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I had an abortion. Abortion is truly a health care service. And that’s why it’s so important to talk about it, to destigmatize it.

I tell my story so others can tell theirs. It’s critical that we start sharing our experiences and de-stigmatizing this part of reproductive health care.

I had an abortion. Abortion is normal, it’s OK. There’s nothing wrong or immoral about it. It’s a reproductive health care service. 

There for me then; here for me now

Two years ago, I went to Planned Parenthood for my abortion and had wonderful service and care. Now I go there for all of my health care services, including annual exams, birth control and STD tests. 

I chose to have an abortion primarily because of my mental health, which has been a long-term struggle for me. When I found out that I was pregnant, I was recently single, somewhat new to Des Moines with a brand-new job — and I just was not ready financially, physically or mentally. 

My experience with Planned Parenthood has changed everything in the greatest ways. Not only did I make the right decision for myself, but, it’s often the right decision for others. In fact, one in four women has an abortion in their lifetime. 

It wasn’t always easy

I am confident that I made the right decision for me, but it's been a difficult experience because of the negative way that abortion is treated in my community. I’m from a very conservative, religious area. My abortion decision has not been accepted or understood by my community members.

But I’m still a person of faith and that throws people. In telling my story, as well as being open about my faith, others are starting to get a more realistic understanding of abortion. When we tell our stories, it puts a face, a human behind it.

I’m starting to see those who initially very much opposed my decision now listening to my reasons and better understanding my experience. Everyone is resistant to the change, but I think that they are starting to see it’s really part of reproductive health care. It’s a little less stigmatized and something we can talk about. 

Planned Parenthood has provided a lot of the support and care that I did not find in my community. It’s meant so much to me to have this Planned Parenthood community. They continue looking out for me, backing me and supporting me. They’ve made an incredible difference. 

I’m so thankful for Planned Parenthood. If you are too, share your story today.

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