To the editor:

Please ask your Kansas state representatives to vote no on the constitutional amendment that bans abortions in Kansas. Currently the amendment has no exceptions for rape, incest or the life of the mother. I am a prime example of why this is so important. In December 2018, I had a tough decision to make. I made the unthinkable decision to abort my 8-week-old child.

From Nov. 1, 2018, to Dec. 18, 2018, I had roughly 20 defibrillator fires due to multiple cardiac arrests that caused me to lose consciousness for about a minute at a time. At that time, I currently had my son who was 4 months old. Those cardiac events were due to a hormone spike that triggered an electric malfunction causing a cardiac arrest similar to a heart attack. My heart rate got up to over 400 bpm each time. Thanks to my implantable defibrillator, it shocked me enough times for me to come to. However, these ICDs are only designed to shock you six fires at a time before it stops. The first couple of cardiac episodes it took two shocks. The third and fourth episodes took three shocks, eventually leading up to four shocks.

Was my next episode going to leave me dead? Are the shocks deforming my baby? Are the shocks affecting my body and brain?  A million scenarios and million fears set in. 

With clueless doctors on what was happening to me and a life-saving team at KU Med, they supported me in the fact that I was a medical emergency. If there’s no me, there’s no baby. And I have a 4-month-old who needs his mama.

For days the team worked to get the supporting signatures to follow up on my medical emergency abortion. Tears are flowing down my face because that word feels so harsh. There’s not a moment that goes by in which I look at my son and think he could have had a play partner, a best friend, a sibling. I don’t regret my decision. The moment I came to from the procedure I felt a cloud lift. I didn’t feel sick. I knew I was going to be OK. It’s been a tough recovery and long year but I am so glad I’m here to hold, to kiss, to teach, to raise my son. 

This is my story. There are thousands of others. You cannot begin to understand who is going through what in their moments. Please vote no.