I had an abortion when I was 18. I’d never had anyone talk to me about birth control (sex ed at school was a joke and I didn’t come from a family that discussed such things). Some 18 year olds are responsible people with career goals-I wasn’t. I was a train wreck, with no direction, no goals, no money and a self-destructive streak a mile long. I’d just dropped out of college for the first of four times and I was busy with drugs and bad choices.
At the time, I was deeply conflicted about having an abortion. It isn’t an easy decision, whether you are a mother of three or a punk-ass teenager, but even with the conflict I knew I couldn’t handle a baby. In retrospect I am so grateful that I had access to safe and legal abortion, because twenty years later I am aware of how ill-prepared I would have been at that time, and how it would have deeply affected my ability to get my life together. That child would have had no support and a single parent totally off the rails.
As it is, I went back to college, straightened out and got my life on track. I’m 40 now, and still without children by choice. Kids aren’t for me.
That’s what access is about, Justices. It is about people having kids if and when they are ready. It is about kids being wanted, supported, and financially stable. It is about not overwhelming emergency rooms with women who risked unsafe abortions or are suffering from a dangerous pregnancy. It is about not overwhelming our government and welfare systems with dependent families and unwanted kids. It is about a stable economy, a stable society and reproductive justice for all.