On January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court issued a 7–2 decision in favor of Norma McCorvey (“Jane Roe”), asserting that women in the United States had a fundamental right to choose whether to have abortions without excessive government restriction by striking down Texas’s abortion ban as unconstitutional.
Each year we pay tribute to this landmark moment when, after years and years of fighting for this invaluable and necessary right, women were finally able to have control over their bodies and their pregnancies.
As abortion rights remain in limbo in our country, at a time when we often feel we’re moving backwards in time as opposed to progressively forward, we pay homage to these fundamental rights by hearing from our community on their abortion stories. Whatever the reason behind their choice, we honor them.
“I was only nine months postpartum when I got pregnant with my second. I was still breastfeeding. My husband had just lost his job and we were figuring out the next move in our lives. Whether we wanted to stay in New York or move somewhere else. I knew that having a baby during this time would only make everything a thousand times more stressful and would be the straw that totally broke us. I made the decision and never looked back.”
“I got pregnant by my college boyfriend. Our contraception failed. I was a sophomore with the rest of my life to live. I knew what I needed to do. I had big plans and kids would eventually be part of them, but not at age 20. Even though I was fully confident in my decision, it was still hard. I felt alone in that I couldn’t talk about it openly. When everyone came back from winter break talking about all the fun I had, I sat there silent. Looking back, I realized I wasn’t ashamed, just alone and sad. I’m so grateful I did it, though. I now have two healthy kids, a wonderful husband and a great job. I can’t say how my life would’ve turned out if I was forced to have had this baby.”
“We took the routine prenatal blood test to test for Downs Syndrome. The probability came back pretty high, then the 12 week ultrasound that eventually confirmed it. The nuchal translucency, then the diagnostic. It was confirmed by 14 weeks that my baby had Downs Syndrome. My partner and I didn’t think twice. We had two older kids and while we were excited to have a third, we knew that even though this child could go onto have a great life, we wouldn’t be the kind of parents we wanted to be for our other two children. We made the decision. It was incredibly painful, though. The loss. The sadness. We mourned this baby, but knew it was the right decision for us.”
“I am a mother of two healthy boys with a loving husband who I adore. Last July my period was late. We were in the middle of Covid-19 and this pregnancy felt different for me. I never had morning sickness with my boys so I was thinking maybe this time I’ll finally get a girl. But I was also thinking that I couldn’t make life harder for my boys by adding another baby when we don’t know what the future will be like. After a lot of late night talks and tears I decided to do it. The day finally came. My husband took me to have the procedure. It was painful in all the ways. A week later, I found out my best friend was expecting. We would’ve had babies at the same time. There’s not a day that goes by when I don’t think about it.”
“My husband and I struggled with infertility and were so excited when I finally got pregnant. Our 12 week ultrasound went great. We were having a girl, my dream. My anatomy scan at 21 weeks told us something else — that our daughter had triploidy – a rare chromosomal abnormality that would give her a five month survival rate, max. More likely a few hours. My husband and I made the heart breaking decision to have an abortion. It is by far the hardest decision we have ever had to make and one we did not take lightly, but we didn’t want her – or us – to suffer any longer. A few days later, I was induced and we got to hold her. She was so so beautiful.”