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Stateside Podcast: 30 years later, doctor shares abortion story

With the end of federal abortion protections, Michigan’s prevailing law is one written in 1931–that bans abortion except to save the life of the mother.

A court-ordered injunction stopped the law from taking effect and has kept abortion legal in the state.

That could change. Abortion opponents are fighting in court to enforce the ban. And voters may be asked to embed reproductive rights in the state constitution.

As the political battle plays out, Dr. Elaine Pomeranz has been thinking back on her own experience during her first pregnancy 30 years ago.

Pomeranz is a retired pediatrician who specializes in emergency medicine. She worked in the ER and taught at Michigan Medicine for 33 years.

After a few years of trying to get pregnant with no luck, Pomeranz and her husband sought help from a fertility doctor. And finally, in 1992, she found herself pregnant with a long-awaited baby girl.

But after an ultrasound revealed her fetus had severe hydrocephalus—and little brain growth—Pomeranz made the decision to terminate the pregnancy.

Since she was nearly to her third term of pregnancy at that point, Pomeranz and her husband had to travel to Kansas to one of the few doctors in the country willing to perform late-term abortions for severe fetal abnormalities: Dr. George Tiller.

Listen to Pomeranz's story of how that visit changed her life—and why she considers Dr. Tiller, a much maligned figure among anti-abortion activists, a hero.

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April Van Buren
April Van Buren is a producer for Stateside. She produces interviews for air as well as web and social media content for the show.