Gov. Matt Bevin’s crusade against abortion is not about protecting women; it’s about controlling them. His attempt to restrict access to this common, safe and legal medical procedure is at best embarrassing and, at worst, could ruin lives.
As a teenager, I was involved with someone much older who was coercive and violent, and I became pregnant. I did not want to have a baby with my abuser or become a parent at 16. Getting the required parental consent wasn’t an option. I sought a judicial bypass, which required convincing a judge that it was in my best interest to not involve my parents in this decision. I was scared, but, thankfully, the judge granted my request.
The health center where I had the abortion referred me to Planned Parenthood for a follow-up, where I was met with the most compassionate and best quality health care I’d ever received. Planned Parenthood connected me with the support I needed to leave my abuser, made sure I had access to birth control and provided me with cervical-cancer screening. For the first time in awhile, I felt like I had control.
The health center where I had my abortion gave me back my body, and Planned Parenthood gave me back my agency. I refuse to let Bevin or anyone else take that away.