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Member since: Fri Jan 20, 2012, 03:58 AM
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The Right Not to Know (Read this. And then read it again the day before the election. Please.)


'We Have No Choice': One Woman's Ordeal with Texas' New Sonogram Law
The painful decision to terminate a pregnancy is nowthanks to Texas' harsh new lawjust the beginning of the torment.
by Carolyn Jones

Halfway through my pregnancy, I learned that my baby was ill. Profoundly so. My doctor gave us the news kindly, but still, my husband and I werent prepared. Just a few minutes earlier, wed been smiling giddily at fellow expectant parents as we waited for the doctor to see us. In a sonography room smelling faintly of lemongrass, Id just had gel rubbed on my stomach, just seen blots on the screen become tiny hands. For a brief, exultant moment, wed seen our sona brother for our 2-year-old girl.


My counselor said that the law required me to have another ultrasound that day, and that I was legally obligated to hear a doctor describe my baby. Id then have to wait 24 hours before coming back for the procedure. She said that I could either see the sonogram or listen to the babys heartbeat, adding weakly that this choice was mine.

I dont want to have to do this at all, I told her. Im doing this to prevent my babys suffering. I dont want another sonogram when Ive already had two today. I dont want to hear a description of the life Im about to end. Please, I said, I cant take any more pain. I confess that I dont know why I said that. I knew it was fait accompli. The counselor could no more change the government requirement than I could. Yet here was a superfluous layer of torment piled upon an already horrific day, and I wanted this woman to know it.


Im so sorry that I have to do this, the doctor told us, but if I dont, I can lose my license. Before he could even start to describe our baby, I began to sob until I could barely breathe. Somewhere, a nurse cranked up the volume on a radio, allowing the inane pronouncements of a DJ to dull the doctors voice. Still, despite the noise, I heard him. His unwelcome words echoed off sterile walls while I, trapped on a bed, my feet in stirrups, twisted away from his voice.
Posted by 2ndAmForComputers | Sun Mar 18, 2012, 02:24 PM (13 replies)
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