By Rebecca Gotwalt
As a teen I was estranged from my abusive family, by 17 I was living with my high school boyfriend and his kind but impoverished family. I attempted to obtain healthcare and birth control from our County Health facility. Instead of assistance I was met with judgement. I was told to go home and think about what would happen to my reputation if everyone found out I was on birth control. I was bullied and shamed out of returning for my follow up where I may or may not have been provided with the pill.
As you would expect, I was pregnant within months. I was young, poor and on my own in an economically depressed area. I couldn’t live with this being my future.
Thankfully I found there was a Planned Parenthood in that corner of the state; it was over 120 miles round trip, but it was an option and for the first time in some time I was hopeful.
I made my appointment, scraped together every penny I could find and I exercised my fundamental right to abortion as guaranteed by the United States Constitution and received quality care in a compassionate manner.
Roe v. Wade allowed me to finish school and take advantage of higher education. Having choice and exercising my right made it so I could lift myself out of poverty and put distance between the abused teen I had been and the woman I would be.
I was awash with relief, I knew liberty.