Roar will publish a first-person story about abortion, “My Abortion: A Daily Story,” every day for at least 365 days. Below, a human rights attorney reflects on the impact her abortion had on her ability to achieve her educational and professional goals. Together with over 100 other women, she shared her story in a legal brief submitted to the US Supreme Court when it was considering the case Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt, challenging abortion restrictions in Texas. The court ultimately struck down the restrictions in its 2016 decision.
The brief was prepared by the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkin, Wharton and Garrison with support by the Center for Reproductive Rights.
“I had not considered an abortion until one day I stepped back and took an honest look at my very grim reality: I had just quit my job at a fast food restaurant where I was earning minimum wage, I took a leave of absence from school, I had no source of income to support myself and no healthcare, I had already missed a semester of eleventh grade and was behind in my studies, I was living in a three- bedroom house with nine people in an economically struggling area of town and I had no child care options available, besides dropping out of school . . . However, once I had my abortion, I was registered back in school three weeks later and went on to earn the highest grade-point average (GPA) in my high school, earning the opportunity to speak at graduation. I attended a public university for free on a merits-based scholarship because of my grades and became a student leader active in diverse aspects of student life on campus. Later, I obtained a master’s degree and a law degree . . . My ability to have access to a low-cost abortion fundamentally altered the course of my life and my ability to fully participate not only in society, but in my life.”