warren hernby Kelli

Smith was sent to a Boulder, Colorado, clinic run by Dr. Warren Hern [pictured], one of only four late-term abortion providers in the U.S.

Smith had only days to arrange for the procedure, which would cost $25,000 — money she had to borrow from family members. She says that she and her husband had to wade through protesters and cameras to get into the Colorado clinic, “which seemed like an army bunker,” and where, for security reasons, she could only have one book and one food item. But, Smith says, “contrary to what many might think, it was a peaceful procedure,” which, she explains, began with an injection that stopped her daughter’s heart, although not right away. Hours had passed since the injection, and Smith thought Alice had died. “But then I felt a kick,” Smith recounts through tears.

After she knew that Alice had passed — she says her belly was no longer tight and high, but rather heavy and sagging — Smith was overcome with a feeling of grace. Two days later, after being induced at the Boulder clinic, she gave birth to Alice, who was five pounds 13 ounces. “They cleaned her off and brought her into me,” says Smith, who shows me Alice’s tiny footprints and handprints.

Smith, who suffers post-traumatic stress disorder related to the loss, attends two support groups (an infant loss group and an abortion support group) and serves as a mentor to other women who have gone through late-term abortions for similar reasons. She says that she wishes there were more options for women in her circumstances, lamenting the death of [abortionist George] Tiller and lauding the courage of Hern, who she describes as “an absolute angel who saved me and my daughter.”

~ Ananda Rose, describing the late-term abortion of “Julie Smith,” whose daughter had fetal abnormalities, Pacific Standard, August 25

[Photo via dailycamera.com]

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