As of late, pregnancy tests have become both my worst enemy and best friend. In a fit of fear induced motivation, I have purchased a pack of 100 strip tests. My irregular period, which was once a blessing, has now turned into a curse. Perhaps I have lost my mind, perhaps I am overreacting, but the immediate relief when they end up negative helps me to continue within my day to day. When did worrying about my class schedule or whether or not I could swing by the Fly this weekend transform into if I need to drive or fly several states over to get an abortion?
I would like to emphasize: I practice safe sex, my partner and I are aware of the risks and we do everything in our power to side-step the possibility of unplanned events, yet I find myself often paranoid. I am very statistically unlikely to fall pregnant. I know this logically. But I find myself spiraling when the news airs press releases of anti-abortion politicians delivering speeches within our region. What if? Accidents happen, life is not in our complete control, as much as I wish it could be. This time last year, my roommates and I considered the fact that we would have to drive to Baton Rouge to get an abortion. What seemed like a minor inconvenience then now seems like a dream– help, simply an hour away, ripped from us in the blink of an eye.
The planning, the money, the stress of having to leave the state in order to terminate a pregnancy looms. That is also considering the fact that I am lucky enough to have the option to leave and come back. Many do not. Where does that leave us? Crying alone in dorm rooms or university restrooms? Who do we turn to? Roommates who are no older than ourselves, perhaps facing the same fears?
I also have to think about the fact that I’m a white, cisgendered woman. In the grand scheme of things, no one bats an eye when I have to seek regular, day to day healthcare. How will my friends and peers of color navigate getting not only proper care, but also something so polarizing? How will my trans friends get help? Possibility has often been cited as a positive, but it terrifies me within this context.
It is our right, as people with uteruses, to get an abortion, but the toll it takes mentally in one that I am constantly reminded of. It’s one that many of us will face with varying degrees of nonchalance or stress, but it will be a constant nevertheless.
Will we ever know peace as young students in Louisiana, when politicians and extremists keep grabbing us by the collars and calling us sluts or whores?
If you are interested in learning more about resources regarding abortion in Louisiana, please visit NewOrleansAbortionFund.org.
Featured Image via Mercedes Ohlen
Mercedes was The Crescent’s Editor-in-Chief from 2022-2023. She graduated from Tulane with a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and a Bachelor of Arts in Communications. She enjoys going to the movies, fashion, and writing about the great city of New Orleans. She will be pursuing a career lifestyle journalism, publishing, or a job within comedy upon her graduation from Tulane. No topic is too obscure, and no story too niche. Roll Wave!