The recent anti-choice misinformation campaign around abortion care in Virginia has sparked a national conversation. It’s time to have an open dialogue about abortion and to set the record straight – the medical community, patients and Virginians agree: abortion should be safe, legal, and accessible, and efforts to deny care serve only to harm patients.

We know this orchestrated misinformation campaign is deceitful and void of facts because we are Virginia’s abortion patients and families.

We are joining together to have our voices heard because we are alarmed by the lies and hateful rhetoric being spread about us and abortion care. We welcome a thoughtful, transparent, and medically accurate dialogue about abortion. The focus should be on the facts and the people most impacted, not the inflammatory and inaccurate information being peddled by vocal anti-choice activists.

The fact is – abortion is safe and it should be legal and accessible. Moreover, efforts to deny care only harm patients like ourselves and the tens of thousands of other Virginians who share this deeply personal experience.

We hope that by coming forward we can help set the record straight about abortion care and bring to light the reality of the people who make these very personal medical decisions every day. While we can only speak for ourselves, we want to make it clear that the decision to have an abortion was right for us and our families.

It’s critical that all Virginians have the opportunity to make this important decision in consultation with their health care provider, not politicians.

We can no longer sit idly by while anti-choice activists seek to advance their ideological agenda. Politicians for too long have tried to undermine access to this medical procedure to score political points. But politicians are not medical experts, and this is not an area where they should be interfering. Their efforts to spread lies and misinformation about abortion should be viewed for what they really are – a campaign to push abortion completely out of reach and criminalize patients and medical professionals. These deeply personal decisions need to be made by patients, families, and doctors.

We understand that conversations around abortion can be uncomfortable, but we urge you to read and listen to our stories with the kind of compassion you would want if you or someone you loved were faced with making this personal decision.

We thank you for taking the time out of your day to hear from people who have had an abortion. We urge you to join us in ensuring our friends, neighbors, colleagues, and family who face the same circumstances receive compassionate care; as well as greater empathy, trust, and understanding from our community.

Signed,

Christie Brooks, Fredericksburg, Virginia

Alicia Hupprich, Fredericksburg, Virginia

Lindsey Paradiso, Ladysmith, Virginia

Audrey Ford, Arlington, Virginia

Rebecca Gotwalt, Chantilly, Virginia

Rachel Scruggs, Chantilly, Virginia

Jane Anthony, Fairfax, Virginia

Sally Hill Cooper, Arlington, Virginia

Monique Alcala, Alexandria, Virginia

Miriam Kleiman & Jason Steinbaum, Mclean, Virginia

Peggy Meder, *pregnancy story, Norfolk, Virginia

Heather Browne, Fairfax, Virginia (story published in the book “Our Only Time” by Amie Lands.)

 

Heather Browne and husband

 

 

 

 

 

 

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