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Patient Stories

For some people, the decision to end a pregnancy is simple, for others it's difficult and complex. There are so many reasons a person might not be able to carry a pregnancy at that time in their life. In fact, 1 out of every 4 women in the U.S. will have an abortion by the time she is 45 years old. Most people never talk about it. But every person's story is unique, and pregnancy isn't easy — the decision about what is best for a person's health, their families, and their futures must be theirs to make.

Alex

Patient Storyteller

I am a survivor.  

At age 24, I experienced bilateral strokes as a consequence of domestic violence. For nearly three years, I was the victim of disturbing abuse.  

Early in the relationship, I found myself eight weeks pregnant as the result of rape. 

Thanks to Planned Parenthood I was able to terminate the pregnancy at 11 weeks, breaking a sinister cycle.  

I am alive today because I had access to safe and legal abortion.  

Recently, I had a contraceptive device implanted in my arm. The peace of mind I get from having my autonomy secured and respecting the duality of life, especially as a survivor with PTSD, is truly a blessing.  

Thank you to Planned Parenthood for protecting a reality that allows me to create a future where I intentionally, safely and lovingly bring life into this world with my soulmate.  

The essential, life-saving services provided by Planned Parenthood are beyond deserving of the positive energy we offer with our donations. 

Thank you, I love you! 

Fund For Choice

Each month, more than $67,000 in Fund for Choice grants are requested. The Fund for Choice provides financial support for patients who need financial assistance to access abortions. To help us meet this extraordinary need, please consider making a gift to our Fund for Choice.

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Shira (She/Her)

Patient Storyteller

Hello. My name is Shira, and I am passionate about reproductive rights because of my father. You see, my father was a general surgeon, a Colonel in the army, and Chief of Surgery at several base hospitals around the world.  When he retired, he decided that he was going to continue putting his passions to work. As a supporter of reproductive justice, he said that anyone can donate money to organizations such as Planned Parenthood, but NOT everyone can donate surgical skills. So, he decided to become a licensed abortion provider, and provided abortion services until he became ill in 1998. My father was very proud to be an abortion provider, and of his support for reproductive rights. 

Despite my family’s vocal support for abortion access, I never thought that it would be my personal choice to make. In 2007, I had a very healthy and bright 8-year-old daughter. I had an extremely difficult pregnancy with her, and was told by my doctor that the pregnancy would be risky.  As an obese diabetic and with a history of pregnancy challenges, it was not safe for me to have another child. When I became pregnant, I knew it was the right decision to terminate the pregnancy. I immediately made an appointment at a local clinic, and was able to get an abortion within a few weeks. The care I received was amazing! Everyone I encountered was compassionate and kind, with no judgment.  

I support Planned Parenthood to honor my dad’s memory and because of my own personal experience. With this 49th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, we need to keep moving forward to make sure abortion is accessible to those who need it. I am sharing my story to protect reproductive rights, and help teach future generations the importance of fighting for reproductive justice for all. 

Amber

Patient Storyteller

Hi there, I'm Amber and I am a perfectionist. In high school, I got straight As, graduated fourth in my class, and was the prom queen. But my life was far from perfect. In 2017, my father was struggling with alcoholism and my parents were facing divorce. While I was helping them to navigate these challenges, I was experiencing my own struggles with alcohol and going through a divorce myself. But then I met Ray. He seemed to be a bright light in an otherwise dark world. He was fun, funny, and outgoing. We began dating, moved in together, and dreamed about our future.

When the relationship came to an abrupt end, I was devastated and returned to Pennsylvania to be with my family. In the middle of the heartache, I realized I had missed my period. When I got back home to California, I immediately took a pregnancy test and told Ray the news – despite being on birth control, I was pregnant. 

I did not have the support I needed from my former partner and I was struggling with depression and anxiety, while also coping with PTSD. I knew the decision I had to make. I was able to access medication abortion that was covered by my health insurance, and my provider was phenomenal. Despite the lack of support and the hardships I was experiencing at the time, I felt fortunate. After my abortion, I had the freedom to get the mental health support that I needed and move closer to my family. 

I am sharing my story because I know that abortion is essential healthcare, and I am glad I had it available to me. Everyone deserves access to abortion care without barriers. We all deserve the freedom to make our own decisions about our bodies, our lives, and our futures.

Shay (She/They)

Patient Storyteller

June 2018 — I was getting checked in at a local hospital for a routine ear surgery I had scheduled months prior. They took me to my room, gave me a urine test, and put in an IV. It seemed to take them a pretty long while to get back to the room, and when they finally did arrive, I understood why.

“Ma’am, your urine test came back positive for the human growth hormone, we’re going to need to take blood to confirm pregnancy.”

It took forever for them to come back with the inevitable overwhelming news of POSITIVE.

Congratulations!! You’re pregnant!” The nurse said as I began to hyperventilate and have a panic attack right in front of her.

They told me they could no longer perform surgery due to me being pregnant, even though I told them I was going to have an abortion with 100 percent certainty.

I got dressed, and I left the hospital. As soon as I got to my car, I called Planned Parenthood to schedule my abortion.

The folks at PP got me scheduled quickly and locally. They were warm and compassionate and provided excellent care from start to finish.

I am a working-class poor mother, and I was able to get my abortion partially funded by a local nonprofit that provides abortion access funds to marginalized folks.

Without PP Keystone's services and continual support after my abortion, I’m not sure How I would have survived. I am so grateful for the medical care provided by Planned Parenthood. I will do anything I can to help protect this absolute STAPLE in our community.

Because of the quick and accessible medical care I was provided by Planned Parenthood Keystone, I was able to have my abortion, and then reschedule my ear surgery for the end of that summer.

Tell Your Story

Stories are powerful. They can motivate people to take action better than statistics and the best formed argument. Your story could help influence lawmakers, supporters, and other patient advocates — encoruaging more people to speak out and speak up.

Don't worry if you've never told your story before, we can help you figure out how to share what you want to say. Fill out this form to get in touch with our patient advocacy team.

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Emmanuelle

Emmanuelle

Patient Storyteller

Hi, I’m Emmanuelle and this is a story about my grandmother.  But in the end, it's about all the lives she touched.

My mother and my aunt never really got to know my grandmother.  They have only the faintest of memories of her. When my grandmother passed, my grandfather was so bereft, he erased every last detail of her. Until recently, the story of my grandmother's passing was that she died of bad kidneys.  And that's where the story ended. Or so we thought.

Throughout the years, my aunt kept digging for any bit of information about her mother.  It turns out that the kidney infection she developed was worsened by the pregnancy no one knew about.  And the illegal, “back alley” abortion she received may be what ultimately killed her.

It's hard to know for certain whether she chose to have an abortion for medical reasons or because her children kept coming so fast and so frail.  Or because my grandfather was an alcoholic with a volcanic temper.  Or because they had very little money.  

When I hear my mother and my aunt talk about their childhood, it seems so hard. My grandmother must have felt at the edge of a precipice. The shame of what she went through was enough to erase every last scrap of her being.

I think of all the lives she touched, including mine, and how much better, how much richer our lives would be had she lived.

Like many stories, this one has a twist. I was about my grandmother's age: new mom to a six month-old; a stepmom of two; working two jobs; managing financial pressures due to a recession; experiencing exhaustion and depression. And then, I got pregnant. 

My husband and I decided a pregnancy was something we could not handle. So, with the help of my doctor, and without the pressure of shame or judgement, I got an abortion. Because of this, today I can tell my grandmother's story. I am a mother, a step-grandmother, a sister, a daughter, a volunteer and most of all, I can endeavor to contribute as much as I can to a better world.

I wish my story could have been my grandmother's story, too.  Her choice was the right one for her and her family, but lack of access killed her. This is why today I loudly say:  keep abortion safe and legal. I am sharing my story to show that abortion is health care, and access must be protected. 

Abortion Is Healthcare

Abortion Is Healthcare

Abortion and reproductive rights are under attack like never before. That is why we are launching a video campaign of real patients and their abortion stories. Starting on the 49th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we will be releasing these stories on our website and sharing them on our social media channels  to uplift the voices of patients and center their personal experiences as powerful reminders of what is at stake.

Real people — our patients — should be the ones at the center of healthcare decisions. But, instead, lawmakers are hellbent on restricting access to healthcare.

We know this is a scary time for the rights of women, trans men and non binary people across this country. And we will continue to provide safe, legal abortion, fighting back against restrictions and bans that harm the people and communities we serve.

What difference does it make where patients go for their healthcare?

There are so many reasons why patients choose Planned Parenthood Keystone, but the feedback we hear the most is that it's because we care. Healthcare to us means making sure patients have all the information they need to make the decision that is best for them. We provide that information in a non-judgmental way.

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