I grew up in a small town in southern Missouri. When I was 13 years old, the only Planned Parenthood that provided abortion services was forced to shut down. I remember asking my mother what women who wanted abortions would have to do, and she told me that she guessed that they would have to drive 4 hours to St. Louis to have that procedure.
Even at age 13, I was appalled by the repercussions of the clinic’s closure on all women, but was especially worried about the young women of my town. I realized that unless a young woman was old enough to drive, had a car, and could find a way to leave her home and job for a few days to drive to St. Louis, have the procedure, and recover enough to drive home, she didn’t have the option to chose to have an abortion.
At the moment I realized that women across the country did not have access to a safe, legal procedure because of the politics of the region in which they live was the moment I became a part of the pro-choice movement.
Although I did not have many chances for activism in my extremely conservative hometown, aside from loudly voicing my pro-choice thoughts to anyone who would listen (including very annoyed family members who didn’t like discussing abortion over Thanksgiving dinner), I came into my activist niche when I got to college. I immediately joined the College Democrats and my university’s pro-choice group, excited to distribute condoms on campus and work to register voters who would put pro-choice candidates in office.
Needless to say, I love working (and writing!) for the pro-choice movement and I believe that the fate of the movement lies in the hands of young women and men who are excited to make a difference and continue the fight for women’s rights and lives.