This Humans Of New York Story Makes A Powerful Point About Abortion

Street-photography project Humans of New York is known for capturing photos of strangers and drawing insightful stories from them — but one photo in particular has been getting notice for the tragic point that it makes about illegal abortions. On Saturday, the HONY Instagram page posted a photo of an anonymous woman in Buenos Aires, Argentina, who told a heartbreaking story about her experience with abortion. Since abortion is not legal in Argentina, the anonymous woman explained, she had very few options when she became pregnant at 18 years old. "I didn’t want to be a mother," she said. "We weren’t in love. I had goals I wanted to accomplish. So I made the hardest decision of my life." Because abortion is "not legal here," she said, "I researched it on the Internet. I did it myself. In my room."
"If things had gone wrong, I could have died," she continued. "Seeing it come out of me was the worst moment of my life." Her story highlights a dangerous reality that women can face when abortions are illegal, and reiterates that when women lack access to safe care, they often turn to other methods to terminate their pregnancies. As many commenters on this post have pointed out, making abortions illegal only stops safe abortions. "When you ban abortions, they don't stop happening," one user commented. "They just become more dangerous." According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 21.6 million women experience unsafe abortions every year — and 47,000 women die each year due to complications from unsafe abortions. As abortion rights are being challenged across the U.S., this woman's story is an important reminder that when it comes to the abortion debate, women's lives could be at stake. And though the future of reproductive rights may look bleak at the moment, if you want to fight for safe, legal abortions, you can start taking action now.

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