On their last night in Dallas, the ramen noodles and microwave popcorn were finished. The money for the motel had run out too. So on a hot August night Jessica and Erick Davis and their three young kids slept in the Mazda rented for the trip.
It had only been a few hours since Jessica’s abortion. Because the procedure needed to be performed later in her pregnancy, it stretched over three days.
“I cried until I could fall asleep,” she said.
Earlier that month, at home in Oklahoma City, the Davises were told that the boy she was carrying had a severe brain malformation known as holoprosencephaly. It is rare, though possible, for such a fetus to survive to birth, but doctors told them that he would not reach his first birthday. “He would never walk, lift his head,” Jessica, 23, recalled in an interview.
“I could let my son go on and suffer,” she said. Or she could accept a word she didn’t like – abortion - “and do the best thing for my baby.”
“The editorial called me a ‘self-proclaimed feminist,’” said the [Coalition for Reproductive Justice]’s president, Martha Skeeters, “which is like being called a Communist here.”
When her group began lobbying against a Personhood bill by saying it would restrict in-vitro fertilization, or IVF, a legislator who planned to vote for it, said: “Sorry, what’s IVF?” Another legislator slammed the door in the face of an activist, calling her a baby killer.
“As a physician,” [Rep. Doug Cox] said, “I rotated through Planned Parenthood clinics, doing pap smears and breast exams, and yet the people who are standing up saying, ‘we’re going to cut off all this state money,’ I ask them: How many abortions did Planned Parenthood do in Oklahoma? The truth is they don’t do any. They looked at me like I was making it up.”
The Davises know he isn’t. The lack of options sent them to Dallas, where protesters outside the clinic tried to hand Jessica a pair of baby socks. She told them to go to hell. She left the clinic with a death certificate, which she and Eric had asked for, and a footprint of the son they named Mark Gordon Scott Davis.
The funeral homes Jessica called for a “proper burial” laughed at her, or hung up “because I mentioned the word ‘termination,’” she said. The funeral homes told her she had an abortion. “I don’t look at it like that,” Jessica said. “I’m showing my son mercy.’”
Excellent article by Irin Carmon—go read the whole thing, it’s really good. It also makes me never want to go to Oklahoma.