On the eve of the Presidential Election, Laura Branzinski DeMers posted the heartbreaking story of why she stands with Hillary Clinton. She shared her story in the secret Facebook group Pantsuit Nation, which recently hit 2 million members after being created only 17 days ago.
DeMers graciously gave us permission to share her story in the hopes it would help prevent this from happening to anyone else. Her story details the extremely painful loss of her son, Gabe, in utero this May. She wrote:
Our religious-affiliated hospital refuses to do D&E’s for “moral” reasons. They sent me and my dead baby to an abortion clinic where, due to state laws, I was required to look at an ultrasound of him, receive counseling on birth control and I had to surrender rights to his remains. “Compassionate conservatism” made the worst day of my life a thousand times more hellish. Tomorrow I will carry Gabe in my heart as I cast my vote for Hillary Clinton and pray that we can overcome intolerance, divisiveness and cruelty.
A “D&E” is a dilation and extraction, and it is performed during second trimester abortions. It’s also fairly rare with only .2% of abortions involving a dilation and extraction. While Donald Trump described late term abortions like a scene from American Horror Story, Hillary Clinton spoke with compassion about the pain women face in these circumstances. She said:
“The kinds of cases that fall at the end of pregnancy are often the most heartbreaking, painful decisions for families to make. I have met with women who toward the end of their pregnancy get the worst news one could get, that their health is in jeopardy if they continue to carry to term or that something terrible has happened or just been discovered about the pregnancy. I do not think the United States government should be stepping in and making those most personal of decisions.”
Demers story illustrates exactly how cruel “compassionate conservatives” are in regard to this issue.
Her story is particularly poignant because she lives in Florida. In July of this year, Federal judges blocked new restrictions on access to abortions in Florida just hours before the law was set to take effect. The law would have prevented Planned Parenthood and other clinics that perform abortions from receiving any public money, even for routine health screenings. U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle, who issued a stay for the law, criticized the law:
“And there is no logic to it. That a woman has a constitutional right to an abortion does not mean a legislature can impose otherwise-unconstitutional conditions on public funding.”
Laura Goodhue, executive director of the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood affiliates, spoke about how many women in Florida are unfortunately facing situations similar to Demers.
“None of this is medically necessary whatsoever.Women have the legal rights to obtain a medical procedure and when you punish providers, women are punished regardless.”
DeMers’ story hit a nerve garnering her over 2,200 comments of support and 13,000 in 2 hours. Libby Chamberlain, founder of Pantsuit Nation, said:
“There’s an awakening that’s happening with each new member — ‘Wow! I’m not alone,’ There’s this understanding that something special is happening.”
Indeed. Pantsuit Nation was able to offer DeMers the comfort and compassion she deserves.