‘They are not alone’: Women share abortion stories in Congress amid ‘chaos’ of losing legal access to care

‘They are not alone’: Women share abortion stories in Congress amid ‘chaos’ of losing legal access to care

Abortionists and individuals have detailed the far-reaching and personal impact of abortion and the loss of significant witness testimony at a pair of hearings in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives on July 13.

After being pushed by the US Supreme Court Rowe vs. Wade With a decision in between Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Agency, Which has undermined the constitutional right to an abortion, abortion rights advocates are addressing a series of congressional hearings this week on legal abortion access.

Since U.S. states have imposed strict bans on care or completely banned abortion, Dr. Christine Brandi, chair of the Board of Physicians for Reproductive Health, told a Senate committee on July 13 that “abortion is essential care, abortion may be necessary to save someone’s life.” An important part of being an OGBYN. “

“Without autonomy, without decision-making power, without access to abortion care, many people have challenging situations that can be more painful or fatal,” he said.

Sammy Detzer, a patient advocate for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, told the committee that she received “sympathetic, expert” care during a 2015 abortion at the age of 25.

“My abortion was not painful and certainly not traumatic. I was not lonely, depressed or ashamed. I can remember more relief than crying,” she said. “This story is mine alone. No one intervened. No one tried to control what I had – my body, my freedom or my choice. “

She compared it to her mother’s experience in 1968, a few years before Rowe Wade secured the constitutional right to abortion, and the barrier to care was “unnecessarily painful and physically and emotionally traumatic”.

“But I’m glad he’s not here to see this terrible moment in our country’s history,” he added.

“I hope I didn’t have to share the details of my life and my mother’s life,” he said. “Lawmakers can decide whether the people of this country will be able to get the health care they deserve, they can decide whether states will be allowed to create irresistible barriers to abortion or it will be banned altogether. Those lawmakers can decide whether the abortion will be like my mother’s story or mine. ”

Georgia State Representative Renita Shannon told the House Judiciary Committee that she had an abortion 20 years ago and faced “significant unnecessary burdens” for care, barriers that “only increased” in the following decades, “exacerbating an ongoing public health crisis.” It is increasing poverty and wider inequality as a whole. ”

“The Dobbs The decision would amount to structural violence for many communities, but most severely for black, brown, indigenous peoples and people with disabilities, LGBTQ + people and people living at the junction of these identities who have already suffered centuries of oppression and lack of access. Reproductive freedom, ”he said.

Fatima Goss Graves, president and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center, told the House Committee that she could not raise “how much legal uncertainty and chaos this Supreme Court has created with this irrational view” because states are “vague and evolving and sometimes conflicting. The law. “

“Employers and schools and the city government, they are all overwhelmed by the weight of this explosion,” he said. “Clinics and healthcare professionals are trying to understand this shifting landscape. Patients are confused and they are scared about their rights and as individuals they are forced to navigate an uncertain legal landscape. Many can’t travel, including those who can’t afford it. ”

At least nine states – Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, West Virginia and Wisconsin – have completely banned abortion in almost all cases.

As many as 26 states can ban abortions without guaranteed protection Rowe. Republican-led state legislatures are set to draft more restrictive legislation in the coming weeks and months.

Sarah Lopez, an abortion rights lawyer at We Testify, a group that tells the story of people who have had abortions, says she had an abortion about six years ago when she was finishing her time in college and scraping while working in a restaurant. Wages ঘ 2.15 per hour plus tips.

“When I found out I was pregnant I immediately knew I wanted an abortion, but the stigma… made me feel that what was happening to me was out of my control and also my fault,” she said.

A 24-hour wait time is required before an appointment in Texas, which Ms. Lopez said was postponed by two weeks with the office closed. She needed an ultrasound and state-directed counseling.

“After my abortion, I felt immediate relief. I also knew how lucky I was, ”she said, pointing to the support of the nurse who cared for and supported her from her boyfriend and best friend.

“To some extent, I hope I didn’t have to talk about anything personal in this setting, but I hope that by staying here today, those who are currently in need of an abortion know that they are not alone,” she said. “Everyone should have access to the full range of reproductive health care, including abortion.”

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