The news that the Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade deeply saddens me and fills me with guilt. This decision is very personal to me. In 2008 at the age of 25 I got pregnant, while using two forms of birth control. I have never wanted children and I decided to have an abortion. Only problem was that I have so many medical conditions, including a neurological condition called Increased Intracranial Hypertension. I had to have a medical device implanted in me in 2005 to treat the condition by draining the fluid off my brain and depositing it in my abdomen. The condition was caused by the medication used to treat my Bipolar DIsorder. I knew all the consequences of what pregnancy would do to my body, I had been well informed by all my Specialists. I am on disability so I went to my primary care doctor when I found out. She worked at a federally funded clinic that I went to as at that point, I only had Medicaid. When I explained the situation, all my medical history, my wishes for my life, my concerns. I had contacted Planned Parenthood and they said to safely to have the abortion I would need medical clearance, the okay, that I was healthy enough to have the procedure. My doctor refused. She said no one in her office would agree to give me the medical clearance for the abortion, even though I was healthy enough to have. I was devastated. What was I ever going to do? I was on disability for a very severe chronic illness and the pregnancy could kill me, I didn’t want a child. I could not understand why my wishes and concerns were not even being considered. I contacted Planned Parenthood again and they said it could be a clearance from any medical doctor I had seen recently. Luckily I have a really good neurologist I had recently seen and he gave the clearance.
So, now for the reason I feel guilt about the Supreme Court’s decision. When I went to have the abortion the doctor pulled me aside and informed me that she heard of my situation and talked to a friend of hers that was a lawyer, she gave me their number and said that I should contact them because what that federally funded clinic did to me was illegal.
That floored me. I held on to that number for almost a year hoping I would be brave enough to call. I was in such a bad place in my life at that point that I couldn’t imagine the stress of a court case about this. As the years passed I grew stronger and more confident in myself, but I still felt guilty that I hadn’t spoke up. That I gave into fear and shame that I never should have had to experience from having a necessary medical procedure. Hearing that Roe vs. Wade was overturned, the guilt just cascaded over me. I let myself and all the women I love and all the women without the opportunity to use their voice down. It was rough. The only way I know how to combat this guilt is to never let myself be silenced again. To never let fear take over when there is Right to be done. That is why I am writing this. I want every woman to know her voice matters and that I will fight and stand up right along side of her. America, this isn’t over. We must stand up and use our voices, it is the most important thing to do in this country right now.
Sarah, Do not feel guilty at all. There is a very famous quote from Maya Angelou
that says, “Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women.”
Simply by doing what was best for you and standing up for yourself, you stood up for all women. Never ever feel guilty for someone else’s wrong doing towards you or mistreatment of you. If hiring a lawyer was not best for you and your mental and or physical health that that time. That is OK. You fought for women by fighting for you. xo Lauren
I know how you feel. I also understand where your choice was made. My Mother was told by her doctor to abort me because she was extremely high risk. She was almost 39 years old when I was born. Despite the great risk to her life she continued on. I completely understand the choice you made and I’ve actively spent most of my life fighting for your right to make it.
I like you, also feel like I’ve let the women in my life down. I felt an extreme sadness last week and immediately questioned whether I’ve fought hard enough for all of the women I care about most.
I want you to know that I see you. I know how tough this decision has made you and so many other women feel. Despite being a man, take this assurance that I will continue to fight for your right to make decisions about your body. Even if I have to get elected to office I will not stop advocating for you.
Thank you! I read your letter and your mom sounds like a truly brave person. We all have different stories, but it is nice to know that there are people who can sympathize or empathize. Thank you for standing for Women’s Rights. I think in moving forward, we need more men to stand up and say this is wrong and inexcusable. There is much work to be done and we need everyone to be vocal about it. I truly believe that people can change their lives and the lives of others if they keep putting the work in.
My Mother’s experience catalyzed my view on the issue of abortion. I often wondered what would’ve been had she not survived my birth. My Father would’ve been left with 3 small children. He never finished schooling because he left school to take care of the family farm when my Grandfather had a heart attack. My life may have been lost as well.
I firmly believe this choice should be made by the woman and no one else. My friend had an ectopic pregnancy last year, she nearly died. The overturn of Roe is literally a death sentence for a woman whose pregnancy is ectopic or who has a miscarriage and her body does not release the fetus. What amounts to a bunch of old white men, several of whom have been accused of sexual assault, have ripped that decision from you and every other woman. That is insanity. I can’t allow that to happen. It’s mobilizing the one thing I do better than most. I advocate for others who’s voice is either drowned out, or threatened away. I already cautioned my social media friends that if I saw them cheering this that it would likely lead to at least me ending that friendship. The rights of people are not up for debate. If someone is ok with taking away someone’s rights, they have no space in my life PERIOD.