Wednesday, May 25, 2011
I’ve had back problems since my son was born in 2001. In December 2008, the pain had worsened and by January 2009 I was bed bound because my leg went numb. My orthopedic spine surgeon recommended a lumbar spinal fusion because my sciatic nerve was being severely pinched between two collapsed discs. The surgery was scheduled for February 26. I had pre-op blood work done two weeks before and everything was fine. Then as they were prepping me for surgery, my doctor says "We can't do your procedure because you are pregnant." I've never felt so hopeless. I couldn't take care of my two sons I have right now because of the pain. I was so depressed and in excruciating pain. We talked with a high risk OB/GYN and he looked over my MRI and said if I continued with the pregnancy I could end up paralyzed. I had an abortion three weeks later and my back surgery two weeks after that. If abortion care wasn't legal in this country I don't know what my life would have been like. I received criticism from a few family members, but it doesn't bother me. They had no idea what pain I was in or what I was facing. I'm so glad I have a choice.
--Submitted by Kensie* through our website
I went to my local Planned Parenthood last week and found out I was pregnant. In the week I waited to receive abortion care I had so many things running through my head. Would it hurt? Would I regret it? Will I change my mind? The answers to all of those questions turned out to be no. I was scared, but I had my boyfriend by my side the whole time. At the clinic I was given a sonogram and was comforted by an extremely helpful nurse. My doctor came in and shook my hand and asked me about myself as he set up for the procedure. At the end I felt a little cramping and some discomfort but the staff were very helpful and reassuring. Because of the protesters in the front of the clinic, I was walked through the garage to our car. I do not regret my decision at all and I hope my story can be helpful to someone else out there. Remember, you’re not alone.
--Submitted by Taryn* through our website
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
"In the middle of a recession, it's possible women have reduced access to contraception and have more unintended pregnancies," said Rachel Jones, who is a senior research associate at the Guttmacher Institute and lead author of the report. "It's also possible that women confronted with unplanned pregnancies when they are out of work decide to have abortions, even though they might have carried it to term in more stable times."
>Read the full report.
During floor debate in the Kansas House over a bill to require women to purchase supplemental insurance coverage in the event that they may need abortion care, Representative Barbara Bollier, “questioned whether women would buy abortion-only policies long before they have crisis or unwanted pregnancies or are rape victims.”
Representative DeGraaf, “…drew groans of protest from some House members when he responded by stating, ‘I have a spare tire on my car. I also have life insurance…I have a lot of things that I plan ahead for.’”
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
I work at a small, privately-owned abortion clinic in the Midwest. Our staff is small but we work hard to provide women with compassionate care.
During a meeting, several of my colleagues talked about their experiences with patients who were surprised about our kindness and willingness to listen. When asked why women assume differently, my colleague said that patients feel that if you work in an abortion clinic one would have to be uncaring, unsympathetic, and dismissive.
I was saddened to hear this but not surprised. I, too, have heard women tell me that they were relieved our staff treated them with care, asked gentle questions to help them clarify their decision, walked them carefully through the steps of their procedure, and assisted them in their recovery.
I had an abortion many years ago. I don't have a memory that the staff that day was rude or uncaring but neither do I have a memory that they were kind and gentle. It wasn't a bad experience but I remember feeling a great sadness that I was not able to share my story with anyone. It would have meant a lot to me to be able to take a few moments to verbalize what was happening inside of me that day. Because of my experience, I take whatever time is needed to listen to the stories of the women who come into the clinic before they have their abortion. I believe it makes a difference.
We, as clinic staff, have given ourselves the validation that we do good work for others. We have challenged ourselves to do more, to always work to provide the best care, and we have seen that kindness is a simple but powerful way to serve our sisters.
--Submitted by Jillian* through our website
I am a single mother of an amazing two-year-old who is developmentally disabled and autistic. When I found out I was pregnant I knew that I was in no place to bring another child into the world and I couldn’t bear the idea of knowing my child would be with another family if I gave it up for adoption. My boyfriend is very supportive but he has his own troubles so it wouldn’t be fair to anyone, including the child, if we continued on with the pregnancy. I never expected this to happen, but I was glad there was support for us.
--Submitted by Joan* through a member clinic
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
I was in an abusive relationship when I found out that I was pregnant. I was scared and confused. The abuse got worse and I needed a way out. I decided to seek abortion care and feel as though it was the day that I was saved. I am not heartless. It was a difficult decision but today my life is amazing. I have found the love of my life, my best friend, and the person who has helped me through some of the hardest times in my life. I will someday have children, but I will always remember my first pregnancy as a life lesson.
--Submitted by Ainsley* through our website
I came home from the Army pregnant, scared, and alone. I went to live with my mother and two siblings in a crowded three bedroom apartment in central Minnesota After much thought, I decided that an abortion would be the best choice. I wasn't prepared to become a parent. It was just not the right time in my life. I didn't want to raise a child poor and on welfare as I was. Adoption was out of the question because I could never put myself through that. Within a couple days I made an appointment to have the abortion. The procedure went fine. I felt elated and like a heavy rock was lifted off my shoulders.
--Submitted by Tabatha* through our website
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
According to the editorial, this bill is not really about federal funding for abortion – which is already prohibited by the Hyde Amendment – but “imposes new limitations on abortion access by driving to end abortion insurance coverage in the private market using the nation’s tax system as a weapon.”
Although the Obama Administration has signaled that it would veto this bill, The New York Times warns that parts of this bill could be attached to other bills or snuck into the debt limit talks.
>Learn more about how this bill would affect women
Wednesday, May 04, 2011
Today, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3, the so-called “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.” This bill, authored by Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ), would prevent millions of American women from obtaining private insurance coverage for abortion care even if they pay with their own funds. It would also deny abortion coverage for vulnerable women who depend on the federal government for their health care, permanently ban Washington DC from using its own funds to provide abortion care, and put IRS agents into the business of investigating women’s private medical decisions.
This bill and its history strip away any pretense that Chris Smith and his anti-choice colleagues have any concern about women and their health care needs. If Smith and his co-sponsors had succeeded in passing their original bill, they would have also redefined rape and incest and prohibited abortion care for women in life-threatening, emergency situations at public hospitals. Although Smith said he would give up the rape and incest provisions after weeks of public outcry, the bill’s sponsors have made a backdoor attempt to redefine rape as “forcible” rape in the Judiciary Committee’s report.
This isn’t the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” it is the “No Dignity or Abortion Care for Women Act.”
We call upon the Senate to stop this unprecedented attack on women’s access to abortion care. Although we don’t expect this bill to make it to the President’s desk, we thank the President for making it clear that he opposes H.R. 3.
I am 30 years old and I have three handsome boys. I am struggling every day to take care of their very basic needs. I am not working and I only receive financial support from the father of my two oldest children. I had been beaten by my youngest son’s father for five long years. He took everything from me and left me at rock bottom. I finally got the courage to leave him and met what I thought was a great man. When I found out I was pregnant, he began to be abusive as well. I can’t financially support myself and my three children - let alone another one. If it weren’t for the support I received from NAF I don’t believe that I could have made it through this. Thank you for being there in my time of need.
--Submitted by Anya through a member clinic
I was on the pill when I found out that I was pregnant. I always considered myself to be fairly responsible with my birth control, but when I started having pregnancy symptoms, I honestly did not believe that I was pregnant. But I was.
I was in a committed relationship but knew I was not ready—emotionally or financially—to be a parent. I look forward to being a parent someday, but I want to give my children the best foundation and future possible. To me, this meant first finishing my college education and joining the workforce.
I have respect for those who choose not to have an abortion because that is their right. However it is also my right to choose to have one. It is a very personal choice and a choice that should be up to each woman individually. I did not plan to have an abortion, but I felt fortunate to have the option. I do not regret my decision, and when I am ready I look forward to being the best parent possible.
--Submitted by Cali through our website
Tuesday, May 03, 2011
This bill would prevent millions of American women from obtaining private insurance coverage for abortion care even if they pay with their own funds. It would also deny abortion coverage for vulnerable women who depend on the federal government for their health care, and permanently ban Washington DC from using its own funds to provide abortion care.
Although we don’t expect this bill to make it to the President’s desk, the Obama Administration issued a statement yesterday opposing this legislation.
"The Administration will strongly oppose legislation that unnecessarily restricts women's reproductive freedoms and consumers' private insurance options," the White House said in a statement. "If the President is presented with HR 3, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill."
The House is scheduled to vote on this bill tomorrow morning.