Story No. 456: Dr. Aisha from California

Voices of Courage is excited to present This is Life, a new illustrated series by artist Magnolia Porter bringing your stories about reproductive health care to life. Submit your stories now for your chance to be illustrated!

Years ago, I worked on staff at an abortion clinic. We had a patient who I’ll call Julia. Julia was in her early twenties and had gone into the emergency room a few days before for back pain.

She found out that day that her back pain was due to kidney cancer. She also found out that she was pregnant.

Because of the Hyde amendment, her insurance was not going to cover the cost of the abortion she needed to start her cancer treatment. It took two weeks of fighting with Tricare, the insurance provided through the military, to get her abortion covered so that she could begin chemotherapy. I spent hours on the phone with insurance agents and doctors at her military base.

It was heartbreaking to have to tell her that because she was in the military, serving her country, her care was delayed and her ability to fight for her own life was delayed.