Vote NO on 1
On November 3, Louisianans must use the power of their votes to defeat proposed Amendment 1 on the ballot. If passed, Amendment 1 would add the following language to the Louisiana State Constitution: “…nothing in present constitution shall be construed to secure or protect a right to abortion or require the funding of abortion.” This would make it easier to ban abortion — without any exceptions — and jeopardize our civil liberties for decades to come.
A constitution should protect and affirm its citizens’ rights, not take them away. We know that our state constitution is far too important to be altered at the whim of extreme, anti-abortion politicians who should not be permitted to force their beliefs on the people of Louisiana by interfering in private medical decisions.
Amendment 1 would harm all Louisianans, but it would especially harm those who are already marginalized and face systemic barriers to accessing health care: Black people and other people of color, the LGBTQ+ community, people with low incomes, and young people.
Paid for by Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, Melaney Linton, President, 4636 S. Claiborne Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70125, in opposition to Proposition 1.
Be a #BALLOTBOSS in this election!
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Real patients. Real stories.
My name is Jasmine, and I live in Baton Rouge. I work to provide housing for low-income residents. I’m telling my abortion story because staying silent is not an option when your rights are being taken away.
In Louisiana, we're quiet about abortion – which usually means we don't realize the number of people who actually have had one.
I had been working at my current job for only five months before I was promoted. I got my first business cards that said I was the manager. My employers saw me as a long-term investment, and I felt legitimate. I was excited about my future.
Then I got pregnant. My boyfriend didn't react well. When I told him, he sent me a text saying this would mess up his plans for his future. He said he would send money to compensate me.
I thought about the childhood that I had, the one I wanted to provide for a child, and the one I would actually be able to offer. I didn't think I would be able to mentally or financially support a baby by myself. And, difficult as my father can be, he had never not been there for me. The idea of raising a child whose father wouldn't claim them was painful. It was a scenario that I had seen far too often given my career field, and I knew how it typically ended.
I was in my mid-20s. I had a supportive family, enough money for the procedure, and a job that allowed me to take time off — which is a good thing, because I inadvertently ended up wasting a lot of it at a crisis pregnancy center. CPCs are tax-funded establishments that pose as abortion providers, intending to trick women like me into continuing our pregnancies. The woman there told me I “wasn't the type of person” who has an abortion. After countless weeks of driving back and forth, I finally realized this was not an actual health center.
So I reached out to Planned Parenthood to find a real provider, which led me to a (legitimate) health care center in Shreveport — three hours away. I was happy to finally find the support I needed, but I still had to wait: In Louisiana, there is a state-mandated ultrasound and wait time prior to obtaining an abortion. While this wait caused anxiety, the staff at the real health center made me feel supported rather than judged. They empowered me to make my own decision. And I knew I was making the right choice for me.
I never wanted to be in the spotlight, but I realized that not knowing or hearing anyone speak out about abortion landed me at the deceptive crisis pregnancy center in the first place. If we talked about abortion more and didn't treat it like a dirty secret, then it would be clear that there isn't any one “type of person” who has an abortion.
Having an abortion has allowed me to dedicate a lot to my job and to my residents, and I wouldn't have been able to give as much of myself — or live the life I wanted to live, on my own terms — if I'd had a child when I wasn’t ready.
People with money and power will always have access to abortion. If Amendment 1 were to pass, it could destroy access for people without those privileges. Make no mistake: People will still have abortions, but they may no longer be safe. Lack of access to comprehensive health care is one of the things that traps people in poverty. The need for public assistance doesn’t just happen; it’s a progression of policies – many of them supposedly “moral” – that box people in.
If you really want to protect people, you will trust that they know what is right for their own body. I know I did. This Election Day, please vote no on Amendment 1.