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Storyteller: Elizabeth Maria
Location: East Bay, California
Abortion Fund: ACCESS Women’s Health Justice
Why are you excited to participate in Youth Testify?
I’m excited about participating in Youth Testify because we have the potential to build a community of abortion storytellers with our own unique stories. I love the ability to connect with other young people and to build solidarity with each other.
What would you like to share about your abortion story?
Reflecting on my abortion, I realized that I made a really mature decision for myself. It was a decision that I made really, truly for myself. My abortion story is complex; anti-abortion advocates often weaponize our emotions against us and I felt like the regret that I felt was also mixed in with the determination and sureness of my decision. My abortion brought up unexpected emotions of strength and vulnerability. It has been one of the most powerful choices I’ve made.
How are you excited to organize your community to eradicate abortion stigma?
I’m excited to work with artists and creatives to share stories, resources, and facts in a compelling way. There’s many ways to advocate, and I like how the 1 in 3 Campaign has used art and photography to share stories. I would like to organize my community to share stories in that way.
What do you wish other young people knew about seeking abortion?
I wish that young people knew they were not alone and their feelings and emotions are valid. It’s okay to feel whatever you’re feeling. It’s okay to tell or not tell whoever you want, and it’s your right to make any decisions about your own body. Court fees, transportation costs, stigma, parents, time, and other intersecting identities all intersect to create unjust barriers for young people.
Why are you sharing your abortion story?
I am sharing my story to empowerment myself, my communities, and other people who’ve had abortions, who’ve considered abortions, or who love someone who had an abortion. I am sharing my story to feel powerful in my decision and in my body. I am sharing my story to hopefully help others feel less alone with their abortion story.