Atlantic writer Jemele Hill shares her personal abortion experience 20 years ago

Sports journalist Jemele Hill shared her abortion experience over 20 years ago in an article in The Atlantic on Tuesdayresponding to the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

“I have never publicly shared my abortion story until now,” wrote Hill, a contributing writer for the magazine.

“I know I’m likely to be attacked for being outspoken about my decision. But I choose to share some of my experience now because, like so many women in this country, I am angry, appalled and disgusted by the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe vs. Wadethe landmark decision that previously guaranteed federal constitutional protections for abortion rights.

Hill said she was 26 when she had an abortion, not because she was the victim of rape or incest, but because she “just had no desire to give birth to a kid”.

“More than ever, women who want or have had an abortion need to know that they are not alone; a large number of women have been in the same situation,” Hill wrote.

She said she worked at the Detroit Free Press when she had the procedure. She wrote that she could have supported the child financially and would have been supported by her family and the man she was involved with, but she did not see a long-term future with him.

She said her priority at the time was to seize the opportunity to cover Michigan State University’s 2000 basketball championship team and become a senior staff writer for Sports Illustrated.

Hill said she was aware some might call her choice “selfish” and “irresponsible”, but added that mistakes can happen. She said women are judged harshly for pursuing their goals with as much ambition as men.

“Just because an unwanted pregnancy happens – and it doesn’t matter if it’s in the context of a relationship, a one-night stand or a ‘situation’ – does not mean that a woman should be punished by being forced to have a child she doesn’t want to raise,” she says.

Hill said she was grateful that abortion services were available to her in a suburb outside of Detroit at the time, but that if the court had already rendered its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which knocked Roe down, she was reportedly “absolutely terrified.

A 1930s Michigan law prohibiting the procedure, which was not active while Roe v. Wade was in effect, jeopardized the status of legal abortion in the state. Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D) filed a petition on Friday asking the state’s high court to take legal action to stop the ban from being enforced.

Hill said she was in a position of relative privilege when she had her abortion, but added that losing federal abortion protections will “destroy” other women and their families. She noted that abortion rates are higher for black and Hispanic womenand most people seeking an abortion go on to have other children.

“The Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision was regressive and political, and states that have laws banning abortion should know that those laws won’t stop abortions,” she said. “Women will always try to decide what’s best for their bodies, whether it’s legal or not.”