors discovered in the 20th week that his organs weren't developing. Even if he survived at delivery, he would not be able to breathe on his own.

"The thought of hearing him gasp for air and linger in pain was our nightmare," writes Nicastro. After consulting with doctors, she and her husband made their decision—one week before it would have become illegal in their home state of Washington. "We made sure our son was not born only to suffer," she writes. "He died in a warm and loving place, inside me." Months later, his healthy twin sister was born. Nicastro is worried about the "chipping away of abortion rights" and hopes her own story will help lawmakers "be more responsible and compassionate when they weigh what it means to truly value the lives of women and children." Click for the full column.