Roar will publish a first-person story about abortion, “My Abortion: A Daily Story,” every day for at least 365 days. The following excerpt is from Ohio state legislator, Rep. Teresa Fedor’s experience. During debate over a bill would that have banned abortion as early as six weeks of pregnancy, she spoke about surviving rape and having an abortion while in the military. Read her full reflection which was published in Time magazine in 2015.
Editor’s Note: The Ohio measure would have banned abortion as soon as a fetal heartbeat could be detected. While Governor John Kasich ultimately vetoed that proposal in 2016, he instead enacted a restriction barring abortion later in pregnancy. Per the Guttmacher Institute, Ohio is among the 29 states found to be “extremely hostile” to abortion rights.
“…As one legislator after another spoke and gave no reason for excluding victims of incest or rape as exceptions, I felt the overwhelming need to voice my opinion regarding the potential impact of such inhumane legislation. I could no longer be silent.
As I was recognized to speak in the debate on the bill, which passed the House, my frustration was at its peak. At the core of my opposition lay a very personal story but one that I would have to disclose in order to underscore the seriousness of leaving out these exceptions. In one moment, without having planned to speak out beforehand, I made it known that over 35 years ago, I had been a victim of rape and underwent an abortion while serving in the military. Because this happened to me at such a young age, I refused to let this victimization define who I was going to be. More important, I was thankful I had the freedom to make this decision — back then. Unfortunately, it is this freedom that could be stripped from women today…”