A mom's moving story perfectly illustrates why a 20-week abortion ban is a bad idea.

April Salazar has a story to tell, and you really should hear it.

It's about her abortion, which took place after she learned there was no chance of survival for the child she so desperately wanted.

After years of trying to get pregnant, she and her husband finally succeeded. But later, they got some sobering news.

April and her husband would have to wait longer than expected to bring a child home with them. Doctors told them that the baby had what's called lethal skeletal dysplasia. Essentially, this meant that just moments after birth, her newborn son would suffocate and die.



April was faced with a painful decision: She could have an abortion, or she could carry the fetus to term, knowing it wouldn't survive for more than a few painful minutes. At 21-weeks pregnant, April chose to have an abortion.

"If I had been forced to carry my pregnancy to term, my life would be very different now."

How might her life have changed if she gave birth to a son with no chance of survival? How would things be different?

"I can't imagine giving birth and watching my son suffer," she says.

This was June 2013.

In January 2014, April was once again pregnant. Later that year, she gave birth to a beautiful, healthy baby girl.

Had she not terminated her earlier pregnancy, her daughter would almost certainly have never been born.

It's because she chose to end her pregnancy in 2013 that she was able to be in a place, both emotionally and physically, that she and her husband felt comfortable trying again, and as the result, she's now proud mother.

Like April, many women who have abortions do want children, but as is the case in life, sometimes things just don't go according to plan. The decision to terminate a pregnancy is not zero-sum. Many of these women will go on to have children at some other point in their lives.

A 2008 Guttmacher Institute study found that more than 60% of people seeking abortions already have one or more children. Others will go on to have children afterward.

Nearly 90% of abortions happen within the first 12 weeks. For some, like April, it's later.

April terminated her pregnancy at 21 weeks. It wasn't until the 20-week mark that she was able to confirm that her fetus had lethal skeletal dysplasia, and of course, she didn't want to make the decision to abort without being sure.

Just 1.2% of abortions happen from 21 weeks onward.

But some politicians are pushing for a 20-week abortion ban, under which April would have been denied access.

Luckily, for April, her husband, and her daughter, that's not the law.

"Having charge of your own reproductive health means you can control your destiny, and that's so important for me," says April about her hope for her daughter's future. "I want her to grow up knowing the sky is the limit."

Tell your lawmaker that you support women like April and oppose a 20-week abortion ban here.

Images courtesy of Mark Storhaug & Kaiya Bates

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The experiences we have at school tend to stay with us throughout our lives. It's an impactful time where small acts of kindness, encouragement, and inspiration go a long way.

Schools, classrooms, and teachers that are welcoming and inclusive support students' development and help set them up for a positive and engaging path in life.

Here are three of our favorite everyday actions that are spreading kindness on campus in a big way:

Image courtesy of Mark Storhaug

1. Pickleball to Get Fifth Graders Moving

Mark Storhaug is a 5th grade teacher at Kingsley Elementary in Los Angeles, who wants to use pickleball to get his students "moving on the playground again after 15 months of being Zombies learning at home."

Pickleball is a paddle ball sport that mixes elements of badminton, table tennis, and tennis, where two or four players use solid paddles to hit a perforated plastic ball over a net. It's as simple as that.

Kingsley Elementary is in a low-income neighborhood where outdoor spaces where kids can move around are minimal. Mark's goal is to get two or three pickleball courts set up in the schoolyard and have kids join in on what's quickly becoming a national craze. Mark hopes that pickleball will promote movement and teamwork for all his students. He aims to take advantage of the 20-minute physical education time allotted each day to introduce the game to his students.

Help Mark get his students outside, exercising, learning to cooperate, and having fun by donating to his GoFundMe.

Image courtesy of Kaiya Bates

2. Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids

According to the WHO around 280 million people worldwide suffer from depression. In the US, 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness and 1 in 20 experience severe mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Kaiya Bates, who was recently crowned Miss Tri-Cities Outstanding Teen for 2022, is one of those people, and has endured severe anxiety, depression, and selective mutism for most of her life.

Through her GoFundMe, Kaiya aims to use her "knowledge to inspire and help others through their mental health journey and to spread positive and factual awareness."

She's put together regulation kits (that she's used herself) for teachers to use with students who are experiencing stress and anxiety. Each "CALM-ing" kit includes a two-minute timer, fidget toolboxes, storage crates, breathing spheres, art supplies and more.

Kaiya's GoFundMe goal is to send a kit to every teacher in every school in the Pasco School District in Washington where she lives.

To help Kaiya achieve her goal, visit Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids.

Image courtesy of Julie Tarman

3. Library for a high school heritage Spanish class

Julie Tarman is a high school Spanish teacher in Sacramento, California, who hopes to raise enough money to create a Spanish language class library.

The school is in a low-income area, and although her students come from Spanish-speaking homes, they need help building their fluency, confidence, and vocabulary through reading Spanish language books that will actually interest them.

Julie believes that creating a library that affirms her students' cultural heritage will allow them to discover the joy of reading, learn new things about the world, and be supported in their academic futures.

To support Julie's GoFundMe, visit Library for a high school heritage Spanish class.

Do YOU have an idea for a fundraiser that could make a difference? Upworthy and GoFundMe are celebrating ideas that make the world a better, kinder place. Visit upworthy.com/kindness to join the largest collaboration for human kindness in history and start your own GoFundMe.

Photo by R.D. Smith on Unsplash

Gem is living her best life.

If you've ever dreamed of spontaneously walking out the door and treating yourself a day of pampering at a spa without even telling anyone, you'll love this doggo who is living your best life.

According to CTV News, a 5-year-old shepherd-cross named Gem escaped from her fenced backyard in Winnipeg early Saturday morning and ended up at the door of Happy Tails Pet Resort & Spa, five blocks away. An employee at the spa saw Gem at the gate around 6:30 a.m. and was surprised when they noticed her owners were nowhere to be seen.

"They were looking in the parking lot and saying, 'Where's your parents?'" said Shawn Bennett, one of the co-owners of the business.

The employee opened the door and Gem hopped right on in, ready and raring to go for her day of fun and relaxation.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."