“It Was One Of The Hardest Decisions I’ve Ever Had To Make”

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This story was originally published on March 2, 2016.

On Wednesday, the United States Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a case that could determine whether legions of women have access to safe and legal abortions.

Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt
is a challenge to HB2, a law passed in Texas in 2013 that creates additional operating requirements for abortion providers.
According to the Center for Reproductive Rights — the pro-abortion rights advocacy group fighting the law on behalf of clinics — only 10 facilities that provide abortions would remain open in the entire state if the law is upheld. Before the measure passed, there were 40. An estimated 5.4 million women in Texas are of reproductive age, CRR says.
The outcome of the case, which hinges on whether placing restrictions on how clinics operate violates a woman's right to terminate a pregnancy, could also have major effects on abortion access across the country, impacting other states with similar restrictions.

Real women's experiences with abortion are expected to be a big part of the case — more than 100 women have filed briefs with the Supreme Court, sharing their own stories.
Photojournalist Allison Joyce has been chronicling women's experiences with abortion in her own series, Life After the Decision. Ahead, she shares their moving portraits and stories.

Editor's note: All captions were provided by Joyce and have been edited for length and clarity.

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