Over one-third of women of reproductive age have an abortion by the age of 45. However, women who have chosen abortion are often absent from the public debate. In order to break the silence surrounding abortion, we will be featuring real stories from real women each Wednesday on our blog. If you would like to share your story with us or have it published on our blog, go to http://www.prochoice.org/pregnant/hotline/share.html.
When I was 28 years old, I had completely depleted my savings account. I decided to drop out of my graduate program in order to find a better-paying job than the one I had. My husband was in school, and had a lot of student loans. Then the economy fell apart. The job search was a long and difficult process.
My husband and I had lost our health insurance when I left school, but for about $400 I took out a temporary plan with one of the big companies, that would last three months. It didn’t cover any costs relating to pregnancy or abortion, but I wasn’t particularly worried about that. I had no plans of getting pregnant. I was taking my birth control pills as prescribed.
The next month I missed a period, and bought a pregnancy test just in case. It was positive.
Since my temporary insurance plan did not cover any costs associated with pregnancy, childbirth, or abortion, I followed the suggestion of the health center staff and applied for medical assistance through the local county office. My state does cover the cost of abortion for women who qualify for medical assistance. But first I had to qualify. I submitted tax records and bank account statements for me and my husband. I submitted my husband’s student loan records and records of my wages. I wrote a statement explaining how I had a temporary insurance plan that offered no coverage for abortion. I spent of lot of time waiting in line.
My abortion was a deep decision, one I was certain about, but one that challenged me to think deeply about my life path. I don’t want my health care options ruled by people who would impose their views on me. I’m able-bodied, well-educated, and married. But I’m poor. I can’t even imagine how difficult the process of getting an abortion would be for a woman who isn’t as privileged as I. The lack of insurance coverage is one piece we need to fix. I will fight for it.
–Submitted by Katie* through our website
*Name has been changed to protect patient privacy.