Share Your Story
One of the most important jobs of Congress is to represent the best interests of the people that we serve. So we're asking you to share your story with us.
- What does access to legal and safe reproductive health care mean to you?
- What if you could not get birth control?
- What if your local Planned Parenthood and other providers were forced to shut down?
- What if you had to travel hundreds of miles to find a doctor or clinic that provides abortion services?
- What if abortion was no longer legal and safe in this country?
- How might fetal tissue research benefit you or someone you love?
As Ranking Member of the Select Panel, I will work to put the focus where it belongs: on protecting women in America and ensuring your access to health care, including the full range of critical reproductive health care services.
"I have a history of ovarian cysts and twice have required surgery, at ages 8 and 14. After my second surgery, the doctor informed me that I should take contraceptives, because if it happened again, I might be infertile."
“I have dysmenorrhea, a condition that makes menstruation debilitatingly painful. Before I started taking oral contraceptives, the pain from [the condition] caused me to miss up to two days of school per month. The pain could not be reduced by over-the-counter or prescription painkillers.”
“I became pregnant at age 18, during my first year of college, due to a contraceptive failure. College was a means of escape from a family plagued with violence and alcohol and drug addiction. I had nowhere to turn for the significant financial or emotional support that raising a child would require. Going “home” was simply not an option for me, as it was there I was subjected to physical abuse by my older brother. The legality and availability of abortion allowed me to terminate my pregnancy, stay in school and continue on to law school.”
“More than thirty years [ago], when she was a single mother serving in the Ohio Air National Guard, Representative Fedor had been raped by an active duty member of the Air Force. She had never brought charges for this crime, concerned that women in her situation are “more often blamed than believed.” When she learned that she had become pregnant, she terminated the pregnancy at a nearby Ohio clinic. The decision was not made lightly—Representative Fedor was the oldest daughter in a Catholic family of seven children—but she felt it was the best decision for her. Representative Fedor was grateful that in the early years after this Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), this option was readily available to her.”
“Kate Banfield – wife, mother of three, and childhood education specialist – was a 19-year-old freshman in the class of 1990 at Stanford University when she accidentally became pregnant in the spring of 1987... She was living with her parents and working as a waitress when she learned she was pregnant. Kate had always wanted to be a mother…But Kate also knew that if she did not terminate the pregnancy, she would not be able to continue at the university she had worked so hard to reach... Kate was raised Catholic. At the time she had her abortion, she was concerned that her parents would not accept her decision. She recently informed her father of her abortion for the first time ... He said that while he may not have agreed with her decision at the time, he acknowledges that it was her decision to make and in retrospect he definitely agrees with the choice she made for herself. Kate was at the beginning of adulthood when she became pregnant. Her choice to have an abortion allowed her to define and control her destiny. Kate has never regretted her decision to terminate her pregnancy. She is deeply committed to the belief that all women should have the same access she had to a safe and carefully administered abortion. ”
“Jo Baxter – married, mother of two – had an abortion in 1965, when she was a junior at the University of Nebraska. She and her boyfriend did not have access to birth control. ... Abortion was illegal in Nebraska in 1965 unless necessary to save the life of the pregnant woman. But Jo and her boyfriend learned of a chiropractor in Kansas who performed abortions. Because her abortion would be illegal, Jo had to overcome her fear that she would be caught. She was also scared because of her lack of knowledge of the procedure. She had the abortion without analgesia or sedation, and was in agonizing pain for several hours after the procedure. But Jo felt tremendous relief after the abortion was over. ... Jo has never regretted her decision to have an abortion. Her only regret is that the lack of access in 1965 made the experience more difficult and physically painful than it should have been. Jo believes that if she had carried the pregnancy, she would not have been able to finish her education, let alone enjoy her successful career. Her ability to choose the timing of her children meant she could build a life for herself, support and care for her family, and enjoy personal and professional success. She believes all women should have access to legal, safe abortions.”
“Amy had an abortion in 1986, when she was a 21-year-old junior at Harvard. She got pregnant by her long-term boyfriend even though they used birth control. They had no doubt that an abortion was the right choice. Amy felt great relief after it was over. She remembers turning on the television and finding a group of politicians – all men – debating whether women should have the right to an abortion. How strange, she thought, that they could speak so confidently without addressing the enormous impact of an unwanted pregnancy on a woman.”
“If the Reverend Anne Fowler had not had access to an abortion when she accidentally became pregnant after enrolling in Divinity School, she would never have been able to graduate, to serve as a parish rector, or to help the enormous number of people whose lives she has touched. Unable to pursue her calling or to be the mother she wanted to be for the daughter she already had, she would have been broken. ... For the last two years, after becoming semiretired, Anne has volunteered as a chaplain at Planned Parenthood. She meets many pregnant women who are very young or struggling economically or emotionally. Many already have children and could not handle more. Their abortions are often lifesaving. Anne believes there should be reproductive justice, which means equal access for all women without having to travel further than they would for other health care.”