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Storyteller: Co Jackson
Location: Dallas, Texas
Why are you excited to participate in Youth Testify?
I finally feel that I am part of something much bigger than me and I get to shed light on a different aspect of abortion. Being a Black woman and a woman of faith, it feels huge for me to be out in the world showing other teens there are people who look like us having abortions. I want to open more doors for people who look like me to talk about their stories.
What would you like to share about your abortion story?
During my abortion, I had faith the entire time. People ask me how can I be Christian and have an abortion, but I think if they truly knew Christianity and knew how God works, they wouldn’t ask that. When I found out I was pregnant, I was with a friend and I had a feeling I was pregnant. I cried a bit, but I was in school, so I had to just put it aside while I was in class. I knew immediately I didn’t want to have it; I didn’t have money, I didn’t have resources, I didn’t have anything. I started praying. God was with me with through the entire decision. I was under 18, so I needed a judicial bypass. A friend told me about Jane’s Due Process, and they were very nice in helping me to get the judicial bypass for the abortion. The whole process took about a week. Throughout it all, I was praying. I asked, “Hey God you know, if this is something you don’t want me to do, don’t let it happen”, and it did happen. He meets you where you are.
How are you excited to organize your community to eradicate abortion stigma?
Those who don’t want to talk about their abortions don’t have to, but I think it shouldn’t be something that we’re forced to never talk about. We should be able to speak out and show there are people like us who have abortions everyday. I am excited to organize with young people because it’s a domino effect. I already know young people, younger than me, who are going through similar situations, and when I create a space for young people to talk about their experiences and be the support they didn’t have, it will empower them to also speak out. Being there for them is a way to help them feel safe and know someone is rooting for them on their side.
What do you wish other young people knew about seeking abortion?
I want young people to know that it’s 100% their decision, and regardless of how the world makes it look abortion is normal. Parental consent laws are so ridiculous — my parents taught me to be responsible and make decision for myself, but the laws won’t allow me to make decisions for my own body and life. That’s frustrating and makes assumptions about young people’s relationships with their parents and made getting an abortion more difficult for me.
Why are you sharing your abortion story?
I am sharing my abortion story because it’s time for people to know that having faith dictates the outcomes of a situation, and we all have the ability to live our own lives and choose our own path. I want to be connected to my abortion story always — it’s a part of me. Sharing my story helps me grow as an individual. All things can be used for the greater good of Christ.