Stephanie, Photographed by Dani Hunter

“The ease with which I was able to choose and access abortion care is a reflection of my privilege. When I had my abortion in 2006, I was a middle-class teenager living in a state where abortion care was granted additional protection by the state constitution, and I had the unconditional emotional and financial support of my family. I was empowered to make my own decisions and was never told ‘no’ or ‘wait.’ Choice shouldn’t be a privilege; it should be the standard experience for every pregnancy.

In 2014, Tennessee voters elected to pass Amendment 1, which removed protections for abortion care, giving the Tennessee General Assembly carte blanche to begin passing laws to restrict abortion access. In September 2018, I gave birth to a beautiful 8lb 9oz baby whom my husband and I named Nora. She and our first child, Ace, are everything to our family, and they quite simply would not exist had I been forced to carry that first ill-fated pregnancy to term.

Several of my fellow storytellers had to overcome harrowing obstacles in order to have abortions and would be forced to do so again should the need for abortion care arise in the future. Senseless laws and regulations on abortion providers create additional barriers which only serve to make abortion care more difficult to access. I continue to be white, cishet, and financially stable in an overwhelmingly blue state; people like me will always have the means to access abortion care — regardless of the law.”

Dani Hunter is a former photojournalist and current communications manager at a non-profit in Chicago. Originally from Tennessee, she earned two B.S. degrees in English and Political Science from Austin Peay State University and has received several awards in photography and writing. In December, Dani will graduate with her Master’s in Public Administration and Policy from American University.