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'Having a forced birth would have really messed me up in so so many more ways than having an abortion'

Quinn Calvert is a Missouri resident who – in the past – had to travel from Columbia to St. Louis to get an abortion.

They spoke about the ways that lack of access influenced their choices leading up to that abortion, and about the concerns they have if the procedure becomes even more inaccessible.

As a note, this conversation took place after the Dobbs draft decision was leaked. But before the official ruling overturned Roe vs. Wade on Friday, June 24.

Missouri Health Talks gathers Missourians’ stories of access to healthcare in their own words.

Quinn Calvert: I always wanted to have this abortion as soon as like I found out just because I was like, “There's no way I can be a good parent to this child, and there's definitely no way that the other parent should be involved with it.”

And so, it made me wake up in a lot of ways – it made me just be like, “Okay. No, I really am sure about this,” and then as soon as I like had recovered – I got a ten-year IUD.

But before I decided I was gonna go to St. Louis to get an abortion – I had done a lot of internet research, because it's not like I could talk to a doctor about it – so, I did a lot of internet research and found this one herb, and I ordered a bottle that didn't come.

So, I used this backup method, which was taking a bunch of this one vitamin and all that ended up doing was making me really sweaty and have to pee a lot, and so, I did put my body through a lot of things just trying to avoid getting an abortion.

So, I just think I would have kept seeking out those alternatives. I think I definitely would have gone to a lot more lengths.

But if I would have had to keep it, I definitely would have had to give it up for adoption, and I know adoption is a really traumatic thing for everyone involved.

"I just think I would have kept seeking out those alternatives. I think I definitely would have gone to a lot more lengths."
Quinn Calvert

And I also know that the way the parent feels when carrying the child… Like, if I'm stressed out my whole pregnancy, if I don't want this child, if I'm like sending all of those messages to the baby that I'm growing – they're going to enter the world really scared and feeling like they're unwanted.

And so like that’s gonna make me sad for that child the rest of my life, especially because it's like, “yes, you are my child, but I never wanted you and I had to go through all of this.”

And birth is one of the most traumatic things you can go through. It's really painful – physically and emotionally and having a forced birth like that I feel like would have really messed me up in so so many more ways than having an abortion would because I've never regretted my abortion.

I'll tell anyone any advice that they want to have about it [abortion]. Like I really am glad I had it, and I view it as necessary medical care – like the thought of not having that medical procedure available to me is like a really scary thought.

Like, I guess not necessarily for me, but for anyone who would be in my situation – possibly in the future – without being able to access an abortion just because yeah, you will go to a lot greater lengths to get rid of something.

If you or anyone you know needs help or someone to talk to, you can reach out to the Trevor Project at 866-488-7386 or Text START to 678-678. You can also reach out to the Trans Lifeline at 877-565-8860.

A list of trans inclusive providers compiled by The Center Project can be found here: https://thecenterproject.org/gender-affirming-provider-list/

Abigail Ruhman is a reporter and afternoon newscast anchor for KBIA. They are working on a special series, and have produced for KBIA's Missouri on Mic and Missouri Health Talks in the past.