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Leah Vanden Bosch is a patient advocate for Planned Parenthood. She’s also a member of National Speakers Bureau and Organizing Leadership Council. Vanden Bosch spoke at last year’s subcommittee on the Heartbeat bill.
“I’m here today because I’m 1-in-4,” she said. “One-in-four people will have had an abortion in their lifetime.”
She talked about overdosing on Tylenol when she was 12 years old. She discussed her mental health struggles, which included depression, an eating disorder and suicidal thoughts.
“Seriously — saying an unplanned pregnancy wouldn’t impact that,” she said. “That’s my healthcare plan. My abortion protected my life. I was spared a gruesome relapse. It took me off the ledge of suicide. Why is my life not enough?”
Vanden Bosch is a native of Orange City, IA — a deeply conservative city in a deeply religious county.
“My experience was awful,” she said of her abortion. “But it wasn’t because of the compassionate care that Planned Parenthood provided me, it was because I come from one of the most anti-choice (pro-life) areas in the state. My family and closest friends unknowingly judged my decision to my face. Their shame is what drove me to speak.
“This past year has been the greatest experience of my life. It’s only affirmed my decision to have an abortion. I’m so grateful.”