Thursday, October 9, 2008

A Real Story About Abortion from South Dakota

Feministing has a great guest post from South Dakota's Tiffany Campbell, a spokeswoman for the state's Healthy Families initiative that is fighting the abortion ban on the ballot this fall. Campbell's story about being overjoyed at learning she was pregnant with twins, then devastated when they discovered their twins suffered from a rare and severe condition.
But then we learned that our sons were suffering from a severe case of Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome. That's a condition where twins unequally share blood circulation. It meant that one boy was receiving too much blood resulting in a strained heart and acute risk of heart failure. Meanwhile, his brother was clinging to life, but his blood supply was insufficient to sustain normal development. This is an affliction where if one twin dies, the other faces significant risk of death.

So we were faced with an awful situation that forced us to examine our most fundamental moral and spiritual beliefs. At first we just didn't want to believe the doctors' prognosis. We wanted so badly for our boys to win the fight. But we couldn't stay on the sidelines forever: against all of our hopes and prayers, our twins' conditions continued to deteriorate quickly.

This was the most difficult decision of our lives. We could let nature run its course and pray that by the grace of God our boys would miraculously survive, or we could abort the sicker of the two, giving his brother a legitimate shot at life.

We decided to abort one of our sons. Our decision was predicated on consultation with experts in the field of fetal medicine, our personal beliefs, prayer, and a mother's intuition.

But Campbell's story is not uncommon. She is one of many women that face complications during pregnancy. Another common instance where women are faced with aborting one or more fetuses is often if they use fertility drugs or in vitro fertilization. Not everyone can be Jon and Kate Plus 8. The toll of multiple births and illnesses that some may not survive is too great for some families. The important thing is that families are allowed to make these decisions for themselves.


Dakota Values said...

I am from South Dakota and support the efforts to end abortion for the most part in our state. 96% of abortions in the State of South Dakota are used for birth control, not for fetal anomolies. Those who favor abortion have asked for the exceptions for abortions in the case of "rape, incest and the health of the mother and all of the exceptions are included in the current legislation. The Campbell family was involved in a controversial procedure which took place in Cincinnati, Ohio, not in South Dakota. In saying that, I am genuinely proud of the Campbell family! They were put into a situation which was extremely difficult. I am proud that they didn't call those little boys in the womb, FETUSES, but "their boys." Of course I'm voting "yes" on 11 to perserve "life" in the womb and give unborn children the chance to be born.

Sharon said...

Dakota values...hmm, not my values and I'm a South Dakotan too. It's going to be close (as it was last time we voted on this ridiculous distracting issue) but based on many conversations I've had I do think Measure 11 will be voted down. Even my conservative parents are voting gives me hope!

South Dakota Girl said...

Dakota Values,

Besides sticking your nose in other people's business, what are you doing for the children we already have? Do you have foster children? Have you adopted any of those "babies" you are voting to save? Do you volunteer to feed the homeless? You do donate your time to helping single, low income mothers get resources? Please, tell what else you're doing to preserve life "outside" of the womb.

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