Welcome to Defending Grace.
I never thought I’d be in this situation, and certainly not with an entire website devoted to it. But it feels so important to share our story, and to do so right now.
My husband, Jim, and I had to end our desperately wanted pregnancy at 21 weeks, 5 days, on November 23, 2016.
After extensively exploring adoption and pursuing multiple in vitro and frozen embryo transfers attempts, we finally became pregnant with our daughter, Grace Pearl in July 2016. But at Grace’s routine anatomy scan, we learned she had a terminal disease that would 100% be fatal, according to three independent doctors. My own risk was going to go up sevenfold (which is something I'll do a blog post on soon).
Out of all of the horrible options, we chose the one that felt like the only one for us: to terminate the pregnancy at 21 weeks, 5 days, and spare Grace the agony of birth without functioning lungs or kidneys.
Unfortunately, our situation isn’t that rare; it just feels like it is because so many people are afraid to tell their stories about ending wanted pregnancies.
Terminating a pregnancy is one of the most divisive topics in our political landscape today, and with good reason: it's one of the most gray-area issues there is. But a lot of people want to treat it like it’s a black and white issue. It simply can't be though - people confuse strong feelings with absolute truths. No one loves the idea of an abortion, and I truly understand where many pro-life people are coming from, but no one wants a child that has a terminal disease to needlessly suffer either - it's important to be pro-GOOD life. The best path forward for all of us is to stop discussing laws in such absolute ways.
I would love for this website to be a place where we can discuss these gray areas in kind, non-confrontational, respectful ways. To do so, please visit our blog here. I believe that most people are truly doing the best they can with the information they have. I hope that this site can help provide information that helps all of us make the best decisions we can with this incredibly difficult life situation, and to support one another with compassion and understanding.
One of the definitions of Grace is: mercy, clemency, pardon. While it tends to have religious connotations, we believe that the word can also be designated to the grace given by a parent to a child, and of allowing them to pass with the least suffering possible.
We believe it must also be for the grace we can give ourselves and others for the hard choices we sometimes face – choices with unthinkable options that don’t allow us to avoid picking one just because we hate them, and for doing the best we can with the information, love, and compassion we have.
Defending Grace is dedicated to talking about those gray areas with an open mind and compassion and to sharing these stories that are talked about less, and the anguish that families like ours face.
Want to share your story about ending a wanted pregnancy? Please contact me. You're not alone and you deserve support, compassion, and any guidance we can offer.
Featured Blog Posts
- Jun 25, 2019 Welcome Moth Radio Hour Listeners! The Latest - Part 1 Jun 25, 2019
- Jun 12, 2019 BBC Newshour Interview on Missouri Abortion Ban - Listen Here Jun 12, 2019
- May 30, 2019 Parents Magazine Covers Full Impact of Abortion Bans, Including Our Story May 30, 2019
- May 28, 2019 Missouri's Only Abortion Clinic Likely Closing Friday: What You Can Do NOW May 28, 2019
- May 16, 2019 Missouri's Cruel New Abortion Ban & BBC Newshour May 16, 2019
- Apr 24, 2019 National Infertility Awareness Week 2019 Apr 24, 2019
- Mar 5, 2019 She is here! Mar 5, 2019
- Nov 27, 2018 A Happy Anniversary, For Once... Nov 27, 2018
- Nov 23, 2018 It's the 2 Year Anniversary of Grace Passing. How it's Also Been A Celebration of Life. Nov 23, 2018
- Nov 22, 2018 Two Years Ago Today, We Had The Dance Party To Say Goodbye To Grace Pearl. Listen Here. Nov 22, 2018
- Nov 14, 2018 We Hit a Major Milestone Today Nov 14, 2018
- Nov 4, 2018 Our Plea: If You Have Been Touched by our Story, Please Vote! Nov 4, 2018
- Nov 2, 2018 The Moth Podcast Is Live With a Huge Announcement. Nov 2, 2018
- Nov 1, 2018 Our Story Will Be On The Moth Podcast Tomorrow (11/2/18) Nov 1, 2018
- Oct 31, 2018 A Midterms Voting Guide with Grace Pearl In Mind Oct 31, 2018
- Oct 17, 2018 The Moth Mainstage at the Wilbur in Boston - 10/18/18 Oct 17, 2018
- Sep 6, 2018 Kavanaugh Doesn't Respect Roe v Wade as Settled Law. Call Your Senators! Sep 6, 2018
- Aug 30, 2018 Even if Kavanaugh Doesn't Vote to Overturn Roe, He Poses a Huge Threat to Abortion Access Aug 30, 2018
- Aug 28, 2018 Please Call Your Senators: Roe v Wade is About Personal Liberty, not Abortion. Aug 28, 2018
- May 31, 2018 1A Rebuttal: A Crisis Pregnancy Center Director's Advice for Me Was Biased, Deceitful and Dangerous May 31, 2018
- May 17, 2018 Could Abortion Become Illegal In The U.S.? Our Story on 1A - Listen Here and Ask Me Anything May 17, 2018
- May 16, 2018 NPR 1A: Our Story Will Be Featured Tomorrow, Thursday, May 17 May 16, 2018
- Apr 27, 2018 NIAW Day 6: The Latest In Our Journey Apr 27, 2018
- Apr 25, 2018 Announcement: Planned Parenthood's National Speaker Bureau Apr 25, 2018
- Dec 9, 2017 How the Holidays Feel, One Year Later Dec 9, 2017
- Nov 23, 2017 One Year Ago Today, We Said Goodbye To Grace Pearl Nov 23, 2017
- Nov 22, 2017 One Year Ago Tonight, We Had a Dance Party With Grace to Say Goodbye Nov 22, 2017
- Nov 21, 2017 The Day After We Learned about Grace's Disease: Missouri's Abortion Consents and Informed Consent Packet Nov 21, 2017
- Nov 19, 2017 Music I Listened To While Grieving Grace Nov 19, 2017
- Nov 17, 2017 A Year Ago Today... And A Request Nov 17, 2017
- Oct 25, 2017 My Grief After Losing Grace: Where I Am Now Oct 25, 2017
- Oct 1, 2017 Please Call Your Representative About House Bill 36 Today! (Script Included!) Oct 1, 2017
- Sep 27, 2017 Learn More About Clean MO Thursday, 9/28 at 6 pm at the Royale! Sep 27, 2017
- August 2017
- Jun 29, 2017 Guest Blog: Sam's Story. "Just Adopt"? It Isn't That Easy. Jun 29, 2017
- Jun 23, 2017 An Interview with Lizz Winstead and Things You Can Do to Help RIGHT NOW Jun 23, 2017
- Jun 20, 2017 How Testifying Again Felt: Frustration, Grief, Helplessness and Determination Jun 20, 2017
- Jun 19, 2017 Guest Blog: Read Darla's Story if You Think You Would Never End a Pregnancy Jun 19, 2017
- Jun 14, 2017 My Second Time Testifying in Jefferson City: About the Bills and What YOU Can Do Jun 14, 2017
- Jun 9, 2017 Missouri Governor Greitens's Dangerous and Expensive Abortion Special Session Jun 9, 2017
- Jun 6, 2017 Action Needed: New York's RHA Needs a Vote. How You Can Help. Jun 6, 2017
- May 22, 2017 6 Months After Losing Grace: Jim Shares the Story (and Playlist) of Our Dance Party to Say Goodbye May 22, 2017
- May 17, 2017 How We See Mother's Day, and How I Approached It May 17, 2017
- May 9, 2017 Vox Magazine's Comprehensive Piece on Abortion, Including Our Story May 9, 2017
- May 2, 2017 Guest Blog: Celeste's Heartbreaking Experience May 2, 2017
- Apr 28, 2017 Are We Going To Try Again? Apr 28, 2017
- Apr 26, 2017 Infertility: Have questions? Ask here! Apr 26, 2017
- Apr 24, 2017 Another Important Part of Our Story: Infertility Apr 24, 2017
- Apr 19, 2017 My First Time Testifying at the Missouri State Capitol: The Bad Apr 19, 2017
- Apr 13, 2017 My First Time Testifying at the Missouri State Capitol: The Good Apr 13, 2017
- Apr 11, 2017 Helpful Resource: Ending a Wanted Pregnancy Apr 11, 2017
- Apr 6, 2017 Our Visit To Washington D.C. (Part 3: About the Folders I was Holding, and How I Felt) Apr 6, 2017
- Apr 3, 2017 Our Story in Al Jazeera, and Watch "Abortion: Stories Women Tell" Documentary on HBO Apr 3, 2017
- Mar 31, 2017 Today is Grace Pearl's Due Date Mar 31, 2017
- Mar 29, 2017 Listen To Our Story on NPR's 'All Things Considered' Mar 29, 2017
- Mar 28, 2017 Our Visit to Washington D.C. (Part 2: Judge Gorsuch's Confirmation Hearing and Meeting with Senator McCaskill's Office) Mar 28, 2017
- Mar 24, 2017 Our Visit to Washington D.C. (Part 1: Preparing and Jim Advocating with Senator McCaskill) Mar 24, 2017
- Mar 20, 2017 Senator Dianne Feinstein's Remarks, The New York Times, and What's Next Mar 20, 2017
- Mar 17, 2017 Why Not Palliative Care for Grace Instead? Mar 17, 2017
- Mar 14, 2017 Why Missouri's Abortion Consents and Timeline Are a Big Deal Mar 14, 2017
- Mar 11, 2017 Welcome, Washington Post and Chicago Tribune readers! Mar 11, 2017
- Mar 10, 2017 Our Story in the Washington Post Mar 10, 2017
- Mar 2, 2017 About Grace's Disease Mar 2, 2017
- February 2017
- January 2017