Stephanie, Photographed by Karen Arango

“When I had my abortions I was very alone. I sat alone in the dark many nights wondering about the life I wanted and needed to have to prove to myself having those abortions would be ‘worth it.’ Abortion stigma told me I needed to prove I was worthy of living the life I wanted.

When I reflect now, I am grateful for the strength I had then and continue having to live.

I am at peace with my decision to have had multiple abortions be a catalyst to live the life I’ve always wanted. I am strong. I am confident. I am everything I’ve ever wanted to be and have always been even when I didn’t believe in myself.”

Karen Arango originally from Colombia, has lived in the United States since she was a child, giving her a wide perspective of different cultures and a social experience that later influenced her as an artist. She is a Sarasota-based freelance photojournalist and videographer. Her work focuses on collaborating with local non-profits to increase their funding and creating awareness of social needs in the community. She earned her photography education from Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida and the International Center of Photography in New York City. Since then, her work has been selected in film festivals, photo festivals, portfolio reviews, editorial features, and she has two self-published books on immigration and the two-generation approach.