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‘Reproductive justice’ advocate details her lockdown abortion experience: ‘Will I get stuck pregnant?’

A “reproductive justice” advocate’s essay in Newsweek has gone viral after she documented her experience in obtaining an abortion during the COVID-19 pandemic.

What are the details?

Nik Zaleski, who is also a playwright, cultural strategist, and director — writes, “I had an abortion in California during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

In the essay, Zaleski says that she has worked tirelessly over the past 10 years to “protect abortion access” through organizing, facilitating, and storytelling.

“Back in March,” she admitted in the piece, “I made a difficult decision.”

That decision? Not an existential battle over whether to kill her child or let he or she live — but “whether to go outside (or not) to get an abortion.”

Needless to say, the reproductive justice advocate opted to leave the house in order to get an abortion, because she said she believed it to be “essential.”

“[S]hould we go outside and potentially expose ourselves to the virus or stay home with a pregnancy we don’t want to continue?” she wrote.

You know what she ended up doing, of course.

Heading to Planned Parenthood

“On March 16,” she wrote, “the day the ‘shelter in place’ order was announced in certain parts of California, I pulled up to the parking lot of my local Planned Parenthood to begin a medication abortion.”

“I glanced at my phone before going in to find a text from my friend,” she continued.

The message, Zaleski said, read, “California is about to announce that six counties, including ours, won’t be allowed to leave our homes until April 7. … Get everything you need before mass hysteria.”

“In the steps between the car and the clinic doors, I worried,” she admitted. “Will I get stuck pregnant?”

Zaleski said that she entered the facility with one worry on her mind: Whether she’d be able to obtain her “necessary” abortion.

“When it was my turn [in line], I told the receptionist I had just heard the news about sheltering in place,” she recalled. “‘Am I allowed to be here?’ I asked. ‘Of course,’ she assured me.”

Zaleski said that she took a deep breath and “silently thanked God.”

She was able to obtain the abortion via pharmaceutical treatment and she went home to count her blessings and privileges as a “white, young, healthy, able-bodied, insured” American.

“I am now thinking about all of the people who are currently trying to get the abortion access they need,” she wrote. “Should [abortion patients] follow the CDC’s guidance and cancel travel or get on a bus, plane, train, or car to cross a state line for care?”

Feeling for women who want an abortion but face red tape

Zaleski said that she felt fear for those women who elected to have an abortion, only to discover red tape because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I think of everyone who has to travel hundreds of miles because they happen to live in Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, or West Virginia — states with only one clinic that offers abortion services,” she mused. “And I think of those who may have to travel long distances for a later procedure. They will all have to make the same decision that I did — whether or not to go outside.”

Zaleski said that she was able to experience on a small scale — about “seven minutes” — the anxiety that women who can’t get their “necessary” abortions, and felt for them.

“That seven minutes is why I work to ensure everyone who wants an abortion is able to get one,” she boasted. “Without barriers and without fear.”

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‘It makes my day’ when abortion patients come back to me for another, physician says

A physician who provides abortions wrote on Twitter that he was happy when patients who had previously gotten an abortion from him returned to get another.

Joe Nelson, who describes himself on Twitter as “your friendly neighborhood abortion provider,” and who has tweeted with the hashtag #ShoutYourAbortion, said it’s a “huge compliment” for these patients to return.

“Every single day, I see patients who I’ve seen before for abortion services but end up with another undesired pregnancy,” Nelson wrote Saturday. “When they come back, they are often quite embarrassed to be in that position again and are worried we might be judging them. We don’t.”

“In fact, as a family physician who does exclusively abortion work now, it makes my day to see a familiar face,” Nelson continued. “Those of us who do this work understand that this can happen to anyone at any time, and we take it as a huge compliment if you trust us with your care again.”

According to statistics provided by the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, there were 862,000 abortions performed in the United States in 2017.

After the tweet gained attention, Nelson addressed pro-life users who had responded negatively to him, calling them “part of the problem.”

Nelson seems to be erroneously conflating opposition to killing unborn babies with mistreatment or judgment of women, which is a common stance taken by pro-abortion advocates to undermine the pro-life position. He then applies that logic to reach the conclusion that supporting women means celebrating abortion, to the point where it can “make your day” to see someone having to get another one.

To be pro-life doesn’t mean to think that women who get one, or even multiple abortions are bad people. But it’s a mistake to assert that the refusal to affirm a such a choice is equivalent to judgment or condemnation.

Pro-life advocates can agree with people like Nelson who decry the shaming and blaming of women who get abortions—women who have made or are considering making that difficult choice need and deserve support, empathy and compassion. But that support cannot expand to celebration if they again find themselves in the position of ending an innocent life.

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Alabama Democrat introduces bill requiring men to get vasectomies after age 50 or after third child

An Alabama Democratic lawmaker is retaliating against the state’s pro-life law by introducing a bill that would require all men to get a vasectomy shortly after turning 50 years old, or after the birth of their third child, according to Yellowhammer News.

State Rep. Rolanda Hollis filed House Bill 238 in an attempt to place reproductive restrictions on men since the state voted to criminalize abortion. Because the law in Alabama (which is not in effect due to legal obstacles related to Roe v. Wade) makes the killing of unborn children illegal, Hollis apparently believes that men should not be able to father children after a certain point in life.

“Under existing law, there are no restrictions on the reproductive rights of men,” the bill’s synopsis reads. “This bill would require a man to undergo a vasectomy within one month of his 50th birthday or the birth of his third biological child, whichever comes first.”

The bill specifies that the vasectomy must be obtained at the man’s own expense.

The bill is clearly an attempt to make a point about so-called reproductive rights and not a legislative proposal with a serious chance at passage, and the apparent comparison of a vasectomy to an abortion is imperfect, to say the least.

Alabama’s law criminalizes the performing of an abortion on the basis that a child in the womb is deserving of the same right to life as a child outside the womb, and that an abortion unjustly ends a human life. The law does not require a woman to pay for an invasive, life-changing procedure. In fact, it does the exact opposite.

In theory, a law requiring men to get vasectomies after a third child or after age 50 would hinder the reproductive rights of women nearly as much as men, considering women may also want large families or may desire to have children with a spouse or partner who is 50 or older.

During debate over Alabama’s abortion law last year, Hollis made another comparison when she read a poem titled, “If my Vagina was a Gun,” to express her opposition to the law.