Thirty things people seeking an abortion shouldn’t have to do

Illustration by João Fazenda.
  1. Be in this position at all.
  2. Have their private sex life become public knowledge.
  3. Become pregnant despite using birth control and other responsible practices. 
  4. Become pregnant even if they did not do the above and be vilified for being human. 
  5. Become pregnant as a result of rape.
  6. Realize they are pregnant with the child of their rapist.
  7. Become pregnant as a result of incest. 
  8. Realize they are pregnant with a child that is not only their son or daughter, but also their sister, brother, niece, nephew, or cousin.
  9. Need parental consent to obtain an abortion because they are ten years old.    
  10. Have their personal decisions dictated by the will of six glorified lawyers, five of whom were appointed by presidents that lost the popular vote and confirmed by a legislative body that represents a minority of the U.S. population.   
  11. Essentially become the property of the state.   
  12. Have their gender identity scorned for being able to conceive despite identifying as trans or non-binary. 
  13. Be told they should have used birth control when it isn’t covered by their health insurance due to their employer’s religious beliefs. 
  14. Be told by whoever said this that condoms are still readily available.  
  15. Have anyone else’s religious beliefs factor into this situation. Like those of their employer, or the Justices of the Supreme Court.  
  16.  Be told that the right to an abortion was not specified in the Constitution, a document written entirely by white male slaveowners centuries before the procedure as we know it today existed.
  17. Read the offers to go “camping” on the social media pages of their well-intentioned but tone-deaf friends.
  18. Be refused their help anyway out of fear that they could be sued by some random stranger halfway across the country.
  19. Travel hundreds or thousands of miles to a state or neighboring country that allows abortions, risking legal repercussions from the same stranger.     
  20. Pay unmanageable costs while traveling due to inflation and the exorbitant cost of airline, train, or bus tickets, gasoline, food, lodging, etc. 
  21. Lose significant amounts of pay or their job entirely because their employer won’t grant them time off for lifesaving medical care. Lose their health insurance in the process.  
  22. Turn off location services on their smartphone that may reveal their location despite needing it for navigation, insurance info (which they just lost), and communications with loved ones (if they are still on speaking terms at this point). 
  23. Check into a hotel under a man’s name to deflect attention from themselves while they seek treatment.
  24. Be denied access to abortion services the next day due to changes in legislation or federal defunding that went into immediate effect prior to their arrival.  
  25. Carry their child to term with no affordable access to prenatal care or basic healthcare in the interim. 
  26. Deliver their child in an inhospitable location because they can’t afford hospital admission. 
  27. Drop their child off at a fire station or police station to allow them to become a ward of the state.  
  28. Live with the knowledge that they’ve potentially condemned the child to a life of poverty and systemic disadvantage due to the sorry state of our foster care system and social safety net. Possibly deal with post-partum depression as well.
  29. Encounter serious complications after delivery due to a lack of access to affordable medical care.       
  30. Die. 

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