Jayapal described the "extraordinarily dangerous birth" of her child Janak, who was born weighing only 1 pound and 14 ounces, and suffered from complications due to undeveloped organs. When she became pregnant again years later, she wrote that she knew there would be potential health complications and the baby could be born prematurely.
“I decided I could not responsibly have the baby. It was a heartbreaking decision, but it was the only one I was capable of making,” Jayapal writes. She said the doctor who performed the procedure was "extremely skilled" and compassionate when it came to her decision.
Jayapal's column comes on the heels of an unprecedented number of abortion restrictions or bans being passed at the state level. According to the Guttmacher Institute, 378 abortion restrictions were introduced between January 1 and May 20 of this year alone. Since January, more than a dozen states have introduced abortion bans once a "fetal heartbeat," i.e. embryonic pulsing, is detected, and five states have signed them into law. The fate of Missouri's last abortion clinic is precarious, which would make it the first state without one.
“For me, terminating my pregnancy was not an easy choice, but it was my choice,” Jayapal writes. “That is the single thing that has allowed me to live with the consequences of my decisions. And that is what must be preserved, for every pregnant person.”