What was lost, what was gained: Women share abortion stories with the Supreme Court

Theresa Vargas

Document Publication: The Washington Post-Washington, DC

Publication Date: April 11, 2016

Excerpt below.  Read the entire article at TheWashingtonPost.com.

Kate Banfield and Tammy ­Romo-Alcala have never met. But more than 25 years ago, the two women found themselves in the same position: freshmen in college, pregnant and scared of derailing all they had worked toward.

Both women, on a day each recalls vividly, walked into a Dallas abortion clinic.

It’s what happened when they walked out, and in the weeks and decades that followed, that places them on opposite ends of the most significant abortion case to be heard by the Supreme Court in a quarter of a century.

Banfield, who graduated from college and is now a mother of three, said she has no regrets. “I knew I did what was right for myself,” she said.

Romo-Alcala, who dropped out of school and had two children before undergoing a hysterectomy at age 28, said she should have had the baby. “Women need to know your life doesn’t go on being the same,” she said.

The landmark Supreme Court case that legalized abortion nationwide,Roe v. Wade, was built around an anonymous woman. No one knew that “Jane Roe” was really Norma McCorvey (now an abortion opponent) until after a decision was reached in 1973. More than 40 years later, as the high court prepares to make a ruling in a case challenging Texas’s stringent abortion regulations, the justices have heard from more than 200 women in friend-of-the-court briefs who have publicly disclosed their private abortion experiences, along with their names.


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