‘My last resort’ — thousands come to Illinois to have abortions

By Angie Leventis Lourgos

The young woman in a gray hoodie and backpack boarded a bus alone just after midnight, departing for an interstate trip to make the most pivotal choice of her 24 years.

A lightning storm raged outside her window, illuminating in flashes the gently rolling landscape of the Ozarks in southwest Missouri. Her family and most of her friends didn’t know the sweatshirt covered a 12-week pregnancy she was planning to terminate, the reason for her travels some 260 miles north to Illinois that winter weeknight.

“I’ve seen what unplanned pregnancies do to people,” said the woman, who requested anonymity to keep her recent abortion a secret from those closest to her. “I don’t want to be put through that. I don’t want to be forced into a marriage. I don’t want to raise a child alone.”

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