Mallory, Photographed by Lauren Hilary Voss

I had an abortion in 2013, just a few weeks after I got married for the first time. I was using birth control and had absolutely no plans to start a family at that point, but I got pregnant anyway. My husband was abusive and I knew I probably wouldn’t stay in the relationship. Raising a child with him would never have worked.

Luckily, I knew what to do. I lived near a clinic I knew and trusted. My friends supported me through the process and my health insurance paid the bill. I had paid time off from work, so taking time to attend my appointment and recover afterwards wasn’t a problem.

My abortion allowed me to keep my life on track, quickly and permanently leave my abusive marriage, and keep myself safe in the process. I eventually remarried and reached a point in my life where I actually wanted to start a family. My son is just about a year old now.

I know my experience isn’t common for people in Ohio. We’ve seen restriction after restriction making it harder for people to access abortion care when they need it. Our ability to access health care shouldn’t depend on luck or where we live.”

Lauren Hilary Voss is a Cleveland native video artist, cinematographer and photographer documenting the local music scene and providing services to bands, businesses, and creative professionals. Lauren graduated in 2005 with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts from the Cleveland Institute of Art and her personal art work focuses on the ways feminism and women’s issues play out within the minutiae of everyday American life. She is involved in many collaborative art projects including being a member of the Council of Chief’s and the acting Photo and Video Director for the Cleveland Lottery League as well as a founding member and a producer and cinematographer for the film collab, Rephase Films. She is also a musician and performs in the experimental dream noise duo, Arms & Armour.