New York-based 30-year-old Roxanne Schiebergen was in the toilet of her Midtown apartment one day in May when she got a text message from a close friend. A screenshot of a Planned Parenthood-sponsored “Bans Off Our Bodies” protest leaflet was included in the text. Four ladies were seen in the advertisement, one of them was in a wheelchair.
According to Ms. Schiebergen, she was taken aback by the sight of it. On her manual wheelchair, she lifted herself off the toilet. Her texting session with a pal had turned into an all-nighter when she dragged herself into the living room.
When Ms. Schiebergen informed her friend about her experience with Planned Parenthood of Greater New York in July, the friend forwarded the image. According to Ms. Schiebergen, the organisation cancelled her abortion appointment at its Greenwich Village clinic on Bleecker Street when she alerted a Planned Parenthood worker that she needed a wheelchair.
People in a wheelchair are not allowed to have operations, Ms. Schiebergen claimed the individual informed her.
When the appointment was cancelled, Ms. Schiebergen said she felt “defeated and helpless.” She stated she attempted to explain her situation to the staffer. In the event that it didn’t work, she phoned her doctor’s office, where health care workers were aware with her medical history, and gained recommendations to other New York City clinics. At a facility on East 40th Street, Ms. Schiebergen claimed she ended the pregnancy. According to her, her former boyfriend footed the $2,000 price, which was four times the procedure’s cost at Planned Parenthood, at the time.
Samuel R. Mitchell Jr., the chief operating officer of Planned Parenthood of Greater New York, said in a statement on Sunday that the organisation “deeply regrets that Ms. Schiebergen was misguided of Planned Parenthood of Greater New York’s ability to provide abortion care to patients in wheelchairs.”
Mr. Mitchell noted that Planned Parenthood of Greater New York was using a third-party vendor to organise appointments at the time of Ms. Schiebergen’s incident. “PPGNY terminated its relationship with that particular provider last year.” The organization’s facilities are in compliance with the ADA, he said.
After spending the last year trying to focus on her work as a woman who has been partially paralysed since birth after being raised in the Netherlands by her Dutch father and American mother, Ms. Schiebergen revealed that she has been writing a pilot for a possible limited series based on her experiences as a woman with this condition. “All the humour and all the anguish of living in a culture that doesn’t see me” is the goal of the performance, she added.
She’s also been thinking about the abortion she says she doesn’t regret. When she saw the ad with the lady in a wheelchair, the resentment she had felt against Planned Parenthood since the cancelled appointment escalated to rage, she said.
As she relaxed at a bustling Midtown café, Ms. Schiebergen sipped on an oat milk matcha latte while wearing slacks and a long-sleeve T-shirt. It was a year before Roe v. Wade was reversed, and she was having trouble seeking an abortion. “I want my privacy, but I also feel called to this,” she added.
As someone who supports Planned Parenthood, she said that she believes its position is more important than ever before. Her fear is that people will believe she is come to target Planned Parenthood, she added. “I’m here to fight for folks just like me,” I say. ‘
Making her experience public is an ironic reminder of how difficult it is to be a woman in a wheelchair and how necessary it is to call attention to the difficulties women face in wheelchairs.