Three years ago, as Wendy Davis was filibustering Senate Bill 5 in Austin, Nicole Stewart was facing a difficult decision in Dallas. Five months into her pregnancy, doctors said if she delivered her baby, he probably would not survive.
"My husband and I went into our 20-week sonogram to find out whether the baby was a boy or girl. We went through a series of tests, none of which were very conclusive. All we really know was that if I carried the baby to term and if he survived childbirth, he would most likely not live very long at all. And at the point, the doctor brought up terminating the pregnancy.
My husband and I were honestly relieved because the situation with the child seemed so dire, so so bad, his health was so poor, that for there to be an option to take him out of pain seemed a miracle to me at the time.
Of course it was so traumatic and so difficult to be in an abortion clinic, five months pregnant with my belly showing. But I had to trust myself and my husband and my doctors and our situation, and realize that I don’t need other people to agree with my decision. At the end of the day, it’s what’s best for me and my family.
At the time Senate Bill 5 was on the floor, we didn’t know how long it would take to go into effect, so we were looking into perhaps having the abortion in another state. I was very happy not to have to do that, but I could’ve afforded that. What concerns me is there are so many women who cannot afford to take off time, they can’t afford to drive to another state for an abortion.
Today, when I heard the SCOTUS decision, I was elated. I also think there’s a lot more to be done. A lot of times when we talk about abortion, we think about the fetus. I’d like for us to start thinking about the woman."
Nicole Stewart is the creator of Oral Fixation, a live storytelling show in Dallas. She and her husband now have a 7-month old daughter, Serena.