“Even after 35 ft. and four years later, my wife and I still hear them”

Aaron Gouveia recounts the time he and his wife needed a pregnancy termination procedure and how the buffer zones — even at 35ft. — didn’t do much to protect them on the worst day of their collective life.

For Justice Kagan, 35 ft. on a tape measure might seem like a lot. But I have a slightly different perspective, one that is far more personal and relevant to this particular issue.

In 2010, my wife and I went to a Brookline, Mass., abortion clinic after a team of renowned Boston doctors diagnosed our 16-week-old unborn baby with Sirenomelia. Our baby’s legs were fused together, but that wasn’t the worst of it. The baby had no kidneys, no bladder and no anus. We were given the heartbreaking news that there was a 0% chance of a live birth.

Because my wife’s health wasn’t in immediate danger, the hospital couldn’t get her in for a termination for two weeks. However, that meant it’d be a 50/50 chance of being able to have an abortion or having to deliver a stillborn. After much soul searching and contemplating a no-win scenario, my wife decided a stillbirth was more than she could handle and so the hospital sent us to a recommended clinic to perform an abortion.

When we pulled into the parking lot and got out of our car, the saddest day of our lives got exponentially worse.

These issues are a lot more complex when we consider the actually human toll on something as whether or not a 35ft. buffer zone outside a women’s health clinic is constitutionally legal or whether it impugns someone’s free speech rights. Empathy is something this country needs more of.

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