How are women's lives affected?

There are as many ways to answer this question as there are women in the world.

We could tell you that over 200,000 women every year need help paying for an abortion.

We could tell you that out of every four women enrolled in Medicaid who seek an abortion, one has to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term because she can’t find money for her abortion.

We could tell you that the Hyde Amendment has interfered with the lives and most profound decisions of over one million women since it was enacted.

But we can’t tell you anything that a woman couldn’t express better herself.

These are the real stories of abortion access.

Click here to share your story

Sonia has 5 kids and her husband was just laid off.

I love my big family...and I love my children too much to have another baby right now.

My husband and I have five children. We love kids and we love having a big family. But when my husband got laid off from his contractor job, having a big family got really hard.

When I found out I was pregnant again, it was terrifying. We love the idea of another child -- but we love the children we have too much to add that kind of stress to our family right now.

I'm only working part-time and I couldn't get maternity leave, so I might not be able to keep my job with another little one. I hated that we had to make this decision, but it turned out that making the decision was the easiest part. Because then we had to find the money to pay for an abortion.

We started taking stuff to the pawn shop: our vacuum cleaner, my wedding ring, our family television, the old desktop computer. When that wasn't enough, we took my husband's tools and his drills.

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We'll be short on food money for a while.

When Leila couldn't afford her abortion, she tried to sell her diaper bag to other women in the clinic.

My son is 11 months old with a serious birth defect. He’s been in and out of intensive care for his whole life and has three or four doctor’s appointments every month. After he was born, I had to drop out of college and I lost my job because of all the appointments. My son’s medical care is covered by Medicaid, but it won’t cover my abortion. 

How can I find the money for an abortion when there’s not enough for diapers? And how could I raise two babies when the one I have now needs all that I have to give?

I just moved to this state to live with my best friend and her baby. We thought that we could do better if we worked together, took care of each other. 

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Getting an abortion means getting a second chance

Darcy is 14 and she needs help paying for an abortion that will cost more than the family's rent.

I'm pretty smart for 14, I think. I love biology, especially the stuff on animals. I'm pretty sure I'm going to be a vet -- I definitely want to start my own practice so that I make enough money and when I have kids I can be home with them. My mom doesn't get to do that very much. She works way too hard to support me and my sister.

My mom has tried my whole life to shield me from being hurt. Our life’s been so hard, and she’s always trying to protect me from stuff. I thought it would be too hard for her to know that I was pregnant and trying to get an abortion. But in the state where I live, minors can't get an abortion without permission from a parent or a judge. So I did end up telling her. It hurt her to know and I hated adding to the stress in her life, but in the end she was there with me and supporting me.

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Virginia lives in federal prison.

Twenty weeks ago, she was sexually assaulted. She has no money for an abortion and her family is unable to help.

Virginia is 26 years old. Right now, she’s living in a federal prison in Pennsylvania. While in prison, she was sexually assaulted by a member of the prison staff.

It’s pretty common for women living in prison to have irregular periods. Stress, poor nutrition, and unusual sleeping patterns can all affect your menstrual cycle.

So by the time Virginia realized that she was pregnant, she was in the second trimester. Which meant that time was of the essence. Which meant she’d need to figure out how to find a clinic and arrange transportation for two separate doctor’s visits. Which meant that the abortion would be very expensive – nearly $3,000.  

Which meant she needed help.

Virginia’s family didn’t have money to help her pay for her abortion…and they didn’t have money to raise another child.

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After I reached the abortion fund, I slept for the first time in weeks.

Now my husband and I can plan for how to take care of our family.

I'm a married mother of three children ages 6, 3 and 2. My husband and I have struggled with our business since mid-2008 and he recently accepted a part-time employment opportunity with a previous employer so that we can have more financial security. However, we had hoped I would've been able to find employment myself by this time. We had to cancel our health insurance because it was $600 a month and we needed that money to pay our rent and heating bills. 

I realized I was pregnant two months ago and we've just been sitting here praying that we'll come up with the money needed to pay to terminate the pregnancy. I couldn't even sleep anymore, fearing that it may be too late at that point and feeling "forced" to have a child I didn't feel equipped emotionally or financially to care for. 

During the day sometimes, I locked myself in the bathroom so that my kids couldn’t see me cry.

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