Right now, as the U.S. Supreme Court considers a case that could end federal protections for abortion, state politicians are seizing this moment to advance a decades-long, coordinated strategy to ban abortion across the country.
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People in Texas have been denied their constitutional right to abortion since September because the Supreme Court failed to protect them — refusing to block S.B. 8, the state's unconstitutional and extremely dangerous six-week abortion ban. Now states across the country — Arizona, Oklahoma, Florida, Idaho and more — have passed harsh new abortion bans of their own.
What's worse is that the Supreme Court may soon decide to end Americans' freedom to control our own bodies by overturning Roe v. Wade— the 1973 decision that has protected our right to safe, legal abortion for nearly 50 years. In a Mississippi case called Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the state has asked the Supreme Court to end the right to abortion. That may mean more than half the country would ban abortion — denying abortion access to 36 million women of reproductive age, plus even more people who can become pregnant.
We’re not backing down. At Planned Parenthood, we know that politicians have no business in our personal medical decisions — they should not control our bodies or our lives. Want to defend abortion access? Add your name to our petition now.
We'll be in touch soon with more ways you can get involved, stay in touch, and be an advocate for reproductive health and rights. It's good to know we have supporters like you standing with us.
What's the Deal With Abortions and the Supreme Court? | Planned Parenthood Video
The Story of Abortion and the Supreme Court
Did you know that abortion wasn't always shamed and stigmatized like it is today? Learn how a loud minority grew determined to take away our basic freedoms, and stand up for people across the country who could lose abortion access.
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Abortion is a deeply personal and sometimes complex decision. Politicians shouldn’t be making decisions about your body for you. But that hasn’t stopped them from trying.
These stories include reactions to the cruel abortion ban in Texas that went into effect Sept. 1. It blocked abortion beginning at approximately six weeks of pregnancy — before many people even know they’re pregnant. The ban is causing emotional trauma and devastating, lasting harm to patients’ health and well-being.
“I grew up in a conservative, religious community in Iowa. I have struggled with my mental health for well over a decade. I have been diagnosed with an eating disorder, depression, and anxiety. I attempted suicide when I was just 12 years old. My mental health is now my priority, and I will do whatever I need to protect it. So when I found out I was pregnant two years ago— recently single, a week into a new job, alone in a new city — I never questioned what I would do. My very first thought was that I wanted to die. My next was that I needed to have an abortion. Risking my recovery and giving up everything I have worked for wasn’t an option. I put my mental health first.
I had my abortion when I was seven weeks along. About a year ago, Iowa passed a law banning abortion from the moment a fetal heartbeat is detected. Thankfully, in January a state judge ruled the law [violated] Iowa’s constitution. Iowa lawmakers would have forced me to carry my pregnancy to term — a woman struggling with an eating disorder, depression, and anxiety. The reasons an individual decides to have an abortion are personal and private, but the fact that some are unable to access care should be public concern. When I needed an abortion, I had so many privileges: a flexible work schedule, private health insurance, financial stability, a working car to carry me across state lines if I needed, and a support network.
There are millions of people who don’t have those things, and abortion should not be a privilege.”
“Twenty years ago, at age 31, I had a 3-and-a-half-year-old son and was pregnant with my second child. At a routine 20-week ultrasound, my husband and I found out that the baby had several heart defects. We went to see several specialists to see if his heart could be fixed after he was born. They told us that he would continue to live and grow in utero, but would die after birth. His heart had too many problems to fix. They could not tell us how long he would live, but that he would be in pain since he did not have a fully functioning heart. We decided to spare him the suffering and interrupted the pregnancy at 22 weeks.
I gave birth to my beautiful baby boy who weighed 1 pound. My husband and I held him until he passed away and even for a while afterward. It was a heartbreaking choice to let him go, but it was my choice and my husband’s choice with input from medical professionals. No government has the right to have a say in such personal and life-altering decisions. Terminations were allowed until 24 weeks in Texas at that time. A woman today in Texas does not have the option I had.”
“In August 2012, I just graduated from college, started my professional career at a government agency, and moved in with three roommates. I also found out I was 2-and-a-half months pregnant. I already knew what my decision was. I used my choice and decided to terminate my pregnancy. I went to Planned Parenthood in D.C. with my partner.
In the waiting room, I felt like I had inflicted a self-derogatory mark or scarlet letter on myself because I was getting an abortion. In my case, I knew being a parent wasn’t for me at the time. I wanted to pursue my career, be a more established parent, and couldn’t afford a child.
As I thought about my choice, I became more affirmed. I had three roommates in a three-bedroom apartment. The crib couldn't go in the living room. I was eliminating a cycle of poverty. I was the only person employed in my relationship. My partner was a fifth year senior in college. We couldn't afford a child on my salary alone.
I didn't see a foreseeable future with that partner, we never talked about having kids and we wouldn’t make a good parenting team. Most importantly I was affirmed in my values — providing the best life for my child as a financially stable, older, and more established parent. My doctor gave me pills for the medication abortion, a prescription for birth control, and medical school advice.
Six years later, I'm a career woman, a master's of public health candidate, and a future doctor. I'm also in a loving relationship with a partner with whom I foresee a future. In my experience at Planned Parenthood, I received the best care possible and exercised my choice.”
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