Happy Tingson was working as a hotel housekeeper in 2015, when she became pregnant. She told only two people: her best friend, Rhea Patino, and her boyfriend at the time.
“Not a single smile on his face,” said Ms. Tingson, who was comforted by Ms. Patino and another friend when she became emotional during an interview at her sister’s house. “He was pretty much saying, ‘It’s not the right time for us to have it, we’re not financially stable,’ ” Ms. Tingson said.
Ms. Patino drove Ms. Tingson to the Pregnancy Control Clinic, which has since closed, to receive the procedure, which cost $500 in 2015. “When I finally got it done, I felt kind of broken,” Ms. Tingson said.
She never told her parents, who are now dead, she said. She still hasn’t told her older brother.
Asked if any of her friends had also undergone an abortion, Ms. Patino interrupted: “Me.”
When Ms. Patino, a waitress, became pregnant in the fall of 2020, she and her boyfriend at the time agreed that they could not afford to raise a child.
“I felt helpless,” she said. “Try talking to a doctor, and they’re like, ‘I’m sorry, we don’t support that.’ ”
Ms. Patino, who by then was seven weeks pregnant, decided that the most reliable option was to fly to Florida. Planned Parenthood unexpectedly waived its $500 fee for her.