I feel compelled to write this as a medical professional (Registered Nurse), woman, mother of two living children and one who has experienced abortion firsthand. The recent push to essentially remove all restrictions on abortion is extremely troubling to me and I believe it is also troubling for the future of our state and nation.

When I was 18, I became pregnant and took the advice of my older sister to have an abortion early in my pregnancy. I do not totally place the blame on her, as I was not coerced by her and I have forgiven her for influencing me this way. I have also forgiven myself, although I sometimes think about how old my child would be and what path her life would have taken (I strongly feel that this baby would have been a girl). I remember the day of my abortion as the most lonely, sad day of my life but am glad that I survived it (unlike my baby) to be able to tell others of my experience and current opinion.

I feel great compassion for any woman or young girl who is in the position I found myself in so many years ago, and I do not support viewing women who have chosen abortion as criminals despite the mistakes and irresponsible behavior that, in many cases, led them (and me) to experience an unwanted pregnancy. I do, however, view the businesses and health practitioners who do not offer full information as to a woman’s options and fetal development as having a responsibility in the scourge on our nation that abortion is. Also, I believe there is forgiveness for anyone who has had any involvement in the abortion industry, if they choose to turn away from it. We are all sinners in need of forgiveness, which God mercifully offers.

The recent comments by a physician, who is also a governor of a state in our nation, have left me horrified. The thing I really cannot accept is a highly educated physician believing that after a baby is born and the mother/parents have likely heard the baby’s first cry (something very precious to most), think that it could be in the best interest of everyone or anyone to not give that baby the support it needs to survive. Unlike early abortions, which I still consider wrong and harmful also to the mother, the above scenario could provide a terrible experience and indelible memory for the mother/parents of the baby who was left to die by their decision. Most women would admit they are not proud of their abortions and actually regret them, but allowing a baby to be born then condemning them to death, even if they have a good chance of survival with medical intervention, is barbaric and I fear for any woman or man’s mental health who lives with this memory.

I could go on about many of my feelings and also the proven scientific facts of fetal viability, ability to feel pain, etc., but essentially, we can do much better than this as a state and nation, to value life at all stages by making adoption more easy and affordable and supporting women and men also by giving them all the information (objective truth), options available and social and economic help to support them to make the choice they can feel good about. Very few women will publicly proclaim they feel good about their abortion history. Abortion has no winners.

Please do not vote in favor of H.57.

Marcia Hildebrand lives in Belmont.

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