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Our Abortions, Our Stories

On September 1, an extreme six-week abortion ban took effect that has left most patients across Texas without access to abortion. 

The Texas ban will particularly harm many Black and Latino people, for whom centuries of systemic racism have already created barriers to health care access. This law also targets people with low incomes who can’t afford to get a safe, legal abortion in another state (which can involve taking days off work, traveling long distances, and lodging and — for those who are already parents — child care costs). 

But make no mistake: Abortion is health care, and every abortion story is valid.

There are no “bad” reasons to get an abortion. 

Nearly one in four women* in America will have an abortion by age 45. Every day, people across the country make their own decisions about their pregnancies for reasons that are deeply personal. Politics has no place in these decisions, and all of their stories deserve respect.

Read the stories below — and if you have your own to share, we’d love to read it. Your story can make a difference. Share your experiences of:

  • Having an abortion

  • Being a patient escort

  • Driving a loved one to an appointment

  • Lending money to someone for an abortion

  • Providing child care during a friend's appointment

  • Supporting a loved one through their abortion in other ways

*Not just women get abortions! This statistic is from non-disaggregated data.

"I will forever be grateful to Planned Parenthood for the opportunity to live again.” — Sam, Alabama

“My story is hard to hear, harder to tell. One thing I know for certain is that I would not be here today if it weren't for Planned Parenthood and the compassionate staff. A former friend/coworker turned rapist decided that he would take me to my bedroom and rape me while I was inebriated. I woke up the next day bleeding and confused. I moved through life for a month and a half feeling sick to my stomach.

By early March, I knew something was off. My period hadn't come for two months. I took a pregnancy test. Then I took another. And another. This nightmare couldn't be real. But it was. Positive. I had to bite my shower curtain to keep from screaming as I crumbled onto my bathroom floor. I knew that if I couldn't end this pregnancy, it would end me. I would never bring his child into the world. I couldn't. With abortion being so stigmatized, I thought no one would understand.

Luckily, I remembered my best friend's saving words — the clinic downtown. I am recovering everyday and getting stronger, and I will forever be grateful to Planned Parenthood for the opportunity to live again.”

"At a routine 20 week ultrasound, my husband and I found out that the baby had several heart defects that were not compatible with life." ⁠— Menaca, Texas

"Twenty years ago, when I was 31, I became pregnant with my second child. At a routine 20 week ultrasound, my husband and I found out that the baby had several heart defects that were not compatible with life. He would continue to grow in utero, but would have died after birth with great suffering. We decided to spare him the suffering and had him at 22 weeks. At that time, terminations were allowed until 24 weeks in Texas. It was a heartbreaking choice, but it was my choice with the input of my husband and medical professionals and not the government. I want women to continue to have the choice that I had especially with the recent laws passed in Texas."

"I was taking birth control pills but was not careful enough." ⁠⁠— Sally, Texas

"I was just married at age 20 and had not finished college. My husband was a private in the US Army and we knew we would be moving and starting over again as soon as he got out of the Army. We were kids ourselves! I was taking birth control pills but was not careful enough. Sometimes my husband would be gone for weeks at a time and I stupidly thought I could skip taking the pill while he was gone. I ended up pregnant. This was 1974! I went to the doctor on base and I don't remember much after that except that some doctor showed me a picture of a fetus and asked me if I was sure I wanted to terminate the pregnancy. I glanced at the picture and replied that I wanted to proceed. There was no discussion or conversation. No mandated waiting or counseling. I was admitted to the hospital and treated as any surgical patient; wheeled into an operating room, knocked out with anesthesia, woke up in a recovery room, and went home a few hours later. I have NEVER regretted this decision, in fact it's probably why we stayed married for 49 years and are financially and emotionally stable. I was never shamed, harassed, or hassled. No one tried to interfere with my choice. I was so lucky! I am distraught that we are at this point in the USA and especially Texas."

"As a young woman, I knew I was in danger physically with my ex-boyfriend and medically with the pregnancy, so I made the final decision to have the abortion." ⁠— Mallory, Texas

"At 19 I became pregnant by my abusive ex-boyfriend against my will. I had no idea I was pregnant until I started to have a sharp cramping sensation in my side and went to the clinic to make sure I did not have an ovarian cyst. Instead of a cyst from my PCOS, I was told I was five weeks pregnant. As a young college student in a small west Texas town, I was surrounded by many judgmental people who used God to justify what happened to me and only cared about the future of the baby instead of my own. A week after my clinic appointment, I went for an ultrasound and was told my pregnancy would be high risk. Nobody in my community could give me guidance on what my true options were now with my health at risk. That was until I called Planned Parenthood who gave me information on all avenues I could take.

As a young woman, I knew I was in danger physically with my ex-boyfriend and medically with the pregnancy, so I made the final decision to have the abortion. At a clinic I was able to speak to a medical professional who explained and walked me through the process of my abortion in the form of pills. They cared for me and made sure that it was my decision and most importantly that I would be safe when I took the pills. I am thankful every day for Planned Parenthood for giving me the freedom to make my decision and reach my goals. This year I will be graduating with my Bachelor of Science in Nursing and have landed my dream job of working in critical care, where I advocate for girls who were once in my situation.

"I was pregnant with twin girls, the product of IVF frozen embryos. We were over the moon excited, and scared." ⁠— Janet, Texas

"I went through years of infertility procedures including 13 IVF's. I was pregnant with twin girls, the product of IVF frozen embryos. We were over the moon excited, and scared. I had lost 5 pregnancies. I went to the dentist for a dental cleaning. He failed to call my doctor and tell him that I had some gum abscessing. He introduced that bacteria into my bloodstream resulting in sepsis. I went into labor. I was very sick and nearly died. I was 21 weeks pregnant. (Also I was a NICU nurse, so this was my world). They tried to treat me and stop the labor and the sepsis. I delivered Alyssa and she died in my arms. Then, my labor stopped with the medication. However, I was so septic, my blood pressure dropped out, I went into Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome. They told my husband they were taking the choice away from us, I was going to die if they did not deliver Erin and do a D and C. She, of course, died too. Alyssa and Erin are buried together. I stayed in the hospital critically ill for 4 more days. The devastation we felt was overwhelming. If this (Texas heartbeat law) ridiculously cruel law were in effect when that happened, they would have had to let me die. Medical care needs to be decided by medical professionals. It is not one politician or government officials decision. They act as if we, women, are heartless, irresponsible and incapable of making our own medical decisions. This is not the Handmaid's Tale. This is our lives. Our bodies, our choices must be the rule everywhere."

"Planned Parenthood was there for me when I had no idea where to turn. I was 23 years old and ended up with an unexpected pregnancy." ⁠— Erin, Texas

"Planned Parenthood was there for me when I had no idea where to turn. I was 23 years old and ended up with an unexpected pregnancy. My partner and I were not in a serious relationship and I was only earning $22K per year at an unstable job. On top of that, I was undergoing Interferon treatments for a rare bone tumor disease. The fetus would not have survived and my own health was seriously compromised. I didn't find out I was pregnant until 7 weeks and already had two active tumors that needed surgery. The care I received at PP was compassionate, knowledgeable, and affordable. The only time I felt judged and terrified was when anti-choice protestors yelled at me that I was going to hell for murder as I entered the building. I was raised in a strict religious home and already felt too ashamed to tell my parents. The nurses and professionals inside PP showed me more Christian love than I had ever experienced at my church. Twenty years later, I no longer feel ashamed because it was MY choice what to do with my body. I don't regret that choice, not even for a second because my life now is better for it. It breaks my heart that Texas passed this terribly restrictive bill. Outlawing or bounty hunting abortion will not stop it from happening. It will only increase the systemic racism and cycle of poverty for women who can't afford to travel out of state, are forced to carry to term, and then aren't able to find social services for assistance because the same men who feel they can tell women what to do with their bodies have pillaged social service budgets. But as we all know, this has never been about saving unborn children. It's about controlling women. When will men be held accountable?"

“I wanted to pursue my career, be a more established parent, and couldn’t afford a child." ⁠— Brittany, Washington, DC

“In August 2012, I just graduated from college, started my professional career at a government agency, and moved in with three roommates. I also found out I was 2 1/2 months pregnant. I already knew what my decision was. I used my choice and decided to terminate my pregnancy. I went to Planned Parenthood in DC with my partner.

In the waiting room, I felt like had inflicted a self-derogatory mark or scarlet letter on myself because I was getting an abortion. In my case, I knew being a parent wasn’t for me at the time. I wanted to pursue my career, be a more established parent, and couldn’t afford a child. As I thought about my choice, I became more affirmed. I had 3 roommates in a three bedroom apartment. The crib couldn't go in the living room. I was eliminating a cycle of poverty. I was the only person employed in my relationship. My partner was a 5th year senior in college. We couldn't afford a child on my salary alone.

I didn't see a foreseeable future with that partner, we never talked about having kids and we wouldn’t make a good parenting team. Most importantly I was affirmed in my values. Providing the best life for my child as a financially stable, older, and more established parent. My doctor gave me pills for the medication abortion, a prescription for birth control, and medical school advice. Six years later, I'm a career woman, a Master's of Public Health candidate, and a future doctor. I'm also in a loving relationship with a partner with whom I foresee a future. In my experience at Planned Parenthood, I received the best care possible and exercised my choice.”

“The reasons an individual decides to have an abortion are personal and private, but the fact that some are unable to access care should be public concern.” — Leah, Iowa

“I grew up in a conservative, religious community in Iowa. I have struggled with my mental health for well over a decade. I have been diagnosed with an eating disorder, depression, and anxiety. I attempted suicide when I was just 12 years old. My mental health is now my priority, and I will do whatever I need to protect it. So when I found out I was pregnant two years ago— recently single, a week into a new job, alone in a new city — I never questioned what I would do. My very first thought was that I wanted to die. My next was that I needed to have an abortion. Risking my recovery and giving up everything I have worked for wasn’t an option. I put my mental health first. 

I had my abortion when I was 7 weeks along. About a year ago, Iowa passed a law banning abortion from the moment a fetal heartbeat is detected. Thankfully, in January a state judge ruled the law against Iowa’s constitution. Iowa lawmakers would have forced me to carry my pregnancy to term — a woman struggling with an eating disorder, depression, and anxiety. The reasons an individual decides to have an abortion are personal and private, but the fact that some are unable to access care should be public concern. When I needed an abortion, I had so many privileges: a flexible work schedule, private health insurance, financial stability, working car to carry me across state lines if I needed, and a support network.

There are millions of people who don’t have those things, and abortion should not be a privilege.”

Find an abortion clinic. 

If you’re in Texas and you need an abortion, we’re here to help. Locate an abortion provider at abortionfinder.org or call 1-800-230-PLAN. Learn more about the new abortion ban in Texas. 

Even though a recent Gallup poll shows that 80% of people in America support the right to legal abortion, politicians are launching cruel abortion restrictions that make access to abortion extremely difficult or impossible for millions of people. In Texas, a new law bans abortion after 6 weeks — and allows anyone, including strangers, to sue people that they believe have helped a Texan get an abortion after 6 weeks. That means providers, a supportive friend, or even the rideshare driver who drops a patient off for an appointment.

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