A young woman did not want to involve her parents for fear that she, like her sister, would be forced to continue her pregnancy against her wishes. After her sister told her parents that she was pregnant, they forced her to give birth and put the child up for adoption. Her sister subsequently tried to commit suicide and was institutionalized for depression.
One young woman grew up in a violent home in which her emotionally disturbed brother had attacked her – he was eventually sent to live in a group. She did not share news of her pregnancy or her decision to have an abortion with her parents because she feared that the news of her pregnancy would be stressful and burdensome to her mother who was already struggling with coordinating her brother’s care. She also feared that if she told her mother about the pregnancy she too would be removed from the home.
A young woman lived in a town where only one bus went to the court each day. She arrived at the bus station on time, but had to run into the restroom because of her morning sickness. While she was in the bathroom, the bus pulled away. Determined not to miss her hearing which would force her to delay her abortion, she hitchhiked 40 miles to the courthouse, something she had never done before.
One straight-A student, college bound young woman came from a family who strongly opposed pre-marital sex and abortion on religious grounds. She was so desperate not to disappoint her parents that she drove hundreds of miles from Minnesota, which has a parental involvement law, to an Illinois clinic so that she could have the abortion without letting her parents down.
Just days after a young woman appeared for a judicial bypass hearing, her parents received an anonymous letter from an anti-abortion group informing them of the date, time, and subject of the hearing. The members the anti-abortion group saw the young woman in the courthouse and identified her by searching for her face in high school yearbooks.
In examples from Minnesota and Massachusetts, one young woman was sitting in a court corridor when her sister’s civics class came through; another saw a neighbor in the courthouse; a third encountered her godmother, who was employed as a court officer; another had to hide in the bathroom to avoid being seen by a family member who worked in the courthouse; and a young woman ran into her father right outside of the courthouse.