I had an abortion.
And this is the first time I have publicly shared my story. This is likely the first time many colleagues or friends will hear my story. And while it’s a little nerve-wracking for me to write, it’s not an experience I’m ashamed of. So today, on what might be the last anniversary of Roe v. Wade - the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision that gives all people the right to a safe, legal abortion - it feels like such an important story to share.
The story of my abortion is important because it was so simple. I had always known if I found myself pregnant before I wanted to be, that I would have an abortion. It took me two pregnancy tests to confirm, but I knew what the next steps were, and immediately made an appointment at Planned Parenthood.
The morning of my abortion, I was nervous, similarly to how I felt when I had to get my wisdom teeth pulled. I was also a little tired and grumpy from having to wake up much earlier than I was used to, so I was happy there was a TV in the waiting area to keep us occupied while we waited to be seen. The other patients and I flipped through the channels until we landed on a movie. It was a classic, and a movie I had always wanted to watch: Dirty Dancing. I knew little about it, so when some of the other patients seemed hesitant but came to a consensus to watch it anyway, I barely registered. That is how I found myself *spoiler alert* watching the vivid scene where Penny’s life must be saved after suffering from a botched abortion.
Her experience, which portrayed the horrific reality many pregnant people found themselves in prior to Roe v. Wade, was such a stark contrast to mine as I sat in this clean, safe medical center, feeling grumpy from waking up early. It felt almost absurd that we both found ourselves in the same situation, wanted the same solution, and yet had such drastic differences in our experiences.
It feels even more absurd that now, years after my own abortion, the options pregnant people in half the country will soon face will more closely resemble a movie taking place in the 1960s than in present day.
Today could be the last time we celebrate the outcome from Roe v. Wade, the last time we have an anniversary that protects abortion access in our country. That may seem like a wild impossibility, but it's true. Many of us have never known a world without protection to abortion access, but later this year, that could become the reality for nearly 32 million people of reproductive age in the United States.
Many other supporters like me have come forward this week and shared their stories. You can hear some audio clips we’ve received by clicking here. I encourage you to join me: leave a voicemail to share how you’re feeling on this anniversary or why you think abortion access should be protected by calling 978-SAVEROE (978-728-3763).
I shared my story in the hopes that you will too, even though I know my experience may be very different from yours. My abortion is part of me, part of my life journey. It has led me to work for Planned Parenthood where I'm able to support people in making decisions for their bodies, lives, and future. Join me in talking about abortion and making strides to destigmatize it.
Manager of Executive Office
Planned Parenthood Pasadena & San Gabriel Valley