Missouri mom Jessica McCoy had a late-term abortion a few months ago after learning that her unborn daughter had spina bifida and a chromosomal abnormality.
The mother of three born children has been sharing about her abortion publicly, both describing her grief at the loss of her daughter and justifying her decision to have her unborn daughter killed because of the girl’s disabilities.
Several women’s publications picked up McCoy’s story this week after she posted photos on Instagram describing how her postpartum body and weight gain remind her of her aborted daughter who she named Evie.
Ten weeks later, Jessica says she’s “grieving very hard,” in part because her pregnancy was planned, the baby very much desired. It doesn’t help that she’s still grappling with her postpartum figure for reasons that transcend self-esteem. The extra weight she gained during her first six months of pregnancy and can’t quite seem to shed are a constant reminder of what she lost.
Here’s more from the blog Mom.me:
“It just wasn’t very likely she would be OK,” McCoy told the Huffington Post. “We were devastated and we still are. But, we knew that it was the kindest, most loving choice we could make, to end her life before it began, so that she would never have to suffer. We now bear that suffering, so she didn’t have to.”
Even during this difficult time, there are critics. To them, her abortion doesn’t qualify as a loss.
McCoy responds, “First of all, no one gets to hold a monopoly on what counts as a loss. … Second, I am realizing that ending a wanted pregnancy is such a different place than a miscarriage or stillbirth, because people aren’t as kind and accepting. There’s this question of if you belong. I’m here to say that I am grieving my daughter just as much as if I would’ve had a stillbirth. It may be different, but my sadness is just as valid. And it really isn’t a f—— competition either.”
McCoy is right that it is a loss, and her grief is natural. Parents should grieve the loss of a child for any reason, not excepting abortion. The problem isn’t that she is grieving; the problem is that she chose to have her unborn daughter aborted, rather than give her a chance at life. Her daughter’s death was her own choice.
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Parents like McCoy often try to justify their abortions by saying they want to spare their child from a painful life, but this same argument is not applied to born children in today’s society. Born children who are in pain and suffering are not killed; they are given medical care, pain relief and often honored with special events and gifts that allow them to enjoy the lives they have.
Evie deserved a chance to live just as every other child diagnosed with special needs deserves to. Society does not kill children outside the womb who are diagnosed with debilitating or fatal conditions. It should not be any different for children who still are in the womb.