Pro-Choice Catholic Testimony
“When I was a young anti-abortion activist, I believed that I was pro-life, but now I understand that providing reproductive care is the most pro-life thing I possibly can do.”
“I am an OB-GYN and complex family planner, which means that I provide birth control, give pap smears, do cancer screenings, deliver babies, and I also provide abortion care. I was raised Catholic, and Catholicism is a huge part of what formed my identity. It’s one of the main reasons that I do this work.
I didn’t always support abortion access. As a first generation Cuban American, I grew up in a conservative household and was once an anti-abortion activist. When I was 19, my fiancé and I were planning on abstaining from sex until marriage because of the teachings of the church. But after a lot of thought, we decided that we wanted to have sex. I actually asked my dad for permission first. But unfortunately, after the first time, I needed the morning-after pill. I went to a family planning clinic that also provided abortions. I had to walk through protesters screaming horrible things at me, and I remembered thinking, ‘I’m one of you guys! I’m pro-life too!’ But when I entered the clinic, I realized that nobody could tell the difference between me and the other people in the waiting room. I didn’t know who was there for a pap smear, for contraception, or for an abortion. I had judged people for so long. I thought that I had the right idea as a faithful Catholic.
Many years later, when I was becoming a doctor, I cared for a patient who was having an induction abortion — we had to induce labor to end a complicated pregnancy that had no possibility of viability. The person who was supervising me refused to do the abortion. I was on the night shift, and my supervisor left me by myself, abandoning the patient and abandoning me. It was the first abortion I was participating in.
After the procedure, the woman wanted to hold her baby. The baby was quite anomalous, and I was nervous about what she might think. But I wrapped it up as best as I could and gave it to her. This woman gazed down at her baby and said, ‘Look at how beautiful my daughter is.’ And in that moment, I realized that I could never understand the complexity of reproduction, love, and life the way that this woman did. She loved her daughter so deeply that she ended the pregnancy.
In that moment, my life changed. I decided to provide abortions because of the Catholic values instilled in me — justice, fairness, and compassion for my fellow human beings. My time on this earth is better spent receiving people with love rather than pushing them away in judgment. And even though this story involved a case of fetal anomaly, I realized that any reason to have an abortion is a good reason. The people who come to me for abortion care know what they need.
When I was a young anti-abortion activist, I believed that I was pro-life, but now I understand that providing reproductive care is the most pro-life thing I possibly can do. When a patient comes to me, I help them. I don’t judge them. They are the experts of their own lives.”