She was 15 when she got an illegal abortion in a dirty Detroit warehouse. Now, she’s terrified others will experience something similar.
By Carter Sherman
April 7, 2022
Renee Chelian still doesn’t know who performed her abortion.
In 1966, Chelian was 15 years old and living in the Detroit area when she got pregnant. She had no idea what an abortion was, until her parents asked her if she wanted one. But Chelian soon underwent one—after being blindfolded and taken to a dirty warehouse crowded with women looking for illegal abortions.
Determined to keep pregnant people from facing the kind of uncertainty and danger she did, Chelian eventually become an abortion provider herself. She now runs three abortion clinics around Detroit.