Hillsboro Mom Aims To Remove Abortion Stigma and Shame

Marchel Marcos was in Washington DC the day that the Supreme Court reversed Roe V. Wade, ending a nearly 50-year ruling which made abortions lawful in every state in the nation. β€œI immediately felt like I required community,” Marcos remarked. β€œI came down to the rally.” Marcos is 29, resides in Hillsboro, and is the political coordinator for the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon. She’s also a devoted parent of two boys that she adores.

β€œIt makes a lot of difference to pick when you can have a family.” It’s something Marcos knows first-hand. β€œI got pregnant in high school the first time I ever had sex, at 15, and I come from a pretty conservative family,” Marcos said. β€œI went to a Christian private school my whole life, so as I found out I was pregnant I was terrified.” So, she got on a bus with a buddy, went to planned parenthood in Hawaii, and had an abortion in the place where she grew up. Marcos claimed she moved on, graduated high school, and relocated to Oregon for college.

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She had her first kid, now ten, and then her second son, now six – but Marcos said at home, that she was a victim of domestic violence, and got pregnant soon after giving birth to her youngest son. β€œWhat a lot of people don’t realize is that you may be raped or sexually abused by somebody you are in a relationship with,” Marcos stated. β€œI simply wasn’t ready to have another newborn and have to negotiate that, so I got an abortion again and I genuinely think it helped me handle my career, childcare, all the separate things I was already thinking about that with having a newborn.”

Marcos says she never hesitated in her decisions. She got out of that awful relationship and thus became an advocate for abortion access, but she also fully expected to ever speak her story publicly. Three years ago, it was her mother who had a change of heart. β€œWhen she eventually informed me that there’s no shame in choosing a choice for yourself – like what a relieve, what a weight lifted from my shoulders to hear that from somebody who reared you,” Marcos added.

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For Marcos, discarding the stigma is a step in the process that is still not complete. β€œI think when we normalize these talks and can share our stories, it actually empowers other people to navigate their own decision-making,” Marcos added. β€œI want folks to get away from the humiliation that I felt while I was navigating it with my family,” Marcos added. β€œI want people to move away from it solely being about the medical necessity to preserve a life and to honestly just be because I wasn’t ready and didn’t want to have a kid at that time.”

Sharing her voice and her family β€” a part of life that statistics can never reveal. There is no doubt that Marcos made the correct choice for himself and his family by returning to Mexico.

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