Michigan senator shares story of wife's life-saving abortion

Sen. Gary PetersGary PetersRepublican John James concedes in Michigan Senate race Hillicon Valley: YouTube suspends OANN amid lawmaker pressure | Dems probe Facebook, Twitter over Georgia runoff | FCC reaffirms ZTE's national security risk Democrats urge YouTube to remove election misinformation, step up efforts ahead of Georgia runoff MORE (D-Mich.) in an interview with Elle magazine disclosed his wife's abortion for the first time, which she underwent after doctors warned she was at risk of losing her uterus or possibly dying.

While Heidi Peters was four months pregnant with the couple’s second child in the 1980s, her water broke and her doctor recommended she go home and wait to miscarry. The next day, however, a heartbeat was still detectable.

Peters was unable to have an abortion at the hospital due to a policy banning the procedure, but the pregnancy still did not miscarry over the next few days. The doctor eventually told the couple that Peters was at risk of losing her uterus and potentially fatal septic shock.


The hospital board denied the doctor’s request for an exception to the hospital’s policy against abortions, Gary Peters told the magazine.

“I still vividly remember he left a message on the answering machine saying, ‘They refused to give me permission, not based on good medical practice, simply based on politics. I recommend you immediately find another physician who can do this procedure quickly,’” he said.

Another hospital gave Heidi Peters an emergency abortion, leaving her uterus intact and possibly preventing her death, according to the couple.

“If it weren’t for urgent and critical medical care, I could have lost my life,” Peters said in a statement.

Gary Peters said he chose to come forward with the story now amid concerns that abortion rights could be at risk in the near future. Both supporters and opponents of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden says GOP senators have called to congratulate him Biden: Trump attending inauguration is 'of consequence' to the country Biden says family will avoid business conflicts MORE’s nominee to the Supreme Court, view her as the vote that could potentially overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.

“It’s important for folks to understand that these things happen to folks every day,” Peters told Elle. “I’ve always considered myself pro-choice and believe women should be able to make these decisions themselves, but when you live it in real life, you realize the significant impact it can have on a family.”

Peters is up for reelection in November against Republican candidate John James, who has called abortion “genocide” and has said he opposes it even in cases of rape and incest. While almost all polling shows Peters leading, several surveys have shown his lead in the single digits.