Women Share Abortion Stories With Supreme Court to Show Why Reproductive Rights Matter

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Amy Brenneman, who shared her abortion story with the Supreme Court.
Amy Brenneman, who shared her abortion story with the Supreme Court.Photo: Robin Marchant

More than 100 women have filed briefs with the Supreme Court sharing their personal abortion stories, in the hopes of illustrating just how important access to women’s reproductive health care is. On Wednesday, the Court will hear Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, No. 15-274, a case that could place restrictions on abortion access in Texas that would bring the number of clinics from 40 down to ten.

Amy Brenneman, a Harvard graduate and television actress, told the court that having an abortion when her birth control failed her when she was a student at age 21 allowed her to wait until she was married and financially stable to start a family:

Amy believes her access to an abortion at a time when she was not ready for motherhood allowed her to avoid the depression that would have accompanied the derailment of her life plans. It enabled her to exercise sovereignty over her body, to make clear-eyed decisions about who would be her life partner, and to determine for herself the time when she felt ready to be a responsible and nurturing parent. Without it, she probably would not have graduated from college or achieved her many goals. 

Episcopal Reverend Anne Fowler also shared how she had an abortion after discovering she was pregnant while enrolled in Divinity School:

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. 

The briefs are primarily aimed at Justice Anthony Kennedy, whose vote abortion advocates will need to win the case. So happy that a decision that will affect the health of millions of women lies in the hands of a single man.