Sept 28: Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion
In 1973, the Supreme Court decision on Roe v. Wade gave women in the United States legal autonomy, control over their bodies, and the right to access safe and legal abortion services. This was an important decision, and has literally saved tens of thousands of lives in this country since. Even though attempts to undermine this right have mounted in recent years, we must remember the critical importance of keeping abortions safe and legal.
At Planned Parenthood, we recognize the importance of providing abortion services in a supportive and safe environment. It is about social justice and women’s rights to make decisions about their own bodies. And it is about compassion. Planned Parenthood gives women the freedom to make the right choices for themselves and their families, and the support they need — no matter what they decide. We know these things to be true, and so do our patients. Below are the stories of women who turned to Planned Parenthood for help:
In 1976 I became pregnant, unplanned, because I was taking the recommended three months off per year from birth control pills, as they were so strong back then it was recommended by my doctor to take a break from the hormones. Of course, on my first unprotected intercourse, I became pregnant. I never even considered having the baby; I was single, in college, with no money, although I had a supportive boyfriend. We both decided, with almost no discussion, that I would have an abortion. We went to Planned Parenthood. If they were not there, my entire life would have been different. As it is, I have had a very successful career, traveled, and have had a good life. I never looked back. So thank you, Planned Parenthood. I also became a pregnancy and abortion volunteer after my abortion, to thank Planned Parenthood. If this had happened to me in 1972, I would have had to go to Mexico, where a friend went, and almost bled to death as a result. Thank you Planned Parenthood forever!
–Jean, San Diego
When the birth control pill stopped working on me, I unknowingly had become pregnant. Being as young as I was working at a minimum wage job and in a relationship that was going nowhere I had a difficult choice to make. I had to decide what I wanted my future to be. Would I force myself into something I knew I didn't want, or would I make a choice to have a child when I am ready? My education has always been first, and so I did what I had to do. Not only were the staff at Planned Parenthood so kind, understanding, and caring that they made me feel at ease for the procedure. They were so nice during the whole thing and offered me a stronger form of birth control (Nexplanon) so I could continue to pursue my dreams. Thank you for everything. I have the opportunity to a better life because of Planned Parenthood.
Health care needs to be a right not a privilege! I'm a congenital heart defect patient; I would not have lived if I didn't receive my abortion from Planned Parenthood. Now with the advice from my cardiologist I now have an IUD from pp. I will stand at the front of the line to fight for women and our rights.
–Tayler, Santa Rosa
I'm twenty and currently in school. A condom broke when my boyfriend and I had sex, and we didn't even realize it. I was 4 days late on my period and took two pregnancy tests - both positive. I was a mess. My partner and I were not ready for a child and we both knew an abortion was the answer (medical abortion, to be exact). I called Planned Parenthood the next morning, the lady on the phone was extremely kind and unbiased. She made me feel as though it was all going to be okay, even when I had every doubt in my mind. I made an appointment for the next week. Went in, was helped immediately with kind, beautiful faces and sincere voices. They made sure that I was the one who wanted an abortion. After I had told them yes, they checked how far along I was and if I wanted to see the ultrasound. They gave me instructions on what to do at home, how I will feel, and that I will be okay. I took the first pill there and was let go. Went back a week later to make sure it had worked and once again, I was welcomed with beautiful, kind faces. They made sure I was put on birth control to be safe. I've never felt more welcomed anywhere else. I thank Planned Parenthood for allowing me the chance to continue to build my life for when I really am ready for a family. They saved me. Thank you, Planned Parenthood.
I had an unplanned pregnancy. With the help of Planned Parenthood I was able to have a safe abortion. To this day I do not regret my decision because at that certain point in my life I was not ready to be a mother and it would be unfair to bring a child into the world when I knew life would be a struggle for me and the child. Planned Parenthood was able to help me set up my appointment and the doctors were very caring and considerate. They made me feel like I was being taking care of in such a delicate situation.
When I was a junior in college my boyfriend and I had just started dating when we got pregnant. I knew it immediately. He assured me he would be there for us if I chose to have the baby but we both knew it wasn't the best choice for either of us, or the child. I wanted to finish college, and it would be impossible for us financially. It was no question that we would turn to Planned Parenthood for support. The staff were so compassionate, gentle, and reassuring through the process. I felt so cared for at such a sad and vulnerable time. Having an abortion was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. I often think about that child who would be 7 now. I'm sure I would love it to death, but my life would be so different. Would I have finished college? Would I have gotten my master's degree? And would I be happily married that same man who got me pregnant as I am now? Who knows. But do I regret my choice? Absolutely not. Not for one second. I made the best choice for myself and my life. Thank you Planned Parenthood for being there for me.
–Kit, Santa Cruz