Eight years ago, I was the mom of a happy, healthy toddler and was trying for a second child. My first pregnancy had been a very positive experience; I enjoyed and was amazed by pregnancy and had a powerful and smooth delivery. I was thrilled when I got pregnant again.

Near the end of my first trimester, I went to Maine Medical Center for genetic testing, as I had done with my first pregnancy. We began the ultrasound, and almost immediately the technician had the most surprising news for us: I was pregnant with twins! My mind raced – I was excited and immediately thinking about some of the practicalities of caring for two newborns, my job, our house, our car.

But then the technician said she needed to get the doctor.

Over the next 24 hours, I learned that one of my fetuses had trisomy 18 – a genetic disorder that affects nearly every organ system in the body. Half of babies born with the disorder die within their first week of life; the median life span is five to 15 days.

Even worse, there’s a high risk of miscarriage or stillbirth with trisomy 18 – which put my other twin at risk, since I could go into labor very early or face other serious complications.

I had been so happy to be pregnant, and now I was faced with the prospect of losing both twins.

After my doctor explained my options and the risks, I went home heartbroken and scared. I pored over the medical research myself, and that day made an anguished but clear decision to have an abortion of the fetus with trisomy 18.

My case was challenging enough that I couldn’t stay in Portland for care. My husband and I drove to Boston for my abortion.

After the abortion, my doctors were still concerned about my pregnancy. They said my fetus was small, so they were worried she wasn’t developing properly. I had weekly ultrasounds as we tracked her progress. It was harrowing and stressful week after week and month after month; all I wanted was a healthy baby.

When you have a complication during pregnancy, it shakes your foundation and confidence. My first pregnancy had been so easy, especially compared with my second. I saw firsthand how fragile pregnancy is and how much can go wrong.

But I was incredibly lucky. Ten days after my due date, I gave birth to a baby girl – and she was healthy, strong and weighed nearly 9 pounds!

My abortion likely saved the life of my daughter, Harper.

Harper is now 7 years old. We call her “happy Harper.” She is funny and kind and sings constantly.

I love Harper more than I could have ever imagined. She’s the center of my world – and will always be.

Yet I am mindful that I could have lost her. If I had not had access to a safe and legal abortion, I likely would have.

I try not to imagine that world, a world without safe and legal abortion, a world without Harper. But ever since Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court, I have thought of little else.

If confirmed, Judge Kavanaugh will shift the balance of the court against abortion rights. The abortion I had to save my daughter’s life could be illegal in states across the country. In some states, I could go to jail for having the abortion, and my doctor could go to jail for performing the procedure.

It’s terrifying. And it’s not right.

I don’t want to live in a world without safe and legal abortion. I don’t want my two daughters to grow up in that world.

I don’t have a vote to stop Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination. But I have a voice. I am calling on Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King to oppose his nomination. The future of safe, legal abortion is in their hands.

For my family, for my healthy, sweet 7-year-old daughter, and for women, girls and families everywhere, our lives and well-being are on the line.

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