This high school graduation photograph reminds me how young I was when I arranged for and survived a ‘back-alley,’ illegal abortion three years before the Roe v. Wade ruling. Holding this photograph now, nearly 50 years later, I think about the other women who weren’t so lucky back then and the people now who continue to be denied access to abortion services in some areas of our country.
“Cuando tuve mi primer aborto yo tenía 22 años y mi hija Amahia tenía 1 año. Ella tiene Osteogénesis Imperfecta y en aquel momento sólo pensaba en lo incierto que era brindarle todos los cuidados necesarios, siendo madre primeriza con una niña con una condición genética, conocida como “huesos de cristal”.
My fight against systemic racism and incarceration has informed, for the most part, if and when I will create a family. My future is unknown. I am a government agencies’ target – I was detained by ICE for months. About both abortion and immigration, I am angry, and I am focused and organized.
"At 17 I was forced to travel across state lines to authorize my abortion service without a parent’s involvement. At this age, I felt I was mature enough to make an informed decision about my body and my future. I refused to go before a judge to seek permission to get a procedure without a parents permission. I had no other choice but to raise the money to pay for a procedure out of pocket and on a greyhound bus travel to Illinois. The political climate, not my abortion, caused my trauma. Now I work as an advocate for women and migrants who need health care, to try to ease the trauma they experience.”