One Monday this September, I woke to the realization that I was officially in abortion overtime. I had entered my twenty-fourth week of pregnancy, which is the point when abortion (except in the most vanishingly rare of medical circumstances) ceases to be a legal option in the state of New York.
I have no desire to have an abortion. I am carrying a baby my husband and I conceived on purpose and whom we can’t wait to raise alongside our older daughter. Yet on that morning, I was acutely aware of having lost one of the most important tools available to women: the ability to exert control over what’s going on inside my uterus.
During both of my pregnancies, I have monitored the weeks available for legal abortion with the same precision that I used to keep track of when to get the nuchal screening, the amnio, the gestational diabetes test. To me, abortion belongs to the same category as the early Cesarean I will need to undergo because of previous surgeries. That is to say, it is a crucial medical option, a cornerstone in women’s reproductive health care. And during pregnancy, should some medical, economic, or emotional circumstance have caused my fate to be weighed against that of my baby, I believe that my rights, my health, my consciousness, and my obligations to others—including to my toddler daughter—outweigh the rights of the unborn human inside me.