Meet Alisha, a medical assistant at Whole Woman’s Health of McAllen, the only abortion clinic in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley.
In 2016, Alisha had an abortion. She was 18 years old. Fast forward six years later and she is a trained EMT, former supervisor, and a mother of a 9-month-old girl. She was hired at the clinic about 4 months ago and has been thrilled to have such an important purpose in her career. “I’ve been so happy to have such a supportive staff around me. People who truly care about the patients and who understand that I am a new mom and might have emergencies pop up from time to time.”
It’s not lost on her that her abortion story might look different if she needed it today. Senate Bill 8 would have made her ineligible for an abortion in Texas and she would have had to travel out-of-state or be forced into motherhood when she wasn’t ready. The financial strain she felt to cover the cost of the procedure would have been ten-fold with a new child.
“I ended up telling my mom and she became my biggest support system.” This was surprising to her because her mom, like many others in the RGV, is a devout Catholic and attends service every Sunday. “Raising a family takes a village and she trusted me to make the best decision for me.”
She’s come full circle and now strives to empower and support patients throughout their appointments – like her mom was able to do for her. She even shares her story with them if they seem nervous or worried about the procedure or how it works. “I want people to know that WWH is a trusted resource for abortion care in the valley and all patients who enter our clinic will be treated with the compassion and respect they deserve.”
Our work wouldn’t be possible without frontline workers like Alisha. She is showing up every day to help patients navigate the chaos and confusion of SB 8 and now a possible post-Roe America. Patients rely on her for quality abortion care, can she count on you to sustain her work?
It’s going to take all of us standing together to help as many people as possible get the abortion care they need in the months ahead.