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Sarah, 21

I have always been very open about the fact that I am pro-choice. Ashley, a girl I went to high school with, knocked on my dorm room door. She was crying and asked for my help. She found out two days before that she was pregnant. She had already broken up with the guy she had been seeing. When she went to his room to tell him about the pregnancy, he told her that it wasn't his problem and that he needed to go to the airport to pick up his girlfriend. Apparently, the whole time they had been dating he'd been in a long distance relationship with someone else.

Ashley was from a small town in the middle of nowhere in Oklahoma. Her family was extremely religious and would have never supported her decision. She told me that even though we had grown apart, I was the only person she knew that wouldn't judge her for wanting an abortion. I drove her to Planned Parenthood two days later. We had to march through a group of angry protesters, some holding up pictures of aborted fetuses. One of them tried to block our way and had to be pushed back by a police officer. I couldn't imagine how Ashley was feeling but I was scared they were going to hurt us. Once we got inside, I held Ashley’s hand and didn't let go until we got back to my apartment.

Ashley told me that she's never regretted the decision that she made that day. Instead of being trapped in a small town and with no support from the father, she is going to graduate from college next year and go on to teach elementary school. Watching what she had to go through showed me how important this issue really is. There are so many factors that can play a role in what choice a woman makes, but the important thing is that at the end of the day she should have a right to decide what happens to her own body.

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