By ROSALIND WOODWARD, certified nurse midwife
While I acknowledge Mr. Gjefle’s point of view in your Dec. 5 issue, and am delighted he has had such a stable and satisfactory family experience, I respectfully offer the following:
If it were it possible for him to put himself into the shoes of one of the following women, who are a very small sample of real people I regularly meet, I wonder whether he would come to the same conclusions.
Emily, 22 (all are fictitious names to preserve identity), has an 18-month-old child. A prior infant died at six days old. Tests for this pregnancy reveal a fetus with a brain deformity. She is facing the inevitable death of another child.
Sara, a 32-year-old with four children, 15, 12 (twins, one with autism) and 1. She became pregnant while on the pill. A tubal ligation was denied her by her physician. She cannot work because of her family responsibilities. The father has a minimum-wage job.
Roberta, a 31-year-old with five children, 12, 11, 6, 5 and 4, who lost her part-time job after repeated violent altercations caused by the father of her children at her workplace (he was jailed). Because of lack of income, she lost her apartment and presently lives with a friend and her three children.
I ask, would any of their lives be improved by the addition of another child? If Mr. Gjefle still believes this is so, I wonder if he would be willing to step forward and help similar women obtain the stability he has had the fortune to enjoy.