If Donovan Atterberry thought about abortion at all as a young man, it was perhaps with some vague discomfort, or a memory of the anti-abortion protesters outside the clinic that he would pass on his way to the park as a child.
It became real to him in 2013, when his girlfriend, now his wife, became pregnant with their first child together. She’d had a healthy pregnancy before, his stepdaughter, but this time genetic testing found a lethal chromosomal disorder in the developing fetus, one that would likely result in a stillbirth and also possibly put her life at risk during a delivery.
“As a man, I didn’t know how to console her, how to advise her,” Atterberry, now 32, recalls. “I said, ‘If I had to choose, I would choose you.’ … It wasn’t a matter of do I believe in abortion or I don’t believe in abortion. At that point, I was thinking about her life.”