This op-ed originally appeared in Bridge Michigan 08/07/23
In the fall of 2021, we discovered at a routine ultrasound appointment during my second trimester that our baby had an abnormality called a cystic hygroma, a condition we learned was rarely survivable. It was the second piece of devastating news. A few weeks prior we’d learned that I was pregnant with twins, but the heartbeat of one had already stopped.
I knew there would be many hard moments ahead. What I didn’t anticipate is how much stress we’d have to endure over the cost of my care because of Michigan’s punitive laws regarding abortion and coverage by private insurers.
At one point, our high-risk obstetrician urged us to hurry our decision-making process because the cost of abortion rises as pregnancy goes on. We were making one of the most personal, consequential, and painful decisions of our lives and simultaneously stressing over the many thousands of dollars the necessary health care might saddle us with. Over the next couple weeks, after many really difficult conversations with our doctors, genetic counselors and each other, we finally decided to seek an abortion via labor induction to end the pregnancy.