A Mother Tells Tennessee Lawmakers How Her Views On Abortion Changed When She Was Forced To Have One
Tennessee lawmakers heard emotional testimony Wednesday on the subject of abortion — from a mother who says she had no choice but to end her pregnancy in the second trimester.
It was part of a debate over whether to restrict abortions past 20 weeks. The proposal is modeled after an Ohio law that takes effect this year and is meant to push the legal definition of a fetus' "viability" to 20 weeks — about a month earlier than it's usually assumed.
Hadleigh Tweedall had a second-trimester abortion. Her baby, a girl she and her husband had named Grace, was filling with fluid and would almost certainly die in the womb, a condition known as non-immune hydrops.
Even under Tennessee current laws, Planned Parenthood and her doctors could not perform the procedure, so Tweedall had to go out of state. She described the day on which the abortion took place as the worst of her life, in part because she felt a fugitive who'd been forced to flee Tennessee to receive a procedure that was being treated as taboo.