Introducing Our Second Cohort

We Testify is dedicated to elevating the voices and stories of people who’ve had abortions, surmounted anti-abortion barriers, and speak about how race, class, and gender identity are core to their experiences. Our second cohort features new faces, powerful stories, and a constellation of perspectives ready to confront abortion stigma and speak their truth to power.

 

 

 

Aimee

Location: Austin, TX

Local Fund: Fund Texas Choice, board member

“I want to empower those who have dealt with stigma surrounding mental illness and abortion. I want those who hear my story to know that they are not alone.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alejandra Pablos

Location: Washington, DC

“I had an abortion this year. I actually wanted to have a baby. I am afraid that the broken, cruel immigration system in the United States will tear me away from family and from my child if I had one.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ashley Chanel

Location: Cleveland, OH
Local Fund: Preterm

“I am a Black woman, a HBCU graduate, Christian, and someone who has had an abortion. I want fellow Christians to know that having abortions won’t separate you from the love of God.”

 

 

 

 

 

Aziza Jones

Location: Silver Spring, MD

Local Fund: DC Abortion Fund

“It’s important for me to share my story because as a 30+ year old woman who had an abortion when most people are family planning, I made a decision that was best for me in my particular situation, despite what society deemed I should be doing with my life at that age.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cazembe Murphy Jackson

Location: Atlanta, GA

Local Fund: Access Reproductive Care-Southeast

“I feel like it is important to share my abortion story because every time I share it, it normalizes trans people in the reproductive justice conversation.”

 

 

 

 

 

Holly Bland

Location: Cleveland, OH

Local Fund: Preterm

“I knew right away that I couldn’t continue the pregnancy. I’m bipolar, I have polycistic ovaries, and mostly, I just wasn’t ready to be a parent. I shouldn’t have had to work an extra 70 hours, at minimum wage, to pay for the healthcare I needed because the expensive private insurance plan my family paid for wouldn’t cover abortions.”

 

 

 

 

 

Kay Winston

Location: Cleveland, OH

Local Fund: Preterm

“When I was pregnant and incarcerated, I was denied the abortion I wanted and I had no choice but to continue my pregnancy. I don’t regret having my son – I love him dearly – but I feel like I was forced to become a mother on someone else’s terms.”

 

 

 

 

Kenya Martin

Location: Houston, TX

Local Fund: Lilith Fund and Fund Texas Choice

“I love my daughter, but I resent the circumstances that brought her into this world. I’ve had two abortions since then and they were definitely the right decision for me. They allowed me to be the author of my own life story, and I’m grateful for that.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Layidua Salazar

Location: Oakland, CA

Local Fund: ACCESS Women’s Health Justice, board member

“I was in deportation proceedings when I found out I was pregnant. I knew that I did not want to be pregnant given everything else going on. It would be disingenuous to say that my immigration case did not impact my decision. Sometimes life is complicated, but my decision to have an abortion was anything but complicated.”

 

 

 

 

 

Megan Jeyifo

Location: Chicago, IL

Local Fund: Chicago Abortion Fund, board member

“When I share my story, I do it for my children and for my late mother. For my children, I share my story with the hope that it will protect their freedom to make their own reproductive choices. For my mother, a pro-choice activist who died when she was young, I share my story and fight for abortion access in order to feel closer to her.”

 

 

 

 

Nikia Paulette

St Louis, MO

Local Fund: Gateway Access Fund, board member

“It is important for me to share my story as part of the resistance to the constant attacks on people of color having abortions. As a freedom fighter, working to end all oppression, I am exercising my right to self-determination.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sally Alves

Location: Boston, MA

“People who have had abortions, and people who will have abortions, have made the right choice for themselves and for their families.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sheila Desai

Location: Brooklyn, NY

Local Fund: New York Abortion Access Fund, board member

“Growing up, and even today, it’s rare for me to see South Asians represented among those who have had abortions. When I had my own, I didn’t see myself in anyone I knew.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stephanie Loraine

Location: Orlando, Florida

Local Fund: Central Florida Women’s Emergency Fund, board member

“Although I have worked and studied since I was 13 years old to support my family, when it came to decisions about my body or my life I was told I was not capable of making my own decisions. Everyone’s experience with abortion is different and we should affirm, validate, and respect the spectrum of those experiences.”

 

 

 

 

Zoraima Pelaez

Location: Austin, TX

Local Fund: Lilith Fund

“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 thinking what will my family think? What will become of my future? I want people in similar situations to know they are not alone.

 

 

 

Jack Qu’emi Gutiérrez

Location: Los Angeles, California

“I share my story to give a face to a community frequently erased from conversations about reproductive rights. Cissexism has no place in this movement and I intend to show it the way out.”

 

 

 

 

 

Kelsea mclain

Location: Durham, NC

Local Fund: Carolina Abortion Fund, Board Member

“ I spent several years in college teaching safer sex classes and assumed that my personal knowledge would somehow magically protect me from an unwanted pregnancy. I suffered from the idea that “smart, educated” women don’t need abortions and I must admit, was pretty harsh on myself when I realized abortion would be a part of my life experience.”

 

 

 

MJ Flores

Location: Washington, DC

“The condom broke. The morning after pill didn’t work. And I was in Kenya, where abortion is largely illegal. Thankfully, I already had a flight back to the U.S. where I could, almost fully, exercise my choice.”

 

 

 

 

 

Shivana Jorawar

Location: New York, New York

“When I decided to have an abortion, my religion’s cultural expectation of purity was swirling in my mind. I knew I wasn’t ready to parent, that to try to do so would cause my dreams to come crashing down.”

 

 

 

 

 

Daniela Diaz

Location: Washington, DC

“I’m excited to share my story because it’s one where shame, fear and guilt could not flourish. I want to bust stigma and myth about abortion while weaving in my immigrant experience into my story.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bi Camp

Location: Atlanta, GA

Local fund: Access Reproductive Care – Southeast

“I had an abortion plan in the same way folks have a birth plan, and my loved ones  ensured that I got the tender, intimate, compassionate experience that I envisioned.”

 

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