Last year I called the Jane’s Due Process hotline when I found out I was just a few weeks pregnant. I was already a mother to a nine-month-old baby boy and a two-year-old little girl. On top of that, I was a junior in high school and the captain of the track team. I loved running track and was already receiving early college offers. I did not have any parents or legal guardians present in my life, and I found myself pregnant and didn’t want to be. My options appeared pretty dismal.
During this time, I was couch-surfing with my two babies–I never really knew where I’d be sleeping the next night. I explained to Jane’s Due Process that I didn’t have the love and support of my family. My father was in prison, my mother had been missing most of my life, and the woman who had raised me had recently had a stroke and was immobile. Bad things just kept happening.
When I talked with the people at Jane’s Due Process, I explained that getting a judicial bypass was not my only concern. I didn’t have any transportation to and from my clinic appointment and court dates; I needed someone to watch my children while I attended my appointments; and I needed help paying for my sonogram and abortion. True, I couldn’t get an abortion without a judicial bypass, but I also couldn’t get an abortion without money, transportation, and childcare. I felt like I was doomed and would have to give birth again. I couldn’t bear that thought.
The woman from the hotline asked me if I was on birth control. When I said no, she asked me why. I guess that’s fair, but it’s really hard to get birth control in Texas when you don’t have any parents. Even when I was already the mother of two children, doctors couldn’t prescribe me birth control because I didn’t have parental consent. That seemed a little crazy to me. But, apparently, there is another little-known option: In Texas there are clinics called “Title X” clinics that offer birth control to minors without parental consent. This was news to me, but also a huge relief. Using the clinic finder on the Jane’s Due Process website, I was able to find a clinic relatively close to me and get on birth control. They even used a sliding scale, so I didn’t have to pay too much money.
In the end, I was OK.
Though my situation originally looked pretty hopeless, I’m lucky to have gotten help. I didn’t want to be pregnant. I didn’t want to have another baby; I didn’t have room for another baby; I didn’t have money for another baby; I didn’t have the means to carry a healthy baby. I didn’t want to be forced to have a baby. I wanted something else entirely, and Jane’s Due Process helped me.
This story was written as a narrative by the hotline staffer who worked closely with *Destiny over a number of weeks.
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