Ignorant 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.