Women's Choices Women's Voices

In 2019, nine states — Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Ohio, Missouri, Arkansas, Utah and Alabama — passed gestational age bans limiting abortions past six, eight or eighteen weeks. Alabama legislators passed an even stricter bill that bans almost all abortions at any point in pregnancy. None of these bans have taken effect, but on March 4, the Supreme Court will hear arguments on a 2014 Louisiana law that restricts abortions in that state. When deciding the case, the court could reinterpret the constitutional principles that make up the landmark Roe v. Wade decision. In that 1973 ruling, the court declared that unduly restricting a woman’s access to abortion was a violation of the right to privacy guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

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When I Discovered My Much-Wanted Baby Had Serious Abnormalities, I Made the Difficult Decision to Have an Abortion

Jessica, 34, is married and from Connecticut. In August 2016 when she was 31, Jessica became pregnant with the help of fertility treatments. When tests showed that the baby would have serious abnormalities and may not survive, she and her husband were faced with a difficult decision. She has chosen to remain anonymous, but shares her story in her own words.

I Didn’t Have an Abortion When I Got Pregnant at 17, but My Clinic Helped Me Understand My Options

Melanie Repert was 17 when she found out she was pregnant. She decided not to have an abortion, but describes in her own words how her local clinic in Baltimore, Maryland was an invaluable resource that helped her understand her options; the clinic then helped her navigate her pregnancy without insurance.

I Had to Drive Hours to Another State to Get an Abortion

Amie Guinn lives in Boonville, Missouri, far from an abortion clinic. When she needed to terminate her pregnancy, she had to travel to an Illinois clinic about 2.5 hours away. Her total travel time for her initial and follow-up appointments was about 10 hours — which she juggled with three jobs and raising two children, then 7 and 4.

I Would Have Loved a Big Family, but We Didn't Have the Means for a Third Child — So I Got an Abortion

When Leslie found out she was pregnant at 41, she was still breastfeeding her second child. With a husband who traveled extensively for work and no family nearby for support, she felt she did not have the financial or practical means to grow their household. Seventeen years later, Leslie has since successfully raised her small, loving family — and always remembers the choice she made. She has chosen to remain anonymous, but shares her story in her own words.

More Women's Choices Women's Voices

I Was in an Emotionally Abusive Relationship and Too Ashamed to Tell Anyone About My Abortion

As a 19-year-old college student in Houston, Amanda Beatriz Williams was an activist and a volunteer for Planned Parenthood, where she escorted patients past protestors and into the clinic. But after getting pregnant while in an emotionally abusive relationship, she was too embarrassed to tell her closest friends and family that she was having an abortion. Eleven years later, Williams, who identifies as queer, shares her story in her own words.

We Had to End My Daughter's Life at 23 Weeks, but I Didn't Realize I Had an Abortion

Hanna Neuschwander was 21 weeks pregnant when she learned that her daughter's brain was not forming normally. Faced with the hardest decision of her life, the 38-year-old chose to induce labor at 23 weeks and spend the all-too-brief moments holding her daughter before she died. It was only weeks later that Neuschwander, from Portland, Oregon, realized that what she had was considered an abortion, and would be restricted in many other states. She shared her story with PEOPLE to raise awareness of why people have abortions in their second trimester. 

This Naval Officer Says Abortion Was the Compassionate Choice: 'It Meant Our Child Didn't Have to Suffer'

Juliette Ruff is an active duty naval officer stationed in Japan. After suffering two miscarriages, she was thrilled to be pregnant again. At 14 weeks, tests showed the baby had Patau syndrome, or Trisomy 13, a chromosomal abnormality that causes organ deformities. Ninety percent of infants with the syndrome do not survive past one year. Juliette and her husband had to make the difficult choice of carrying to term with the knowledge the baby was likely to live a few painful days or weeks, or getting an abortion. The abortion was not covered by the insurance provided by the armed forces.