"I'm an old retired ex service member living in Germany but still have roots in good old by god WV. I stand behind you all the way but am sorry that I can't be with you. For all WV and all American women you are doing the right thing.
"I was 28 years old and finally found the courage to leave an abusive relationship. I had a 10 month old beautiful little girl that was depending on me to show her that it was depending on me to show her that allowing someone to beat her, call her names, and take her money was under no circumstance acceptable. It was hard enough to get the strength to finally press charges against my daughter's father and find the courage to say enough was enough. It was even harder finding out that I was pregnant with another child. I knew it was going to be hard enough starting over my entire life with one baby. I wasn't prepared to do it with two babies. I chose to abort the child I was carrying. In my heart of hearts I knew it was the right decision for me. I was scared to death to do it but knew that I had to do it in order to keep myself and my daughter alive. What was one of the hardest decisions in my life was just that MY decision. It should be that way for every woman all the time. If I can do anything in this world to keep it that way I will work till my dying breath to do so!"
"I grew up in Elkview, WV and went to Elk Elementary Center, Elkview Middle School, Horace Mann Middle School and George Washington High School while living in West Virginia (I've since gone on to school at Wellesley College). When I was a senior at GW, my principal would rather sabotage my educational future than allow a balanced presentation of sex education at my school. When I fought back against a completely unscientific, religiously-funded abstinence-only assembly put on by Pam Stenzel with the help of my principal and one Kanawha County Board of Education member, my principal threatened to call my college and have my admission revoked.
That being said, West Virginia needs more organizations like WV FREE to come to the aid of students in situations like mine. Students deserve to be respected and taught facts in school when it comes to their own PERSONAL decisions about their reproductive health."
"I had a late term abortion 22 years ago-I was 24 and already the mother of a one year old little boy (who is now 24). It was one of the most frightening times of my life. Without the medically necessary procedure, I would have died, along with my malformed fetus. This would have left my infant motherless and would have made my two younger sons, unborn. I'm not only a WV citizen, I'm a honorably discharged veteran. We need your continued leadership to protect us from those who would insert their political and religious will into a woman's body and her medical decisions.
My children have made me the person I am today. It was a medical decision, heart-wrenching and painful on so many levels, and I am so grateful that the kind doctors who performed the procedure and took care of me afterwards were able to care for me without the threat of prosecution. My abortion, at 26 weeks, was heart wrenching and difficult, but it was NOT the worst thing that could have happened. That late term abortion saved my life and made it possible for my two other sons to be born.
Some anti-choice folks think abortion is not a medical procedure, but I am living proof that it absolutely is a medical procedure between a woman and her doctor.
Keep up the good work, women and their families are counting on you. I'm counting on you.
Thank you so very much for all you do."