On the One-year Anniversary Since the Overturn of Roe, I’m Prouder than Ever to Provide Abortion Care

PPGNY Action Fund
4 min readJun 23, 2023

“As abortion access is threatened nationwide, I’m prouder than ever to provide this critical care to all who need it”

By Dr. Gabriela Aguilar — Medical Director, Planned Parenthood of Greater New York

June 24, 2023 marks one year since the Supreme Court of the United States overturned Roe v. Wade, eliminating our constitutional right to abortion after nearly 50 years. In the year since that dark day, I have witnessed, in real-time, the harmful impact that this decision has had on patients and health center providers like me. The nefarious political attacks on my patients and profession have only deepened my commitment to providing compassionate, nonjudgmental health care.

I became an abortion provider because I believe everyone has the right to agency over their bodies and their futures. My mission to serve those seeking self-actualization through reproductive healthcare resulted from my experiences as a young Latina growing up in the Midwest surrounded by disparities in teenage pregnancy, insurance coverage, and sexual and reproductive health education. Through the experiences of my family across Chicago and the Rio Grande Valley, I saw the dire effects that inadequate access to reproductive healthcare could have on entire communities. I believe that people know what is best for them and that they can do beautiful things for themselves, their families, and their communities when they are healthy and able to care for their own bodies how they see fit.

Abortion is health care — full stop. Like most health care decisions, abortion is deeply personal, and should only be made by the patient in consultation with their physician. Despite this, anti-abortion politicians, emboldened by the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe, have weaponized their power to ban or severely restrict abortion access across nearly half the country. As a proud abortion provider, I know the need for abortions will never cease to exist.

Instead, abortion bans further deepen the disparities between who has access to reproductive care and who doesn’t. Black, Latine, and Indigenous people, immigrants, those with low incomes, and people in rural areas continue to bear the worst of these bans. As the maternal mortality rate continues to rise for Black women, state-sanctioned abortion bans diminish their ability to access life-saving abortion care. Abortion bans exacerbate unhealthy pregnancy outcomes for Black women. We are facing a national health crisis.

I witnessed the dire reality of these bans when one of our patients had to travel 1,300 miles (about half the width of the United States) away from her home state to access the abortion care she needed. Nancy Davis had to leave her home state of Louisiana and travel to our Manhattan health center after she learned the fetus she was carrying had a rare and fatal condition known as acrania and would not make it past childbirth. People like Nancy Davis bear the burden of a decision that should’ve been made between a patient and a medical provider, proving once again that politicians have no place in exam rooms.

Today, in states like New York where abortion access is still protected, health care providers have seen a nearly 700% increase in patients traveling from out of state for care. As an abortion provider and advocate in the reproductive justice movement, it is imperative that at this moment I work at a place that allows me to provide the highest standards of care. Knowing that some of my patients come from out of state, I make sure they get all the services they need in one single visit, like making sure they get the contraception they need on the same day as their abortion. It is my duty to make sure my patients avoid medically unnecessary follow-up appointments and delays that could put them at risk of another unintended pregnancy.

Roe v. Wade was just the floor for what abortion access should be — we always needed more. Along with my patients, other providers, health center staff, and community partners, I will continue to work toward a future where our reproductive freedom is no longer up for debate. All of us in the reproductive health, rights, and justice movement will never back down and as a leading provider in an abortion access state, I will maintain my commitment to help build a just world that includes access to abortion for all who come into my health center, no matter what.



PPGNY Action Fund

We’re Planned Parenthood of Greater New York Action Fund, a 501(c)(4) organization.