(COMMON DREAMS) – Amy Irvin had her first abortion when she was in college. Young and wanting to be near her support network of friends, she drove from Atlanta, Georgia, where she was working for the summer, back to her college town of Cincinnati, Ohio, for the procedure. Twenty years later, she would have another unplanned pregnancy, and another abortion, while she was living in New Orleans, Louisiana.
The experiences, separated by two decades, as well as more income and stability on Irvin's part, were starkly different. Though there were protesters in front of the Ohio clinic back then, she was struck by how much more difficult it was seeking an abortion in the South, even in the early 2010s.
In the clinic that day, she remembers the women from Baton Rouge, a drive of about an hour and a half from New Orleans, worrying about their children at home. Because Louisiana has a required twenty-four-hour waiting period following the initial appointment (during which providers must complete an ultrasound, show the patient the picture, and provide counseling to discourage the abortion), the actual procedure would have to be done during a separate trip.
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