Trust Women Week: Joy’s Story

Trust Women Week overlaps with the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade and reasserts our firm commitment to reclaiming the future of reproductive decision-making in 2012. Throughout the week, Amplify will be honoring women’s experiences and voices by featuring a different story from The 1 in 3 Campaign January 21-27. Joy from Advocates for Youth.


JOY: Let’s see… I was 23 and I had just finished undergrad and I moved to San Diego on my way… I was going to be teaching English in Korea, so I was there working for the summer. I was in a relationship, taking birth control pills – Not consistently or correctly. I didn’t have a lot of education on how I was supposed to be taking them… – and I was in a sexual relationship. And I ended up getting pregnant.

For me, it was never really a question of what my decision was going to be. I just needed, you know, the resources to be able to do that. I found out relatively quickly that I was pregnant and decided to get an abortion. I was in the state of California and there were really no restrictions. I was 23, also, at the time. The only thing that was a little bit prohibitive was the cost, but that just really wasn’t an issue cause I was… Like I said, I had a partner who was able to support that and I also had a job as well.

I think the interesting thing about me having an abortion is that you kind of keep that under wraps, and I did that for a long time. But, the more I talked to people about it the more I found out there were so many people that I knew who had had abortions. It was a decision that I had to make and I was so grateful that I was able to have that decision. And I think that, you know, we all make mistakes and there’s, you know, some folks who very much think that “You make a mistake. You pay for it. That’s sort of the way that it is.” And I would just argue that having the ability to, like, make a mistake or to not do something the way that, you know, you had planned on doing – and then being able to turn that around is very liberating and has tremendous impact on my life.

I mean, I would not be here if at the age of 23 I did not have the option to have an abortion. I would be a completely different person. And you know, my sister was a teen mom. She had five children before she was the age of 22 and her life is so different than mine.

It’s just… I just couldn’t imagine being in a situation where I wasn’t able to choose how I wanted to plan out my life.

The 1 in 3 Campaign is a grassroots movement to start a new conversation about abortion — telling our stories, on our own terms. Together, we can end the stigma women face each and every day and assure access to basic health care. As we tell our stories and support our family and friends as they come forward with theirs, we begin build a culture of compassion, empathy, and support. No one should be made to feel ashamed or alone. It’s time for us to come out in support of each other and in support of access to legal and safe abortion care in our communities.

Share the 1 in 3 Campaign videos — or your own story — with three other people. And click here to find out how you can bring the campaign to your campus or your community.

It’s time to start the conversation.

Disclaimer: This post was written by a Feministing Community user and does not necessarily reflect the views of any Feministing columnist, editor, or executive director.

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