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By Samie — PP Alliance Patient Advocate

My name is Samie, I live in Seattle and I had an abortion in May 2014.

My mother became pregnant at age 19 in 1968, before the 1973 Supreme Court decision — Roe v Wade — made abortion a legally protected right. She knew she wasn’t ready to be the tremendous parent she would later become. Back then, the only way a person could get a legal abortion in the U.S was to be declared mentally unfit by a team of psychotherapists. Her harrowing experience —  navigating laws and doctors and signatures, and of being told that she was mentally ill — took almost 20 weeks. My mom got her legal abortion, finally, when she was five months pregnant. The process was painful, both physically and emotionally. 

Many years later in 2014, I became pregnant. I was 25 and no more ready to be a parent than my mother was at 19. I knew right away I needed an abortion. So I got one. And thankfully, my experience was way different than my mom’s. It was, in fact, pretty easy.

I didn't feel sad.

I didn't feel lonely.

I didn’t have much pain.

I didn’t feel abandoned. 

I didn't tell the person who got me pregnant. 

I didn't tell anyone who I wasn't deeply close with.

I didn't regret my decision — ever.

And I never looked back.

Because of the tremendous support of the incredible providers at Planned Parenthood — and the fact that abortion is accessible and affordable where I live — I was able to quickly schedule and get an in-clinic abortion procedure. Instead of suffering through five months of waiting, invasive questioning, and inhumane treatment like my mother did, it took five minutes to schedule an appointment and I got safe, compassionate, affordable care.

I know that for people like me — middle class, white, and lucky enough to live in a state that supports access to reproductive health care — the chance of having an experience like my mother’s is much lower. But I also know that others who live in communities that are hostile to abortion rights and who face systemic racism, discrimination, or a lack of economic opportunities that make it difficult or impossible to access health care, the threat of a needlessly traumatic abortion experience — or not being able to get an abortion at all — is already real. And it’s getting worse every day.

I call on storytellers and activists across the United States: Talk about your experience — every moment of it — the good, the bad, the complicated. Get loud on social media. Share your story or voice your support using the hashtag #BansOffOurBodies on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok. Donate to abortion funds that help people who can’t afford to access the care they need. Learn and spread some facts about sexual and reproductive health.

My abortion was both a relatively boring medical procedure on a regular day and a life-changing moment for me. May 20th 2014 was a day I went to the doctor, ate a great enchilada, and went on with my life. It was also a day that saved me from having to be a parent when I knew I wasn’t ready. It was my abortion. It was my right. This is my story. My story is important because it's mine — it looks like me, sounds like me, it has Samie written all over it. And every person seeking an abortion, regardless of where they’re from, should have that right too. The right to get a safe and affordable medical procedure, whenever they want it, as often as they need, and to feel supported throughout the process. We can’t stop fighting until that’s true for every single person. 

Right now is not the time to be quiet. States are planning copycat laws like Texas’s abortion ban at six weeks of pregnancy and putting other extreme restrictions in place. The Supreme Court could very likely overturn Roe v. Wade when it decides on the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case this year. We need to keep fighting back against these unjust laws, using our most valuable resource, our humanity. I will continue to share my story in any and every way that I can, and I’m asking you to join me.

Tags: Abortion, Reproductive Rights, Planned Parenthood, Abortion Access, patient stories, abortion storytellers

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