As we near the one year anniversary of the Dobbs decision – which overturned federal constitutional protections of privacy and abortion rights that have stood since the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision – I am taking stock of the many experiences that women have shared regarding trying to access medical health care, including abortion access. I’m also reflecting on my own childbirth story, which could have ended tragically. As the Executive Director of Jofa, I see it as part of my role – and our role as an organization – to encourage Orthodox women, and all women, to share our stories and experiences, so that we can all learn from them, reflect upon them, and reduce their stigma.
I almost didn’t become a mother, despite the fact that my spouse and I very much wanted to have children. My pregnancies were planned, welcomed, and healthy. I was in peak physical shape, took all my vitamins, and eagerly attended birthing classes.
My life almost ended there; hers before it ever had a chance to begin. But for modern medicine, we almost didn’t survive.