Michelle Traxler: An aborted baby named John Anthony is why I support defining life in HB 107

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By MICHELLE TRAXLER

I have the following stories to tell, as these personal experiences touch on several facets of the abortion debate. It’s not just my experience that I’m representing here. It’s the experience of tens of thousands of other women who were in distress, and made a horrible decision to end the life of their baby before they could be born. My son was one of these people who was never born. 

At 17, I was pregnant for a second time. I already had a daughter by the same drug-addict boyfriend I was in the process of leaving. I reasoned that I couldn’t take care of two little ones by myself, and I couldn’t. 

Considering giving the child up for adoption didn’t go well. Being honest, I was deeply upset about the damage that had been done to my body from being pregnant and giving birth. I didn’t want to go through it again so soon. 

Also heavily weighing on my mind, was the thought of my child being abused, as I had been abused. I had seen and experienced evil in this world. It broke my heart to think of someone hurting my child, and for me to not know about it to save him. 

I reasoned that both myself, and this child, would be better off if I got rid of him before he could be born. I was sad, troubled and lost, but resolved to my decision. 

Back in 1987, you couldn’t go in early and have an abortion. There was a risk of having  a “missed abortion.” There were no pills to take. 

I set off to go to a distant city, where I would be asleep for the procedure. On the way there, my boyfriend was stopped for speeding. We missed the appointment. 

The clock was ticking and I was still resolved. Another appointment was made to a different clinic. By then, I was 13 weeks pregnant. 

Shortly after entering the clinic, I was directed to the counselor’s office. I was very mature, composed and matter of fact. I laid out my argument to allow me to proceed, without dropping a tear. I convinced her that I knew what I was doing, and was fine with it. 

On my way from her office to the waiting room, I ran into a girl I knew. Her appointment was ahead of mine. We didn’t say much to each other, but I thought of how sad it was that her, and her boyfriend, were killing their baby, yet I mostly blocked feeling that way about my own.

I did await my turn in dread. I remember being on the table with IV medicine dripping into me that was about to knock me out. I stared at the vacuum machine and the tool the doctor was about to insert into me. He looked up at me as I looked at him in terror, as I thought he was going to insert the suction tool before I was asleep. 

As I slept, the 13-week-old little boy I was carrying was literally torn apart as it was sucked out of my womb. To ensure nothing was left behind to cause an infection, his little body parts were reassembled in another room. He was then, maybe, incinerated. He was a person.

I woke up in a recovery room, at the end of a row of other women. After I dressed and was leaving, I looked over at all of them. 

The first woman was a 30-something year old. She was sitting up and smiling. The others were teenagers like me. One was crying loudly and profusely. Another was just huddled with her blankets hiding her. Another just stared off into space. 

It was literally like an abortion factory. I waited and waited outside the clinic, but still in the building, for my boyfriend to come pick me up. That was awful. 

When he finally got there, he was mad that they told him wrong about when to be back  to pick me up. He went on a rant. I felt embarrassed, and just wanted to leave so bad. He insisted on saying something, and told me that he, “didn’t believe in abortion.”

My heart sank when he said that. Fine time to tell me, after the fact. He left, after telling off the woman at the desk. I left him and the state three months later.

Years later, someone close to me had a miscarriage. She came out of the bathroom with her hands cupped and trembling, holding something. 

What she was holding was maybe two inches long. It looked liked a big piece of bubble gum in a V shape, with a spine developing down the middle. 

It certainly didn’t look like a baby or have a heart beat, but it was still, undeniably, the body of a human baby. Science would have identified it as such. 

One day, my daughter contacted me in great distress. She was given the RU486 (mifepristone), a two-part abortion pill, by a bad doctor in Anchorage. (She’s not practicing medicine here anymore.) She had already taken the first pill.

I didn’t even know she was pregnant. She had two days to think about what she did. We were both in unbearable anguish.  I did research on it. At the time, she had no choice but to take the second pill. She did and went to work. 

I got a phone call from her, as she sat on the toilet at the gas station she worked at. She told me it was finished. My grandchild was about to be flushed down the toilet.

I asked my daughter a few years later what she thought about abortion. She said, “It’s bullshit.” I said, “What do you mean?” She said, “If you’re pregnant with a baby, you should have a baby.” Amen. 

Someone else I know, was expecting their first born. At seven months gestation she couldn’t breathe, and was diagnosed with preeclampsia. She had the choice of either giving the baby a chance at life in the NICU at Providence, or abort him. NICU it was!

This mother told me that she never realized she could love someone so much. It turns my stomach to think that child could have been destroyed along with the other medical waste, had his mother not wanted him. 

The issue of unwanted pregnancies, for whatever the reason, has always existed and always will. It’s a very complex situation to be in. There’s no easy solution, but there are solutions that don’t involve murdering a baby. 

If you don’t want one, don’t make one. But don’t make one, then kill it. Get sterilized, temporarily or permanently, by whatever means you choose. Your body, your choice on this one.

These babies are our future. The birth rate here in Alaska has actually gone down, thanks in part to abortion. It’s a low-key form of genocide that people actually demand. 

We are living, human beings from the time we are conceived and attach in our mother’s womb to grow. That should be a most sacred and safe place, for us as humans to begin our life here on Earth. 

I have thought about that over the years, and how I betrayed my own child in such a horrific way. It pierces my soul. My only consolation is that Christ died for that sin too, and I’m forgiven for it. When I die and leave this world, I’ll see my baby. 

There are tens of thousands of other women, whose pain and shame prevent them from speaking the truth about this evil, we have for too long allowed in our society. 

In honor and remembrance of my son, whom I have named John Anthony, and my lost grandchild, I have written this.  

They were real people that should at least be granted the dignity of being referred to as such, after having suffered the indignity of being aborted. 

HB107, sponsored by Rep. Kevin McCabe, will define human life, just as we have statute defining death. Both God and science agree that life begins at conception. Without politics involved, that conclusion was once the accepted norm, that it should be today.  

There are other states trying to pass similar legislation. Babies in this state have been legally murdered, up until birth, for over 50 years. Tens of thousands of babies, dead. That should bother you. 

Please overwhelm Rep. McCabe, in letters of support for this critically important piece of legislation. He needs to hear from you, even if you just simply say that you support HB107. If you may be so bold, say that, along with the name of a baby that was lost. That may help some of you.  

HB107, will officially recognize that the unborn are living, human beings…individual people. They should be respected, and have the same right to have their life protected, as if they were born.

Michelle Traxler is a resident of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough.

14 COMMENTS

  1. Babies deserve protection. Every single one.

    A baby should never be made to pay with their life as though they committed a capital offense. They didn’t.

    Consider the Alaska Life at Conception Act (‘https://www.alaskasnewssource.com/2024/03/15/lawmakers-review-bill-that-would-criminalize-abortion-alaska/).

  2. Thank you for your courage in writing this and prayers for you and all women who experienced this. The only sure thing we know is God has all the unborn with him in heaven!

  3. Michelle, that was very brave of you to tell this story. What an awesome idea to have named your child.

  4. Thank you so much for this write up Michelle. It shows how when you are young, you really didn’t know what you want yet. Major life decisions when we are young is wrong most of the time. It’s when we mature we can look back and know in our hearts that we did the right thing, or made a decision that was all wrong for the wrong reasons. I hope all young women read your story. Bless you Michelle❤️

  5. Every woman has a different story. I don’t want to question why someone did or didn’t have an abortion. It’s none of my business. It’s a personal decision between a woman and her doctor. There are so many medical complications related to babies, either by the mom or the baby. I will not judge someone for having an abortion or for keeping their baby. This law is dangerous and the lawmakers involved are neither women nor physicians.

  6. I’ve heard this story before, but every single story is different. Its telling is different, and the outcome of the decision is different every single time.

    Every fetus for whom the its mother decides to provide for deserves the best prenatal care that can be provided through to its birth. Every child that is to come into this world deserves the best care that can be provided

  7. Thank you for writing this Michelle. You are braver than many women who have been in the same position you were.

    I have been in a position where I had to “choose” between my unborn child who was already dying and my own spiraling health/being able to continue to provide & be a mother for the children I already had. Sometimes the “choice” isn’t easy or very clear. Sometimes it doesn’t even present itself as a “choice.” My doctor at the time didn’t present it as such. At the time I was told- medically abort and you will live to care for the children you already have…. Continue with the pregnancy and both of you will die. Some would say that my situation is different than your own. Others would not. Your bravery in sharing your story, provided me with the courage to share my own. Whether it is by choice or not, whether it is labelled or categorized as a medical necessity or not- the loss of that life feels the same. The brevity of that “choice” still feels the same, Especially if you are a believer.

    I am raising daughters and sons and I still struggle with where I fall in this debate because of my own previous situation and choice; thus how can I know exactly what to teach them about abortion?
    Do I regret it? Of course. Every day. The OB I had at the time packaged it as if my hands were tied and that the choice really wasn’t mine at all… that God had already spoken, called that baby home, and chosen for me. Some days I believe that. Some days I am wrecked with regret and grief.

    I’d like to hope other women in similar, different, same situations will speak up here- even anonymously- so that others in the community can get a grasp on the wide range of how abortion can play a role in a woman’s life. I’m against abortion, fundamentally, spiritually and with everything I believe and yet I was in a situation that warranted it.

  8. “It’s just a medical procedure.” I have yet to meet anyone who has needed grief counseling or trauma counseling from having an appendix removed. No cancer survivors I know regret having tumors removed; breasts, yes; tumors, no. Yet I do see different therapies available for women who have had hysterectomies. If abortion is “just a medical procedure,” why is there mental anguish that accompanies such a “medical procedure”?

  9. I’ll remind again if the people around a single mother took better care of the single mothers God brings your way, “we’d have less abortions.” A single daughter if she grew up in a community seeing how well single mothers were taken care of by her family, church congregations, co workers, schools, then pregnant single women would fear nothing being single with a dependent if she would be helped whenever she needed help from childcare for cheap or free service because family or friends take care of her child while working or in training or she needs a break, if her car needs routine maintenance someone is there to help her for either free out of their sympathy or reduced cost. If a daughter before she has a child saw how much work and unbalanced life is without a husband because of her family’s close friendship with single mothers in church let’s say, then likely the daughter will be more wise and cautious to pick a man who’d be a good husband so she and their baby have dad looking after her and child.
    Sidewalk counselors standing around outside an abortion facility would be more useful looking after single mothers God had brought into their life instead of them just pushing them into another crisis pregnancy center and they forget about them.

  10. That’s what I see. I am a single a mother, and I get no help and friendship from people whom I met should had been there to help and friend me. I am fine with being alone. I am used it. I ain’t complaining. But I know there women not like me thought. They aren’t as strong. If single motherhood wasn’t so pitied here on Alaska those women will not had on or multiple abortions. But also it goes both ways, Alaska single mothers need to reach out to other women not just to men in their vanity wanting a husband cause likely most Alaskan men reaching out to a single mother is a predator.
    Your ProLife for Alaska groups need to stop wasting their time standing around in the cold, wind, and rain on a sidewalk when during the week they need to be friending building a relationship with the single mothers God brought into their lives and connecting weak single women them with other single mothers stronger by God’s Word who are following God, raising children in a more godly home, and being a better example of a woman.

  11. Michelle,Thank you for sharing your story. I am very sorry for your loss. I can hear your grieving heart. I would like you and anyone reading this who is suffering the loss of a child or children to know about Project Rachel. It is a ministry of the Catholic Church of the Archdiocese of Anchorage-Juneau. It helps anyone who is grieving in this way. It is free and confidential. We are open to help anyone who wants to experience God’s healing love. Learn more at projectrachelalaska.com or on Facebook at Project Rachel Alaska. Our email is ‘[email protected] We have a confidential voicemail that can be called at 907-297-7781. Calls are returned within 24-48 hours. Please know that there is hope and healing available.

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