Dear Representative Joe Walsh, I Had To Abort My Pregnancy To Save My Life

operating roomIgnorant people make me angry. Illinois Representative Joe Walsh is extremely ignorant. And in what can only be called a trend for Republican lawmakers, Joe Walsh’s ignorance is on full display when he discusses things like abortion, pregnancy, or just the female reproductive system in general.

Walsh, who is running to keep his seat in the US House of Representatives, told reporters that there doesn’t need to be an abortion exception for “life of the mother” because ”with modern technology and science, you can’t find one instance” in which a woman would actually die if she continued to carry a pregnancy.

Well, then I guess I need to introduce myself to Representative Joe Walsh.

Dear Mr. Walsh,

For more than a year, my husband and I had been trying to get pregnant. We very much wanted to have a second child to add to our family. In December, right before the holidays, we found out that we were pregnant. There are not enough words to explain just how overjoyed we were. Just seven weeks in, and I was already buying little presents. My dad was dropping buy our house with Colts pacifiers and soft white baby blankets.

Then, a couple of days after I had received Christmas gifts for my future child from our family and friends, I started to experience shooting pain and bleeding. After I finally went to the ER, we found out that my pregnancy was ectopic. That means the fetus was lodged in my Fallopian tube, instead of where it’s supposed to be. At first, we had to try a medicine to stop the growth of the child and effectively abort it. When that didn’t work, I had to undergo surgery that took both the baby and my Fallopian tube.

At the time, I didn’t think about the procedure as an abortion. I considered it the loss of a child that I wanted very much. I referred to it as a miscarriage, so I wouldn’t have to explain the ordeal to everyone. But no matter how I characterize that loss in my own head, the medical procedure was the same. My doctor had to end the life of the baby growing inside of me to save my own life. If she hadn’t, the baby would have burst my Fallopian tube and I would’ve died from internal bleeding.

Mr. Walsh, please believe me when I tell you that if there was any medical possibility of saving my pregnancy, I would have pursued it. I desperately wanted that child. I still grieve for that child. Unfortunately, there was nothing we could do.

You have no idea what it’s like to be told that the child you’ve been trying to conceive for years could kill you and must be removed from your body. You have no idea the pain and agony that I endured, not just while in the hospital, but in the weeks and months that followed. How dare you tell me that my situation doesn’t exist, that my procedure wasn’t necessary.

I know that I am not alone. I am not the only woman who had to go through something like this. My story isn’t even the most dramatic, extreme, or heart-breaking out there. It’s something that thousands of other women have experienced. Maybe you should speak to a couple of us before you choose to spread false information to defend your own barbaric positions on women’s health choices.


Lindsay Cross

(Photo: Sopotnicki/Shutterstock)


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  • Rebecca

    I have a family member who was found out she was pregnant while being hospitalized for severe carbon monoxide poisening. They had been TTC. It took 3 doctors to convince her to have an abortion. When they did the required ultrasound before the abortion she found out it was twins. Talk about heartbreak. I was pro choice before but now I’m even more so. I don’t think anyone who hasn’t had one done themselves or helped a loved one through it can appreciate what a difficult and personal decision it is. I find it very offensive when I hear “just keep your legs closed” remarks or the notion that all abortions are just lazy women who don’t want to deal with consequences. For most women it’s a tough, painful thing to do. I also have a girlfriend who had an abortion for “wrong guy, wrong time” reasons. It definately wasn’t something she took lightly and not something she ever wants to repeat, but she’s grateful she had the option.

  • Lisa

    I’m so sorry for your experience. Like you said, you are not alone, and his ignorance is just unbelievable. When I was 17 weeks pregnant with my first child, my water broke because of a uterine infection. I was advised that there was nothing that could be done to save my child, and the infection was putting my health at great risk. We chose to induce labor, which I know constitutes an abortion in some people’s minds. Our son was born alive and lived for three hours, and I am so thankful for that time we had with him. There is no doubt in my mind that we made the right decision for him and for me, but it was certainly not an easy decision to make!

  • Lawcat

    I hate it when people act so flippant about pregnancy. I’m not sure if it’s ignorance or stupidity anymore. I get that House representatives aren’t all brainiacs, but this is basic science.

    Women still die during childbirth. Is it as common as it once was? No, but it still happens. And like Lindsay’s story, an ectopic pregnancy is a possibility, along with a huge list of other issues that can arise. In Lindsay’s case “modern science and technology” saved her life. That “modern science and technology” was a safe abortion.

    • Sara

      I think this might be a case of modern science actually having worked TOO well. Thanks to the benefits of advanced OB-GYN care, it’s so rare in this country for women to die in childbirth anymore that people like Rep. Walsh have forgotten that it’s a very real danger and in many parts of the world, it’s extremely common. For him to blithely state that there’s “not one instance” of a woman’s pregnancy endangering her life shows how completely ignorant and out-of-touch he is, and it instantly destroys any credibility he might have had. Oh, wait, he has no medical training or basis for making these claims, so he never had any credibility at all.
      When it comes to life-and-death health care decisions, I’ll take the opinion of my doctor over that of someone with no credentials, medical experience or grounds to offer medical opinions.

  • TheLily

    Due to various complications, I had to give up the only child I thought I would carry to term. I was extremely ill during the second month of my pregnancy, but the fact that I made as far as I did meant that I had a much higher chance to getting to the end with this child.

    When it came out that I might die from complications and there was only a fifty-fifty chance that the baby might survive if I died, I didn’t think twice. I told my partner and all of the people who knew.

    I was sick already and even the abortion caused many complications that made it clear to me that it was the right way to go.

    I don’t know if I’ll ever get to term with a child, or if I’ll keep miscarrying – but that abortion was the best thing at the time and I refuse to regret it. After all, no matter what, I don’t have to feel guilty about choosing to keep one of us alive, rather than neither.

  • Sara

    *slow clap*

  • Rebecca

    Next Ignorant women’s health quote I’m waiting to hear “abortion isn’t necessary to save a woman’s life because woman’s bodies have ways of knowing and shutting the whole thing down”. Come on guys, I know one of you is thinking it.

    • Andrea

      Oh dear god I was thinking the same thing. Jeepers creepers can the BE any more ignorant??? Or condescending? Or moronic? Or insulting? UUGGHH.

    • Helen Donovan

      Well, only if it is a “legitimate” pregnancy. Auuugh!
      Good Lord it is terrifying how stupid some of these guys are. Plus, it seems the dumber they are, they more vehemently they push their ill informed objectives.

  • LiteBrite

    Next story will be how Rep. Joe Walsh backpedals and says his comments were “taken out of context.” Right.

    Seriously, what is up with some of these Republican candidates as of late? Have they fallen for the myth that “bad press is better than no press at all” or are they truly that ignorant?

  • Another Lindsay

    In point of fact Lindsey story while heartbreaking doesn’t disprove Walsh’s ignorant statement, Lindsey’s procedure is not classified as an abortion, and was never illegal.
    That being said Walsh is an idiot. His statement is wrong, and provides excellent proof why the government should keep their hands of our bodies, Ultimately Abortion is a medical procedure first and should be left in the hands of the doctor and his patient.

    • Sgaile-beairt

      actually it has been in the past, even today some catholic hospitals have refused to even try the safer chemical abortions that Lindsey tried only doing the whole tube removal so they can claim “double effect” ie not REALLY an abortion–and is now in Honduras classed as an abortion. They let the tube rupture first because theyre so “prolife”!!

    • deanna

      The form you sign for a D&C calls it an abortion. Even a miscarriage is classified as a “spontaneous abortion” in medical text. So now, what, women who suffer a miscarriage will go on trial as murderers??

    • Shelly Lloyd

      While I am staunchly pro-choice I have relatives who are very, very pro-life and are very active in the pro-life groups and from what I have heard from them, there is talk about how if they had their way all miscarriages will be investigated as potential murders. They know it is not possible to do that right now, but if they can out-law abortions then they can start that as their next step. It just gives me the creeps.

  • alexmmr

    Adding my voice to the “abort or die” crowd. Mine was an IVF pregnancy. Picture perfect twin girls until I ended up in the ER at 18w5d. There was an infection, in the wee hours of 18w6d, I was given the choice of abort or die along with my girls. I wanted to die, my husband didn’t want to be a widower, and my love for my husband won out.

    4 months ago, I gave birth to twin girls. We are now a family of four, but he would have my husband standing at the grave of his wife so I could serve as a coffin to my girls? Screw you Joe Walsh. Pro-life my almost dead ass.

  • . . .

    I am SO SICK of people saying only slutty women who should keep their legs closed get abortions, or that people use it as birth control, or that there’s no such thing as abortion to save the mother’s life. It makes me so incredibly mad that I start shaking. Joe Walsh is an ignorant, repulsive man. I never even wanted kids until I had an abortion and the experience unexpectedly, completely broke my heart. Now that I actually want to have kids, and the loss of that potential baby makes me sad……I cannot even IMAGINE how heartbreaking it must be to want a baby and go through something like what Lindsay went through. I hope he sees this article. I don’t know when it became okay for men to spout off untrue, unfounded, and utterly ridiculous information. I don’t know when the Republican party decided that they get to dictate what women do with their own bodies. I don’t know when they decided that a small lump of cells is more important than the physical and emotional well-being of a live, adult woman. I just don’t even have words anymore for how disgusted and saddened I am by all of this. Good for you Lindsay, stick it to them and stick it to them hard.

    • D.Y

      I completely agree! I had an abortion at age 20. It was also to save my life, but not the way that Lindsay had to endure it. I cannot imagine going through what she and others have gone through. I was not a slut, just running around sleeping with half the town. I was in a long term, exclusive relationship with my boyfriend of nearly 2 years. He was an abusive alcoholic who used sex as a way to control me. When I refused to sleep with him, he would threaten violence. He refused to wear condoms and when I ended up pregnant, he told me that if I kept it then he would kill me. His exact words: “get rid of it, or i’ll get rid of you.” In fact, he took a knife in the car on the way to the clinic and showed it to me before we went in. So I did what I felt was my only option. It follows me to this day, 10 years later. I am 100% convinced that I would have ended up like Laci Peterson and I could not have put my family through that.
      So until a fucking republican has a knife to his throat, is in an OR waiting for his D & C, or has to have an ultrasound wand shoved up his body cavities, they can shut the fuck up.

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