Womens choice and bodily autonomy

I wrote the below email to my state level representatives 21 Mar 2023 – there was never an answer despite 2 additional follow ups. I’ll still share it with you for what its worth.

Dear House Minority Leader Reives and Senator Murdock,

Thank you for introducing and speaking on behalf of the Codify Roe and Casey Protections. Bills. I know your republican colleagues blocked you. I write to you to share my story in hopes that it may be helpful in speaking with some moderate or center portion of that caucus.

My wife nearly died in her pregnancy with our youngest daughter.

I will not let this risk persist for my daughters. I will move them out of the state if the legislature of North Carolina does not allow a safe and legal abortion for women for their pregnancies up until AT LEAST until 27 weeks of gestation (ideally longer). Let me tell you more about why, so you can share with your colleagues if you think it will help.

My wife nearly died on Christmas of 2019.

She was 26 weeks along in her pregnancy with our youngest and was diagnosed with hellp syndrome (severe pre eclampsia). In a nutshell hellp is where the placenta is killing the mother. It’s completely treatable. The placenta must come out. So the baby must come out. At 26 weeks a baby is considered periviable — or near the limit of viability, with extreme (tier 3) neonatal critical care. The doctors came and asked my wife “what she wanted to happen” if there was a fatal risk to her or her baby. Her father was in the room at the time. He was very religious and had been “pro-life” (and anti abortion) his whole life. In that moment he discovered he was pro-choice.

“You’re my baby”

he told her, his voice choked near tears “and that baby…. we don’t even know that baby yet…. but you’re MY baby” It was an instant conversion and showed him the truth. His raw emotion spoke volumes. But it wasn’t what my wife needed to hear, she felt very protective of this baby and was very torn.

“There is no future where this baby lives and you do not.”

I told her. “This baby needs you in order to live, and our first baby needs you too.”In my very biased opinion, this is what she needed to hear. Luckily, in our case, everyone lived.

26 weeks is toward the “good odds” of periviability.

The odds for survival are between 86 and 89 percent, with heroic intervention: operative delivery, emergency resuscitation, 4 months in the NICU, a ventilator, blood transfusions, CPAP, therapy of all kinds and more (and a $750,000 dollar sticker price hospital bill -thankfully insurance and medicaid as a secondary payer for premature births protected us.)

Becoming pregnant again would cause my wife to have hellp syndrome again.

I have had a vasectomy, she has an IUD. Why am I sharing these detailed personal medical details with you? Because evidently your colleagues in the legislature believe they are entitled to make decisions about these things and I want to be very clear about the interventions we are already taking. But we’re terrified these redundant birth control methods may not be enough. A pregnancy would be life threatening on its face for my wife. Oh. And Hellp syndrome risk is passed on to children too, and ours are both girls.

Let me tell you another true story.

My good friend and his wife experienced a different extremely tragic situation. A baby diagnosed with trisomy. I think it was 13? Maybe it was 9 or maybe 18. The net was: the baby would almost certainly suffer then die. They made the very hard choice to have an abortion to prevent the suffering by the baby, by their older child, by themselves. I don’t know whether this was before the 20 week boundary current in law, but I am certain many discover problems like these after 20 weeks of gestation. They are expecting again and are currently moving out of this state, taking dual tech industry incomes away with their taxes, and much more with the vigor and vitality they imbue in the NC tech and business ecosystem.

So I say again, I will also leave this state if I have to.

Remember that hellp syndrome can be inherited genetically? Then bear in mind my older daughter is heading towards her biological sexual maturity. And my second one will be just a few years after her. What kind of father would I be keeping them in a state that will put them in this risk of mortal danger and deny them access to safe and legal medical care?

If your colleagues are not moved by these points,

maybe they will be by a couple more I’ll share:

1 Im a US Marine Corps Veteran who met my wife (who was born and raised here – she’s lived here 33 years) when I was stationed in North Carolina.

2 I studied for my MBA at UNC Kenan-Flagler Chapel Hill (an anchor of the famed triangle)

3 I worked for years for IBM, one of the major tech companies in that triangle (look! It’s that triangle economic engine in action!)

4 I’m a co-founder of a tech startup that has raised millions in funding and is employing 5 North Carolinians (2 are women, 3 are fathers-100% have a stake here)

5 I’ve lived here for 8 years now, bought a house, raised kids, paid taxes etc. for all that time. We have 3/4, and soon to be all of our extended family living here (half moved here to follow us!) and I say again:

6 I will move my family away from here, If my daughter reaches her biological maturity and the state hasn’t protected her right to a safe and legal abortion through 27 weeks of gestation.

7 How many of the people that match my profile do we think will make that choice?

8 How about decision-makers in companies in the state?

9 Does Apple seem like a company that doesn’t care about that? IBM? Google? MetLife? Salesforce? BCBSNC? Bank of America? Wells Fargo? What about young startups like mine?

10 What happens to North Carolina’s reputation as a business-friendly state when this happens? How will the triangle engine work when no employees want to raise families here? How can the state style itself as veteran-friendly if those veterans want to protect women in their lives for fatal risks? These points build on the basics of human rights, decency, and respect for life, liberty and pursuit of happiness for women and girls and those that love them.

I hope this story and these points may serve as examples to share in your efforts to persuade the persuadable and do the right thing here.

I would really prefer to stay here where we’ve put down roots if we possibly can.

But if we cannot, we will leave for somewhere safer.

I am happy to speak in person to add color to the story.

Thank you for your efforts.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.