For nearly 10 years, Des Moines resident Kate has wanted to be a mom. However, even in her third trimester, she said no one should be forced to be pregnant if they don’t want to.
“It’s really uncomfortable, you know, why should someone have to go through all that medical stuff if they don’t want a baby coming out?” says Kate. “It’s not fun being pregnant for most people. You have to miss work, you have to change your life a lot.
“I was super active before and had to really take a step back,” she continued. “Which I was happy to do because I want to be a mother. Everything is planned for me. But for someone who gets pregnant and doesn’t want to, it would be terrible.
And that’s just one of the reasons why Kate argues that women have the right to decide whether or not to maintain their pregnancy, and why she’s worried about the leak of the US Supreme Court’s draft decision that would cancel Roe v. Wade.
Out of concern for her privacy, Kate said she only wanted to use her first name in this story.
Along with the discomfort, she also had to deal with an unsupported job, future daycare hassles, navigating health insurance, and dealing with her and her husband’s finances.
She quit her old job because it didn’t offer maternity leave and only allowed female employees to bank two weeks off a year.
“I had heard comments from people saying, ‘Oh, yeah when I had my baby, I was back in two weeks.’ And I was just thinking, what’s wrong with you? Like, you can’t even put your baby in daycare in two weeks,” she said.
This job also had expensive health insurance that would have taken the majority of her earnings to pay the premium had she continued to work there.
Luckily for her, Kate found a new job that offered two months of maternity leave. She already has daycare planned for the end of her furlough, and she has better, cheaper health insurance for her family.
If she hadn’t, Kate said she should have stayed home and applied for Medicaid or maybe taken a part-time job and gotten health care that way.
“Now I have a good job and we already have a family plan,” she said. “My husband is on my plan now, and it’s very, very cheap. I was, frankly, extremely lucky.
Considering all of this, Kate said it’s ridiculous to force someone to have a baby if they don’t want or have the ability to make those sacrifices and arrangements.
“These politicians, at least these Republican politicians, are trying to make sure you have to have a baby. But then there is nothing for the baby, for the mother, for the family afterwards,” she said.
This lack of childcare and health care support was also why having the morning after pill as an option was such a relief for her.
“It wasn’t situations where I felt like I was being irresponsible or anything like that,” Kate said. “It was situations where the condom broke or my partner said the condom was on and it wasn’t.”
Back when she was using it, she says, she was in the wrong place to raise a child. Kate also said she would never have been able to pay off her debts if she had become pregnant.
“But now we are in a very good financial position,” she said. “We’ve worked really hard to get here and that’s why we’re going to have a baby now and later in life because it’s so expensive.”
And it’s worth it for her. Kate said she was ready to deal with discomfort, changing jobs and the hunt for daycare because she wanted to be a mum. But the fact that it’s her choice makes all the difference to her.
“I know a lot of people get pregnant unplanned, but then they decide they want the baby,” she said. “Very big. But if you don’t and you have to go through it all, the resentment the parent would have for the baby. It’s like it’s not just any family I would want to be in. be born.
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