What Roe Means To Me

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.

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