So, when I found out that I was pregnant as a high school senior, I knew that the decision to get an abortion was going to be a pivotal part of my identity moving forward. Despite all the negative messaging my entire life, I knew immediately that getting the abortion was the correct choice for me, and I that I was going to end a pregnancy that I didn’t want, no matter what. I simply was not going to continue to be pregnant if I didn’t want to be.
The entire experience was stressful, but not because of the abortion itself. Because of all of the state-mandated barriers required by the conservative, Republican leadership in Texas, and the pervasive stigma that I had been absorbing my entire life.
The abortion itself was an empowering act. It was the first time that I truly experienced autonomy and agency and power over my own life and body. The experience was similarly important to the development of my political identity, because it was the first time I experienced the impact of politics, policy, and just how engrained abortion stigma is in our society.