Storyteller: Zoraima Pelaez

Location: Austin, TX

Local Fund: Lilith Fund

As the child of Mexican and Colombian immigrants, growing up in poverty, I never expected to go to college. It wasn’t until I started to excel in my career as a hair and makeup artist that I gained the pursue my education. Shortly after returning to school, I learned that I was pregnant. I watched many people I loved, including my own sisters, struggle as they became young parents. Their socio-economic status and the fact that they were children of immigrants made a difficult transition much harder for them. My sisters made the brave and courageous decision to become parents, but that decision wasn’t right for me. My decision was just as significant and valid as theirs. Had it not been for the opportunity to pursue my education, and my reproductive autonomy, I would not be who I am. Today, I’ve chosen to advocate for everyone’s access to abortion care so people can plan and provide for the families they want, despite age or income, in an environment that centers their interests and success. I am proud to say that I am now a first-generation college graduate from the University of Texas at Austin. I will continue to share my story and reach out to others who may be in similar situations because I believe in, and demand, a future where abortion is accessible, affordable, and stigma-free.

Stories by Zoraima Pelaez

I’m excited to be a part of We testify, because they truly live their values and support storytellers by building community and investing in leadership. I share my story to reach the person sitting on the bathroom floor, sobbing and staring in disbelief at two lines that read pregnant. I remember being there, I remember … Continue reading