All I wanted was to finish high school and get a college degree. And most importantly, I didn’t want to have a child from my rapist.

by Amy Jochsett

October 20, 2016

Anyone who opposes abortion access should know what it’s like to have an illegal abortion. I grew up in Mexico, where abortion is illegal and very stigmatized. When I was 16 I was sexually assaulted by a family member and became pregnant. My body became numb when the nurse told me I was pregnant, it just didn’t feel real. I didn’t know what to do or who to talk to. All I wanted to finish high school and get a college degree but most importantly, I didn’t want to have a child from my rapist.

I knew abortion wasn’t legal but that didn’t stop me.

I searched the internet and found an unlicensed provider that was willing to help me. I did anything I could to raise the money for my procedure, I sang in buses and cleaned people’s houses for almost 3 weeks. On the day of the procedure, the provider asked me if I wanted to call someone before he began: “You may wanna call someone just in case you don’t wake up.” Although I was sedated, I ended up waking up towards the end of the procedure. It felt like my insides were burning. I thought I wasn’t going to make it. After everything was done I went home to recover alone. Later that night I was taken to the ER by a neighbor due to a severe uterine infection with high fever and a hemorrhage. The abortion was really dangerous, it was very scary and I nearly died because it had to be done secretly without the proper safety procedures. After my recovery, I decided to move to the U.S to finish my education.

Shortly after moving, I learned that my state has one of the toughest abortion laws in the country, so I decided to start volunteering at Planned Parenthood with my friends. I wasn’t familiar with Planned Parenthood at the time but I knew I wanted to be an advocate for reproductive justice.

With time, I became a little bit more comfortable talking about abortion, but for some reason I still didn’t feel confident enough to tell my story outside of my safe space. #ShoutYourAbortion helped me realize that I wasn’t alone and that I had nothing to be ashamed of. Reading the stories of all those women made me feel stronger, accepted and allowed me to heal. Suddenly, I wasn’t afraid anymore. I want to tell my story so people understand the dangers of restricting abortion access. I don’t want anyone else to ever had to go through what I went through.

Remember that our stories are ours to tell. We’d love to hear your story too!