What Roe Means to Me.

Today is the 38th anniversary of Roe V. Wade, and to honor it we’re sharing stories from our supporters of what Roe has meant to them. Want to share your story? Leave it in the comments below or email us. You can read the whole series here.

“I woke up one morning in March my freshman year of college with no memory of the night before. A month later I found out that I’d thrown up, passed out and was raped that night by an acquaintance. Before him I’d had only one sexual partner. The combination of the stress and the weight loss made my period stop. I thought I was pregnant, yet somehow, the thought didn’t make me more upset than I already was. Carrying a pregnancy to term didn’t have to be a consequence of my assault thanks to Roe v. Wade.

I knew I could go to Planned Parenthood. I knew they wouldn’t judge me. I knew they would tell me the truth. I knew I had a way to put the ordeal behind me thanks to Roe v. Wade. In the end, I wasn’t pregnant but my pregnancy scare was simply a drop in the trauma bucket rather than a life changing 9 month constant reminder of what had happened to me – because of Roe v. Wade.

Three years later my best friend found out she was pregnant a week before graduation. We were graduating into the great recession with no job prospects. Her boyfriend was two years younger and wouldn’t be earning money for years as he had plans for graduate school. We cried a lot. We sobbed. We still felt like kids. We were still in school. We had no autonomy. She wasn’t ready for a baby. She wasn’t ready to say goodbye to the rest of her life. She wasn’t ready to choose the path of motherhood.

Someday, we’ll both probably be mothers. Good mothers, I hope. We want the best for our future kids – with the partners we choose and in a time and circumstance that we choose.”

— Anonymous, 23

Want to share your story? Leave it in the comments below or email us.

What Roe Means to Louisa

In honor of the 38th anniversary of Roe V. Wade, we’re sharing stories from our supporters of what Roe has meant to them. Want to share your story? Leave it in the comments below or email us. You can read the whole series here.

“I first heard about Roe V. Wade in middle school history class; I didn’t think much about it at the time. I was raised Catholic so the only things I heard about abortion were that it was wrong.

A few years later, in U.S. History class in high school, while we were learning about the 1960s, our teacher asked us to break up into groups. Each member of the group was supposed to represent a different social movement of that time. I was assigned to represent “The Women’s Movement” and I had to discuss the issue of legalizing abortion. I thought about the messages I had heard about abortion growing up and then put myself in the shoes of the women at that time. Finally, it clicked. Women need safe and legal abortion as an option so they don’t have to resort to other unsafe options. Roe made that happen.

Ever since that moment when I took the time to actually consider the issue, I’ve been pro-choice. I believe that the women in my life are capable of making their own decisions and I really believe that all women should be given all the resources that provide them the agency to do so.

I think of the motto of the late Dr. George Tiller: “Trust women.” What a simple yet powerful statement. Women are people and women can make the best decisions for ourselves, our bodies, and our families.

However, there are people who don’t share my beliefs. With our new Speaker of the House, John Boehner, and the growing anti-choice movement, Roe is as fragile as ever. Roe needs to be celebrated, protected, and fought for because women’s lives are at stake.”

— Louisa, 25

Want to share your story? Leave it in the comments below or email us.

What Roe Meant to Angela

In honor of the 38th anniversary of Roe V. Wade, we’re sharing stories from our supporters of what Roe has meant to them. Want to share your story? Leave it in the comments below or email us. You can read the whole series here.

“Although I am now the mother of two wonderful adult children, I also am a lucky survivor of an illegal abortion done in a back woods shack in 1969 in Birmingham, Alabama.

As an 18 year old, I was too scared to tell my parents I was pregnant. I found a “doctor” in Birmingham from the nurse at my job in Miami. I raised cash from friends and flew to Birmingham where the “doctor” refused to perform a safe abortion but instead referred me to a local woman. The details are the stuff of dreadful nightmares: she picked me up in her Cadillac and took me to a shack in the woods where there was a bare lightbulb hanging, and dogs in the shack. She inserted a hose inside of me and packed it in with cotton, and drove me back to Birmingham where I had a room at YWCA. I flew back to Talahasse the next day and started to hemorrhage. Friends took me to the hospital, but they wouldn’t admit me without my mom’s consent. I had to have a friend say she was my mom, and when I got to hospital police were there kept asking who did this to you. I was terrified I’d to go to jail, but I survived, it’s a miracle, and went on to have these wonderful kids.

Unsafe abortions can be fatal! My husband is a neurologist, and during his internship at Bellevue Hospital in NYC he saw too many women arrive in the same condition I was in, but too late to save. Please don’t let us return to the dark ages of unwanted pregnancies and unsafe abortions.”

— Angela, 58

Want to share your story? Leave it in the comments below or email us.

What Roe Means to Merav

In honor of the 38th anniversary of Roe V. Wade, we’re sharing stories from our supporters of what Roe has meant to them. Want to share your story? Leave it in the comments below or email us. You can read the whole series here.

“Right after graduating from college, moving out of my dorm and into an apt, I got my first job, working 12 hours a day and being paid very little. On week 4 of the job my paycheck still hadn’t arrived and my first rent check for my first month, last month and security deposit bounced, creating a huge overdraft in my bank account. That was also the day I discovered I was pregnant.

I was 28 years old, not a teenager, but in no way could support myself, let alone a baby. My family, in its entirety, lives abroad, so no help there. I would have to quit the job I barely started, and I had no health insurance, no income, and the guy I got pregnant with I had no intentions staying in any sort of relations with.

When I arrived at Planned Parenthood it was literally – what do you want to do, when do you want to do it, how, and where. And this was all that I needed. In addition, they made sure that I realized that right after the abortion I was very fertile, and approved me for a free IUD, which I still am happily using currently, 4 years later.

I am now working in a steady job, making more than enough to live on, in a loving and stable 3.5 year relationship, and could not have been more thankful to Planned Parenthood for their help.”

— Merav, 33

Want to share your story? Leave it in the comments below or email us.

What Roe V. Wade Means to Me

This Saturday, January 22, marks the 38th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court decision that ruled that the right to privacy in the U.S. Constitution protects the right of a woman to choose whether to continue a pregnancy to term or to have an abortion.

Two generations of Americans have grown up with Roe v. Wade as the law of the land, and Americans still strongly support this decision. According to a recent Hart Research poll, 62 percent of voters oppose overturning the landmark decision.

Unfortunately, anti-choice politicians are doing more than ever to restrict access and the availability of abortion. Legislation is being introduced in Congress to strip family planning funding and restrict access, and every day it seems like another state is introducing a law to further restrict the procedure.

That’s why, on this anniversary, we’re taking time to tell individual stories. A number of our supporters have shared with us what Roe means to them – whether it’s having access to a needed medical procedure, a memory of an illegal abortion, or the importance of knowing that they are able to have control over their own bodies and reproductive health decisions.

We’re reminding people that this isn’t just a political issue, and it’s not about the numbers. This issue affects real women and real women’s lives, and those are the women whose stories we’re telling.

Do you have a story to tell too? Then let us know in the comments, or send us an email! Otherwise, read on, and please, share as widely as possible.

Newly Designed NYC Condoms Hit The Streets

NYC Condom

Just spotted in our health center — the latest in NYC condoms with a “power” button front and center.

Clever pun? Ripoff of our “Planning is Power” (PDF) campaign from a few years ago?

Tell us, what do you think of the new design?

What you should have read, but might have missed, last week.

Here are a few of the stories we’ve been paying attention to:

That’s all we’ve got. What have you been reading?

Day of Action 2011 – PPNYC Activists Head to Albany!

On Monday, January 10th we hopped on a bus with our fiercely dedicated, pro-choice activists and took a road trip up to Albany.

Why? It was the first day of the 2011 legislative session and we wanted to make sure our priorities were heard! We (close to 400 activists from across the state!) greeted our state representatives as they returned to work and let them know that Health Care Reform Implementation, Family Planning Funding and passage of the The Reproductive Health Act must be at the top of their to-do list.

In case you weren’t able to join us, here are some highlights:

Pre-trip Lobby Training: We practiced our skills before the big day.

Bus trip: A 3-hour road trip with pro-choice activists! Sure we left NYC at 7:00am, but there was coffee, doughnuts & enthusiasm.

activists on the bus

A speaking line-up full of Albany’s biggest supporters of women’s health:

“We will work will our colleagues to pass The Reproductive Health Act THIS legislative session” -Speaker Silver

Speaker Silver

“Birth control without cost will improve the health of women”- Senator Sampson

“NY is and should remain a pro-choice state”- Governor Cuomo’s staff

Lobby Visits: We met with Assembly Members and Senators from all 5 burroughs!

Here we are with Assembly Member Dick Gottfried, Chair of the Assembly Health Committee and 100% pro-choice champion.

Assembly Member Goddfried

Many thanks to our activists for making this year’s Day of Action a huge success!!

What you should have read, but might have missed, this week.

Here’s what we’ve been reading:

That’s all we’ve got. What have you been reading?

Responding to the Archbishop of New York


You may or may not have heard, but the Archbishop of New York held a press conference today on our rates of abortion (which have been available for a while, via the NYC DOH).

We’ve issued a press statement, which you can find below. Or just catch us talking about it on the news tonight, on:

NBC Channel 4: between 5-6:30pm

Fox 5 News: between 5-7pm

ABC Channel 7: between 6-7pm

New York1: between 8-9pm



Prebuttal by Planned Parenthood of New York City to announced press conference by the

Chiaroscuro Foundation and Archbishop Timothy Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York

January 6, 2011 (New York, NY) – Today Archbishop Timothy Dolan will join the Chiaroscuro Foundation in commenting on abortion provision in New York City.


Joan Malin, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of New York City, issued the following statement as a prebuttal:


We believe that today’s press conference will revisit previously released data concerning New Yorker’s access to abortion.


The unplanned pregnancy rate in New York City is impacted by a myriad of societal factors, including access to information and education, access to birth control, and intimate partner violence, among others. Planned Parenthood works every day to address those underlining issues and we invite the Archdiocese of New York and its partner organizations in this press conference to join in making sure that every young person in New York City has access to comprehensive sex education and access to birth control information and usage.


In the years immediately before New York State legalized safe abortion in 1970, hospitals had separate septic abortion wards for women who were bleeding, injured and infected due to illegal abortions. After legalization, there was a dramatic decrease in the number of women dying due to complications of illegal abortions.  Maternal mortality fell, because women had many more and much safer options when facing a potentially life-threatening pregnancy complication.


Restricting access to abortion will never change the reasons why women choose to have an abortion. We know that women are moral decision makers quite capable of deciding what is best for them and their families. Restricting and criminalizing abortion will force women into making dangerous and sometimes life-threatening decisions as they seek out unsafe abortions.


I am proud that New York City is a place where women can access the health care they need, and that we are able to allow women to make the best decisions for themselves, their circumstances, and their families.


We look forward to hearing how today’s press conference organizers plan on helping the thousands of young women and men who face unplanned pregnancies each year.





Since 1916, Planned Parenthood of New York City (PPNYC) has been an advocate for and provider of reproductive health services and education for New Yorkers.  Serving more than 50,000 clients annually, PPNYC’s health care centers in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Staten Island offer reproductive health services, including gynecological care, contraception, pregnancy testing, abortion, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, and HIV testing and counseling.  Through a threefold mission of clinical services, education, and advocacy, PPNYC is bringing better health and more fulfilling lives to each new generation of New Yorkers.   As a voice for reproductive freedom, PPNYC supports legislation and policies to ensure that all New Yorkers—and, in fact, people around the world—will have access to the full range of reproductive health care services and information.