It was an honor and utter privilege to be able to share Grace’s story as part of The Moth Mainstage with the Wilbur Theater audience in Boston last October. This week, my story is featured on Moth Radio Hour as part of the “A Brave Front” episode. You can listen here.
You can also find local airtimes here.
A lot has changed since I shared my story back in October, both for us personally with the birth of our daughter Hannah in February (!!!), and nationally. In terms of having and starting life with Hannah, it is everything we hoped it’d be and more. I’ll be sharing much more on that this week (so please subscribe/follow me on social media - links at the upper corner of this page)!
At the same time, later term abortion is discussed by the president and policy makers far more than it used to be, and in ways that are alarming, callous, judgmental and utterly untrue (for instance, infanticide isn’t actually a thing). It’s been horrible to see what people say and believe about people like me. It makes me more committed than ever to telling my story.
Add to that… I live in Missouri. Where an 8 week abortion ban without exceptions for rape or incest, much less fetal anomalies, will be taking effect on August 28, 2019. I was unable to testify in person against these bills due to being home with Hannah, but I sent in my written testimony, and Jim testified in person, as did other patient advocates that have suffered similar circumstances. Once again, the legislators didn’t care, and acted dismissively towards us.
And now there is the very real threat that the only remaining abortion clinic in the state of Missouri will close at the end of this week. This has happened because the Department of Public Health has become politicized and weaponized and has different, ever-changing requirements for Planned Parenthood that don’t match those of other health facilities. It’s terrifying that we’re allowing what should be a fair and neutral department become political. Should the clinic close, women will die and babies like Grace will suffer.
It is a uniquely awful situation to look at my 4 month old daughter and worry about if she’ll be able to legally access reproductive health care in the future. To feel like I can’t just soak up every second with her because the hits just keep on coming without legislator regard for the real impacts on lives like mine, or Grace’s (who would have 100% suffered had I been forced to continue the pregnancy) or Hannah’s.
I wish they could let me grieve Grace and enjoy the thrill of Hannah in peace. This is what my life is actually like… not how they portray it. It’s awful to hear those that represent us mangle our stories so willfully and so inaccurately when they haven’t walked in our shoes, and show no interest in understanding how it feels, even when we are literally next to them, sharing anyway.
If you are able to help us in the state of Missouri fight against this ban and our potential clinic closure, please consider the following:
Stay Up to Date and Spread Awareness
Subscribe to my updates! This is a long fight, but we cannot stop - women will absolutely suffer, and the unborn like Grace as well. We deserve more.
Please share stories like mine to bring awareness to these issues and what some of the real impacts will be, much less to those that are far, far less fortunate than I am. Parents Magazine just did an outstanding job covering the bigger picture of impacts.
Talk about abortion! I know, that sounds about as fun as getting a root canal, right? But that’s because we’ve let conservative voters and legislators tell us it’s not ok. The stigma around abortion is very deep, and talking about it as what it is (necessary healthcare) helps fight that. You are welcome to use my story to facilitate this, demonstrating a reason that women get abortions, and I’m happy to talk with anyone about it as long as it is curious and respectful.
Call Gov. Parson & demand he renew the license immediately: https://www.istandwithpp.org/call/missouri-stop-abortion-bans
Donate to the last health center providing safe, legal abortion in Missouri: ReproductiveHealthServices.org/give
Donate to support Planned Parenthood Advocates’ fight for Missourians’ sexual and reproductive health & rights — including safe, legal abortion: ppadvocates.org/donate
Donate to Representative Deb Lavender’s campaign for State Senate. Representative Lavender is running against Senator Andrew Koenig in 2020, who is one of the Missouri state senators who puts forward the most restrictive abortion bans year after year, and has sat next to me, playing with his pen and phone while I have testified about Grace and how bills like 6 week abortion bans would 100% make her suffer. He is a terrible lawmaker and representative, and Deb in contrast would bring with her a wealth of experience and a much needed pro-choice vote to the Senate. Donating to Deb’s campaign is a huge action you can take - in an increasingly red state, we need voices like hers more than ever.
Donate to It Starts Today - Missouri, a project where a single monthly donation is set up to fund every Democratic nominee for MO State Legislature. You can further select for your donation to go strictly pro-choice candidates. You don’t have to live in Missouri to do this.
Please sign this petition demanding the immediate resignation of director Dr. Randall W. Williams from Missouri's Department of Health and Senior Services. Dr. Williams has proven himself to be a biased, politically motivated director with changing requirements and double standards, including a medically unnecessary, cruel and unethical pelvic exam 72 hours before an abortion (this has since been reversed, thus demonstrating how unnecessary demanding this was in the first place). People like Dr. Williams have no place in the Department of Health and Senior Services. If he is allowed to treat Planned Parenthood differently, what is to keep him from doing the same to other medical facilities for whatever reason he feels is appropriate?
Sign a petition demanding that Governor Parsons renew Planned Parenthood’s clinic license immediately here.
Thank you for listening, thank you for helping us fight, and thank you for caring so much about myself, Jim, Grace and Hannah. Our little family is better for having you as a part of it, helping us fight for what we so strongly feel is right.