‘State of shock’: Spokane woman shares story of abortion as Roe v. Wade gets overturned
SPOKANE, Wash. – Advocates rallied Friday evening, angry and disappointed that the highest court in the nation stripped abortion rights at the federal level. It’s now up to the states to decide and about half will restrict access.
Protesters Friday were afraid of what would happen next.
“My body, my choice,” they chanted in downtown Spokane at the Thomas Foley Courthouse.
Women no longer have federal protections to terminate a pregnancy, sparking outbursts from many from all over the country.
“I never thought I would see this happen in my lifetime or ever, and it’s absolutely heartbreaking for all the young women out there that may need services,” said Kathy Lund, a Spokane protester.
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Elisabeth Keifer-Kraus spoke at the rally, sharing her abortion story to many protesters who hope something will change. She wants to make sure her daughters will have the same rights as she did.
“My daughters, today, woke up in a world where they have fewer rights than their male counterparts,” she said in her home Friday morning in a sit-down interview with 4 News Now.
Keifer-Kraus said she had two abortions in her lifetime for medical reasons.
The first time, she was pregnant with twins. She found out at the 20-week mark she was having twins and one had already passed. She ultimately had to make a decision that she never thought she’d make.
Keifer-Kraus grew up in a Christian home, “where pro-life values were as precious as scripture.” When she had to make that decision of getting the procedure, she said she realized her world “was not very black and white.” The one twin, who was still alive at the time, started showing signs of sepsis. She decided to end her pregnancy and let the living twin “pass in peace.”
“I learned really quickly that no one who has an abortion does so mindlessly or without great thought or consideration as to why that procedure makes the most sense for that person,” she told 4 News Now.
She ended up having one daughter after losing the twins. After that, she decided to get pregnant again with her then-husband.
At 16 weeks, Keifer-Kraus contracted pneumonia and developed a bad cough, eventually coughing so hard that she said she broke her water and tore the placenta. The tear ended up becoming infected. She said she went to the emergency room and learned that she had to make another choice.
“I remember being in a bit of a state of shock because I thought how could this possibly happen once, let alone twice for medically unrelated reasons,” she said. Keifer-Kraus ended up having the procedure again.
She told 4 News Now the experiences flipped her world “in good and necessary ways,” though, they were painful to learn.
Keifer-Kraus said she made those decisions for herself, adding that those kids would not have lived past birth and neither would she if she carried them to term.
She says she had that choice and is now afraid for her daughters and many others who no longer have that.
“If one of my daughters went through what I went through in a state, one of the many states where abortion is now, as of this moment, illegal. They would die on the side of the road, bleeding out in a car because their government has decided that their lives don’t matter as much as their ability to reproduce. That is a heartbreaking, devastating reality,” she said.
Keifer-Kraus says she remembers the babies she lost, having ultrasounds of them still. Now, that grief turns to her daughters as they face an uncertain future.
“If we want to fix this, which will take time and grit and effort and wisdom and energy, but if we want to fix it, the only way to do it is to vote,” she said.
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