All of a sudden I get it.
I had a minor epiphany as I waited for the D&C. Though I knew this pregnancy was over, I would have given anything to change the situation if I could. I felt frantic, terrified, and absolutely desperate.
And then I thought, "Maybe this is how women who are having an abortion feel."
Women with an unwanted pregnancy probably feel just as trapped and scared as I did. I felt utterly violated by this procedure I was about to undergo and I imagine that women who don't want to be pregnant feel every bit as violated by the presence of a heartbeat inside them.
I've always been pro-choice in theory, though I've never had to put that to the test. When my college roommate had an abortion, I saw that while the procedure itself was difficult for her, the decision to do it was not. As for me, I'd always been sure I'd have an abortion if I ended up pregnant at an inopportune time; if I ever imagined it, I saw myself resolute and implacable as I slung myself into the stirrups.
I never really thought of the emotional aspects of it how many women who undergo abortions must be propelled by panic and desperation.
But as I sat in my cubicle, fighting off waves of anxiety, it occurred to me: Two sides, same coin. As much as I longed for my pregnancy to continue, they long for theirs to end. As destroyed as I felt, they'd be just as devastated if they didn't have the option to terminate.
I think I truly understood for the first time how important that option is. For the first time, I felt real empathy for anyone in that position. What a strange time for me to be feeling the power of sisterhood, though at least it kept me from feeling the full horror of my own situation.