Press Release: Women Share Abortion Experiences with Supreme Court to Show Real-World Consequences of Restrictive Laws

Advocates for Youth Files Amicus Brief Featuring Stories from the 1 in 3 Campaign Ahead of Supreme Court Consideration of Restrictive Texas Abortion Law

Washington, DC – Dozens of women shared their personal abortion experiences to show the real-world consequences of restrictive abortion laws that limit access to safe, affordable abortion care as part of an amicus curiae brief filed to Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole, an upcoming Supreme Court case on a restrictive Texas abortion law that has forced most of the state’s remaining clinics to close.

“The Supreme Court justices need to hear the real effects of restrictive abortion laws on women like this one in Texas,” said Advocates for Youth’s President Debra Hauser, who shared her story in the brief. “What is missing from this issue are our personal stories. The reality is that one in three women will have an abortion in her lifetime. Rather than making care prohibitively expensive and unduly difficult, we should work to protect safe access to abortion care and make sure women receive the care they need.”

The brief, filed by Christopher J. Wright, Elizabeth Austin Bonner and Elizabeth B. Uzelac, features stories from Advocates for Youth’s 1 in 3 Campaign, which seeks to remind us that abortion touches all our lives, share real abortion stories to shatter the silence, and end stigma and shame around this essential part of women’s healthcare.

The stories in the brief highlight some of the most common burdens that restrict women’s access to the care they need, including cost, transportation, proximity, child care, employment insecurity, and domestic abuse. These “undue burdens” too many women face today effectively strip them of their ability to make a meaningful and responsible decision.

The stories demonstrate the diversity of women seeking abortion care and the difficulty too many women still have in seeking this common procedure: 

  • Before the Roe v. Wade decision ensured women would have access to safe clinics for an abortion procedure, Anne Hopkins was forced to travel to a bar in Tiajuana and risk her life to get an abortion. Read her full story here.
  • Renee Bracey Sherman was lucky because she had access to a clinic to get a safe abortion, and she was able to afford the procedure. She calls it “the best decision of my life.” Read her full story on page 15 of the brief.
  • With a six-month-old baby and her husband having left six weeks earlier after draining their bank account, Deb Hauser realized she could not care for another child, so she decided to get an abortion. To this day, she says it was the most responsible, moral and loving action she could have taken for herself and her son. Read her full story here.

As the brief reads, “These first-person accounts represent the experiences of millions of American women who have sought abortion care despite numerous—and needless—obstacles. As this Court has repeatedly recognized, meaningful reproductive choice is critical to women’s dignity, autonomy, and ability participate equally in the economic and social life of the nation. The stories related here show that the right to choose whether and when to have a child goes to the heart of independent personhood. The judgment below should be reversed.”

Some of these stories and many more will be shared as part of the 1 in 3 Campaign Speakout on Jan. 19 – a live amicus brief of sorts. The livestreamed event will feature people sharing their abortion stories at the event in Washington, DC, and remotely from locations across the country with speakers including former Texas Sen. Wendy Davis, Cecile Richards of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH).

Experts from Advocates for Youth and women who shared their abortion experiences as part of the amicus brief are available for interviews. The amicus curiae brief is available in full here.


About the 1 in 3 Campaign
The 1 in 3 Campaign, a project of Advocates for Youth, is a grassroots movement designed to ignite a new conversation about abortion, through storytelling, to end the stigma around abortion care in America. Its mission: to ensure that abortion remains safe, legal, and affordable. For more information, please visit: www.1in3campaign.org.

For Immediate Release  Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Xakota Espinoza

Laura Brandon