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Storyteller: Marie Bertram
Location: Jackson, Mississippi
Abortion Fund: Mississippi Reproductive Freedom Fund
Why are you excited to participate in Youth Testify?
I am excited to participate in Youth Testify because it has been helpful to open my eyes to all the different things people have gone through with their abortions. I can finally be with people who have been through the same thing as me. I am excited that I get to tell my story, and that it can make a difference. I didn’t know my story could make a difference.
What would you like to share about your abortion story?
I’ve had two abortions. They were two very different situations. One was an in-clinic procedure and the other was at home with medication abortion pills. Both experiences were terrifying for me because of all the negative things people told me about abortion. Afterwards, I was down for a few months because I didn’t know how to feel about it. But in the long run, I knew I made the right decision. It was a good decision, and I don’t feel bad about it anymore. I don’t question myself anymore.
How are you excited to organize your community to eradicate abortion stigma?
I love doing clinic defense. I love being able to support people as they’re getting their abortions, particularly young folks around my age. I volunteer with my local abortion fund, the Mississippi Reproductive Freedom Fund, and I want to organize my community to get more people involved with abortion funding.
What do you wish other young people knew about seeking abortion?
I wish young people knew that abortion is truly a right — both legally and morally. The barriers we go through are designed to shame us. People tell us we’re not a child of God anymore, but we still are.
Why are you sharing your abortion story?
I am sharing my stories for me. It helps me to remind myself that I did a good thing in my life. It helps to know other people who have been through the same thing, and it feels good to know I can tell my story without being judged since there are others who had abortions, too.