In case you were starting to have doubts about exactly how horrible human beings can be to each other, here’s a refresher.
20-year-old college student and Reddit user was stranded on the side of the road in a rural area by her Uber driver because he found out (through inappropriately probing questions) that she was going to an abortion clinic.
In a post in titled “The worst, most backward day of my life,” she described the experience:
“I’m 20 years old and a sophomore in college. I didn’t get my period yet this month so over the weekend I decided to take a pregnancy test and it turns out I’m pregnant. I knew I was going to terminate the pregnancy immediately since I’m in no position to care for a child at this point in my life. I called my boyfriend, my parents, and my best friend, and they were all supportive of my decision.
“After crying and getting over the shittiness of the situation, I made an appointment for a non surgical (medical) abortion. The appointment was for today, so this morning I called an Uber (I don’t have a car on campus) and headed to the clinic which was an hour away.”
Things started to get creepy almost immediately after she got into the car.
“My Uber driver seemed immediately uncomfortable and asked if we were going to a planned parenthood. I said no (which was the truth), we were just going to a doctors appointment. Still, he seemed uncomfortable. ‘Is it an abortion clinic?’
“The color drained from my face; how could he know? I just put the address of the doctor in, and there was nothing in the name that would imply it was an abortion clinic.
“He stared at me, waiting for an answer, but I was too shocked to reply. I couldn’t believe this was happening, and now I was trapped in the car with this guy for the next hour.”
Those probing questions and awkwardness weren’t bad enough, though. He had to put in his two cents too.
“‘You know,’ he said, ‘you’re going to regret this decision for the rest of your life.’
“He started telling me about the procedure, what it was like, telling me how horrible it was. ‘There’s so much they don’t tell you. You’re making a mistake.’
“He brought up his wife, who was 5 months pregnant, but trailed off. I just sat there in silence. We were driving through rural land, miles from any kind of house or storefront. I prayed he wouldn’t hurt me.”
Not content to simply force his views and life story on to his passenger, the driver then decided to strand her in the middle of nowhere if she refused to give up on the appointment.
“We got about halfway there when he suddenly pulled over on the side of the road. ‘I’m sorry, I can’t take you any farther than this. You won’t find another Uber out here. I can take you back if you want.’”
Sensing it was beyond time to get the hell out of dodge, she decides to get out of the car while it was safe to do so.
“I politely declined and got out of the car. I immediately started calling local taxi companies and asked if they could pick me up. My phone gave me a rough location which I gave them as my pickup address.”
He didn’t immediately abandon her, likely hoping that she would change her mind rather than wait for another ride.
“My Uber driver waited around for about 15 minutes, assuming I’d change my mind. I insisted I was fine and that he should go back and he eventually left. After waiting about 25 minutes, the cab showed up and I got to my appointment (an hour late).”
The experience left her rattled.
“Even thinking about this experience brings tears to my eyes. I can’t believe someone would be this cruel. An abortion is already traumatic enough, and not at all a decision I take lightly. That an older man would corner me and confront me about decisions that are none of his business are astounding.”
She contacted Uber and reported the driver, and later posted in u/LegalAdvice to see if there was anything else she should do to prevent him from putting other women in the same position.
Even on a post tagged as seeking support, there were those who insisted that she deserved how he treated her.
In response to those people she said:
“For all the people who say I deserved this kind of treatment, I have nothing to say to you. I come from a politically conservative family, so I understand being pro life and disagreeing with my decision to terminate my pregnancy.
“However, the driver was aware of my decision to get an abortion within 10-15 minutes of picking me up from all his probing questions. If he wasn’t comfortable driving me to the clinic, why continue to drive me there until we were stranded?
“Was it an impulsive decision to leave me by the side of the road, or was it premeditated after he understood our destination? He easily could have left me in my small city and I would have been able to get a different Uber driver and avoided the whole fiasco that ensued.
“Or, as others have pointed out, he could have simply declined the ride if the destination (and my decision to exercise my rights) were that offensive to him.”
She goes on to make a powerful statement about people’s beliefs.
“I have no issue with him (or anyone else) having a different opinion or with him disagreeing with my choices. But your beliefs do not give you the right to make me feel uncomfortable when I’m completely vulnerable and am relying on you to perform a service I desperately need.”
Not all of the Redditors were as judgemental. Several had some questions about the driver’s thought processes.
“So a medical abortion performed by legitimate doctors is less safe than just dropping a woman off in an unknown area with no way of getting anywhere? Where are his priorities.” –SinfullySinless
“His priorities are being a self-righteous dipshit and making women uncomfortable.” –JediMasterVII
“He cares so much for unborn life that he decided to abandon her (and the embryo) in the middle of nowhere. What a class act (edit: /s).” –AxeMurderess
Several people were disgusted and alarmed by the driver’s actions.
“Ew. That is HORRIFYING. He purposely set you up to miss your appointment. He got you alone in an isolated place so that you were stuck.”-RunningTrisarahtop
One user pointed out that the driver probably convinced himself he was doing the “right thing.”
“He’ll tell himself he did the right thing because he offered to drive her back and waited 15 minutes for her to change her mind and let him drive her back before abandoning her.” –BadW0IfGirl
This particular driver has since been banned from using Uber, but the danger of others doing the same to other women remains.
Stranding a woman on the side of the road in a rural area isn’t a good way to get her to agree with you, and it certainly isn’t going to keep her or the fetus safe.
Abortion is a right, upheld by the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade, in the United States. Someone else choosing to exercise their right to control over their own body doesn’t affect anyone but that person, and maybe their family/significant other.
It certainly isn’t the business of a random Uber driver to decide what a woman should or shouldn’t do for her own medical care.
This content was originally published here.