I am excited to be in a space within the reproductive health, justice, and rights movement that feels like a safe space to tell my abortion story and to have the support to make it an enriching and fulfilling experience.
After hearing a woman’s story 4 years ago during the People’s Filibuster in Texas, I was inspired to tell my own. It took me a while, but I finally feel safe and supported enough to tell my story. Telling my story has allowed me to feel more complete and authentic in my abortion rights advocacy. I believe it is important to tell my story for many reasons. I want to empower those that have dealt with stigma surrounding mental illness and abortion. I want those that hear my story to know that they are not alone. The fact that many who have heard my story have reached out to express their thanks or their gratitude for telling a story similar to their own has made it worth it.
I want people who hear my story to know that one in three people will have an abortion in their lifetime and that one in five will suffer from mental illness. That they should not feel ashamed or stigmatized and that they are not alone.
When I found out I was pregnant, I had not been functioning properly for years. I had been cycling through college semesters in manic and depressive phases and I was approaching rock bottom. There was no question that I was going to have an abortion and I have never questioned my decision before or after. My abortion was the beginning of the path that led me to get my life on track, reconnect with my partner, finish college, go to law school and start my family. My abortion embodied the self-determination through bodily autonomy that my dad, an abortion provider in central and south Texas had dedicated his life to and had raised me to believe in.