Health

Woman Posts an Emotional Letter About Needing a Late-Term Abortion

January 13th 2017

By:
Laura Donovan

"It's easier to get a gun than have an abortion in Missouri."

These are the words of Robin Colleen who wrote a viral Facebook post on Jan. 6 about the painful experience of needing to have a late-term abortion.

She wrote her post in response to House Speaker Paul Ryan's call to defund Planned Parenthood

Robin Colleen

The Missouri resident opened her post by saying that her daughter Grace Pearl had to be aborted at 21 weeks and five days because she "had a disease that would absolutely, 100 percent prompt her to either be stillborn or die shortly after birth." Abortion in Missouri is legal until a pregnancy has reached 21 weeks and six days. Having previously struggled with fertility, Colleen really wanted this child, but had the abortion so her child wouldn't have to suffer. However, she wrote that having the procedure in Missouri meant undergoing "the most insulting, callous [process she had] ever experienced."

She went on to write: "Jim and I had to wait 72 hours after signing consent to have the abortion, so we could consider what we were doing. I had to sign saying I had heard her heartbeat (as if hearing it the first time hadn't brought tears of joy to my eyes) and seen an ultrasound (as if I hadn't asked for more than are routinely provided, to provide reassurance to my very anxious heart after having a miscarriage in the past). We were given a packet that explained that we were essentially murdering our child."

Colleen added that she didn't need to have the abortion at Planned Parenthood because her company, which is not based in Missouri, decided to cover the costs of it at the last minute. Missouri companies don't have to cover abortions in insurance plans. 

Robin Colleen Facebook

Colleen wrote she shared this information to reveal how distressing it is to have an abortion in Missouri, and to point out how defunding Planned Parenthood could be really harmful to the women who need its services:

"Our privilege helped us immensely, and it still has been the hardest experience of my life. I will never be the same. I'm sharing this so you know who you're affecting if you defund Planned Parenthood, or want abortion outlawed, or not allowed in late term (which mine was - we did it literally one day before we couldn't in the state of Missouri any longer). This isn't an issue I'm passionate about, I AM the issue. Jim IS the issue. I can't imagine a person getting to 22 weeks of pregnancy and deciding to terminate for convenience. This needs to be available for people like us - people that very much want their child, but learn their child will die a horrible, suffering death if they continue to carry her. That their own health will suffer."

Colleen shared her post the day after Ryan said on Jan. 5 that defunding Planned Parenthood is part of Republicans' plan to do away with the Affordable Care Act (ACA). As ATTN: has previously noted, Planned Parenthood receives federal funding from Medicaid reimbursement and the Title X family planning program. Under the Hyde Amendment, federal funding only goes to abortion when a woman's life may be threatened by the pregnancy or in cases of rape or incest.

ATTN: has reached out to Planned Parenthood and Colleen for comment and will update this piece if we hear back.