Dear President Trump,
Have you ever seen the movie “Pee Wee’s Big Adventure”? If not, I highly recommend you take a break from Fox & Friends and watch it. You will probably resonate with the villain, Francis, who uncannily resembles you, and you will probably hate Pee Wee for his perky twee-ness. One of the movie’s best scenes involves Pee Wee coming across a pet store that’s on fire. He bravely goes about saving all the animals, but each time he rushes in and out he looks in horror at the snake tank. At the end of the scene he bursts out of the burning building clutching the snakes and then faints dead away. It’s pretty hilarious. And it’s a great example of pushing off things one would rather avoid.
So, in my letters to you about how you plan to give healthcare providers permission to discriminate against LGBTQ people and those in need of abortion care, I’ve been avoiding talking with you about how personal this is to me. Several months ago I told you how horribly confusing it was to confront the world being ordinary the day we left the hospital without our infant son, but I didn’t tell you what happened. I won’t go into detail here, but because it is highly relevant to your inhumane policy changes I’m going to give you the outlines. At 6 months gestation, Laura and I went in for me to have a routine prenatal care visit. My blood pressure was so dangerously high that day I was immediately hospitalized. The ultrasound showed the baby was about a month less developed than he should have been, but the neonatologists thought they could save him if the obstetricians could keep me alive another week or two. However, when nothing worked to bring my blood pressure down and I started having signs of seizure, we decided I had to terminate my pregnancy.
It was the hardest decision either of us ever had to make and I can’t imagine having had to do it while dealing with judgmental discrimination. I am so grateful we had healthcare providers who were willing to help me stay alive, who supported both of us, who grieved with us over the loss of our son.
I hope to goodness you will reconsider your decision to allow people who are supposed to provide potentially life-saving care to play “God” by picking and choosing who they will and won’t treat.
May you be brave and stand up to bigotry.
May you be happy to change your mind for the better.
May you stop valuing some people’s health over others’.
May you surprise us all and do the right thing here.