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How a life-saving abortion sparked a friendship

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If you saw us together today, you might assume we were longtime friends who met at college or work. Instead, we met just two years ago as a doctor and a patient in a hospital in Massachusetts. Neither of us could have predicted the circumstances under which we would meet, but the reality is that Americans across the country find themselves in similar situations every day: pregnant, and needing an abortion.

Now, as the Supreme Court prepares to hear oral arguments in June Medical Services LLC v. Gee, a case that could impact access to abortion across the United States, stories like ours are more important than ever — stories that show the complicated reality of obtaining an abortion amid new restrictions, as well as the fundamental love, support and friendship that underpin that important personal decision.

When we first met in 2018, one of us, Stephanie Goodell, had just been admitted to the labor and delivery unit after breaking water at 21.5 weeks; the other, Nisha Verma, was a fourth-year OB-GYN resident and part of the team of doctors providing care that day. We mourned together as we came to terms with the fact that the baby would almost certainly not be able to survive outside the uterus so early in pregnancy. As we reviewed the options — inducing labor or moving forward with an abortion procedure — compassion was ever-present. This was a long-awaited pregnancy, and the desire to hold the baby, even just once, led us to decide on an induction.