Roxanne Schiebergen, a 30-year-old author and actress who lives in New York, was within the rest room of her Midtown residence when she obtained a textual content from a detailed pal someday in May. The textual content included a screenshot of a advertising and marketing flyer selling a “Bans Off Our Bodies” rally sponsored partly by Planned Parenthood. The picture within the advert confirmed 4 girls — and the girl on the heart was in a wheelchair.

Ms. Schiebergen mentioned she checked out it with disbelief. She hoisted herself from the bathroom and onto her handbook wheelchair. She rolled herself into the lounge and despatched a reply to her pal in what turned a marathon texting session.

The pal had despatched the image as a result of Ms. Schiebergen had advised her about her expertise final July with Planned Parenthood of Greater New York: The group had canceled Ms. Schiebergen’s appointment for an abortion at its clinic on Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village after she had knowledgeable a Planned Parenthood consultant that she used a wheelchair, Ms. Schiebergen mentioned.

“‘We don’t do procedures for people in a wheelchair,’” Ms. Schiebergen mentioned the individual advised her.

Ms. Schiebergen mentioned she felt “defeated and powerless” when the appointment was canceled. She tried pleading her case to the worker, she mentioned. When that didn’t work, she known as her physician’s workplace, the place well being care professionals had been conversant in her medical historical past, and he or she obtained referrals to different clinics in Manhattan. Ms. Schiebergen mentioned she in the end terminated the being pregnant at a clinic on East fortieth Street. Her associate on the time paid the $2,000 invoice, 4 instances what Planned Parenthood charged for the process, she mentioned.

“We deeply regret that Ms. Schiebergen was misinformed of Planned Parenthood of Greater New York’s ability to provide abortion care to patients in wheelchairs,” Samuel R. Mitchell Jr., the group’s chief working officer, mentioned in a press release on Sunday, after initially issuing a press release saying that the group couldn’t touch upon Ms. Schiebergen’s case due to privateness legal guidelines.

At the time of Ms. Schiebergen’s expertise, Mr. Mitchell mentioned, Planned Parenthood of Greater New York used a third-party vendor to schedule appointments. “Ms. Schiebergen’s appointment was clearly mismanaged and we sincerely apologize,” he mentioned. “Last year, PPGNY ended its contract with that specific vendor.” The group’s services adjust to the American with Disabilities Act, he added.

Ms. Schiebergen, who grew up within the Netherlands, the daughter of a Dutch father and an American mom, mentioned she had been making an attempt to place her give attention to her work over the past 12 months, together with writing a pilot for a possible restricted sequence impressed by her experiences as a girl who has been partially paralyzed since she was a child. The present is supposed to seize “all the comedy and all the pain of living in a society that doesn’t see me,” she mentioned.

The abortion, which she mentioned she doesn’t remorse, has additionally been on her thoughts. The frustration she had felt on and off towards Planned Parenthood for the reason that canceled appointment turned to anger when she noticed the advert with the girl within the wheelchair, she mentioned.

Dressed in denims, a long-sleeve T-shirt and black boots on a June afternoon at a busy Midtown cafe, Ms. Schiebergen sipped a matcha latte with oak milk. “I want my privacy, but I also feel called to do this,” she mentioned of sharing the story of the issue she confronted in getting an abortion a 12 months earlier than the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

She described herself as a supporter of Planned Parenthood and mentioned she believed its position was extra essential than ever. “It is my nightmare that people might think I am here to attack Planned Parenthood,” she mentioned. “I am here to fight for people like me.”

Going public along with her story, she mentioned, is an ironic reminder that the one technique to get folks to cease taking a look at her as a girl in a wheelchair is to attract consideration to what it’s prefer to be a girl in a wheelchair.

In July 1993, the Schiebergen household was driving by Pennsylvania to go to relations. Ms. Schiebergen, 16 months outdated on the time, was within the automotive along with her mother and father and three siblings after they had been hit by one other automotive.

All 4 kids and their mother and father had been taken to hospitals within the area, Ms. Schiebergen and her mom mentioned, and greater than a day glided by earlier than medical doctors realized the severity of Roxanne’s accidents. Surgery revealed injury to her spinal twine, within the space beneath the T-6 vertebra. She wouldn’t have full use of her legs for the remainder of her life.

Once I realized that, the pain was so intense, so incredibly intense,” Roxanne’s mom, Sandy Schiebergen, mentioned in a cellphone interview.

After six weeks in a Pennsylvania rehabilitation hospital, Roxy, as she is thought, returned to the household dwelling close to Amsterdam. “My husband, Roxy’s father, and I both concentrated on ‘What can she do?’” Sandy mentioned. “We looked at what she could do, not thinking about what she couldn’t do, because that was too painful.” She enrolled her daughter in mother-and-child swim courses and later signed her up for ski classes. Then got here tennis and horseback driving.

“She fought every single day for me to have a normal life,” Roxy mentioned of her mom.

When Roxy was on a sixth-grade class journey, the scholars had been tasked with working up an extended path on a steep hill. School officers advised Roxy they’d drive her to the highest. “She would not have any of that,” Sandy mentioned, including that Roxy wheeled herself to the summit. “People were talking about it for a long time after,” her mom mentioned. “My experience with her is that she doesn’t run away, not from something that’s important.”

She realized to stroll with leg braces and a walker, spending a number of hours a day standing upright, which was vital for bone progress. But she most popular her handbook wheelchair. “I want to be able to go fast,” she advised her mom.

As a facet impact of the accidents, Ms. Schiebergen developed scoliosis. She underwent three surgical procedures as a youngster to have steel rods inserted alongside her backbone. She spent three months in a physique solid.

As a tween, she developed a love of singing and performing. She joined her center college’s manufacturing of the musical “Hair.” For her solo rendition of “White Boys/Black Boys,” the trainer overseeing the manufacturing had Ms. Schiebergen put on a fancy dress out of conserving with the hippie-era setting: a big costume that draped over Roxy and coated her wheelchair.

“They had shame that I was in a wheelchair,” she mentioned. “It’s a difficult existence, to have a different view of yourself than the world has of you.”

In 2010, she went to New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts to review musical theater. Learning to navigate crowded sidewalks and damaged subway elevators was a problem, however she mentioned she beloved New York life.

After her commencement, in 2014, she remained within the metropolis, auditioning for performs, doing voice-over work and modeling. She traveled by Europe and South America along with her shut pal, Madeline Rhodes, a performer often called MuMu. Ms. Schiebergen returned to the Netherlands in 2018, when the steel rods in her again snapped. She underwent surgical procedure and an extended rehabilitation course of.

Ms. Schiebergen has spent many of the pandemic in New York. By spring 2021, she had began a relationship with a person. A month or so into it, she realized she was pregnant. “I was freaking out,” she mentioned. “I kept on taking tests.”

She advised few folks concerning the being pregnant, apart from Ms. Rhodes and her boyfriend on the time. Within days, she selected an abortion. “I was in a brand-new relationship,” she mentioned. “Having a family was something I wanted to do with someone I loved, and I didn’t know him.”

Ms. Schiebergen mentioned she known as Planned Parenthood of Greater New York on July 22 and spent about 45 minutes on the cellphone with an worker. “I was crying from the start,” she mentioned. The worker requested if she had any pre-existing situations, she recalled. “I told her I had a spinal cord injury and rods in my back from scoliosis,” Ms. Schiebergen mentioned.

She didn’t say she used a wheelchair throughout the name, she added. “When people hear the word ‘wheelchair,’” she mentioned, “they make decisions for me about what I can and cannot do without having any understanding of what I do for myself every single day.”

The Planned Parenthood consultant scheduled an appointment, quoting a value of $500, she mentioned. Later that day, Ms. Schiebergen was taking her canine for a stroll when somebody on the group known as to verify. “By the way,” Ms. Schiebergen mentioned she advised the caller, “I’m in a wheelchair. Just making sure you guys have an elevator.”

A Planned Parenthood consultant then canceled the appointment, saying the group didn’t present abortions to girls in wheelchairs, Ms. Schiebergen mentioned.

“I felt like this can’t be real,” she mentioned. “I started bargaining. I said something along the lines of, ‘I can get on a table by myself. I’m very independent.’ This was through tears.”

People who work on behalf of these with disabilities mentioned they weren’t shocked by Ms. Schiebergen’s case. “This happens all the time, unfortunately,” mentioned Mia Ives-Rublee, director of the Disability Justice Initiative on the Center for American Progress, a liberal suppose tank. She mentioned there weren’t statistics obtainable on the variety of girls with disabilities who encounter difficulties in gaining access to abortions, partly due to the disgrace that surrounds the process.

“We know there are significant issues in terms of accessibility for disabled patients of any medical clinic, and certainly abortion clinics and reproductive health clinics are included in that,” mentioned Ms. Ives-Rublee, an writer of the current report “Reproductive Justice for Disabled Women: Ending Systemic Discrimination.”

Just a few weeks after her abortion, Ms. Schiebergen and Ms. Rhodes went to lunch with a pal who was a incapacity lawyer. The lawyer had a connection to Planned Parenthood and notified somebody there about Ms. Schiebergen’s expertise. On Aug. 13, Ms. Schiebergen obtained an electronic mail, which she shared with The New York Times.

“Hi Roxy,” a senior member of Planned Parenthood of Greater New York’s scientific workers wrote. “I am reaching out to connect with you regarding your experience while attempting to schedule an appointment last month. I am hopeful that you may be open to speaking with me and cannot express how sorry we are for the experience that you had.” (The workers member declined to remark for this text.)

Nine months later, in May, Ms. Schiebergen’s pal texted her the advert exhibiting a girl in a wheelchair and the phrases “Planned Parenthood.” Ms. Schiebergen mentioned that, when she noticed it, “I felt genuinely confused, like maybe I had said or done something wrong.”

She determined to see if her expertise was a fluke. She phoned the clinic once more, this time recording the decision. She advised the one that answered that she was pregnant (though she was not) and wished an abortion. “I have a spinal cord injury and I’m in a wheelchair,” Ms. Schiebergen mentioned. “I can’t walk. I just want to make sure that that’s not an issue.” In the 22-minute name, the worker advised Ms. Schiebergen that the group couldn’t present an abortion for her due to her use of a wheelchair and her incapacity to face on her personal.

Later, a Planned Parenthood consultant who had been apprised of the cellphone dialog, known as Ms. Schiebergen to ask her extra questions, together with about her upper-body mobility. In a 3rd dialog, the individual advised Ms. Schiebergen that Planned Parenthood may, in actual fact, give her an appointment for an abortion. (Ms. Schiebergen shared the recordings of the calls with The Times.)

“Ultimately,” Ms. Schiebergen mentioned, “when someone who has a disability calls Planned Parenthood to schedule an abortion — which is already a frightening and chaotic experience — they should be welcomed and asked how Planned Parenthood can assist them in a way that is safe, without being told ‘no, no, no’ multiple times.”

The day after our interview within the cafe, the Supreme Court printed its determination to remove the constitutional proper to an abortion. Ms. Schiebergen texted me to say she was going to an abortion rights rally in Washington Square Park.

We met on her Midtown block. She was carrying denims, aviator sun shades and a T-shirt. I hailed a taxi. As Ms. Schiebergen rolled herself towards it, the driving force pulled away. I hailed a second cab. When the driving force noticed Ms. Schiebergen wheeling towards him, he mentioned, “I have to go pick someone else up.” Because of site visitors, he wasn’t capable of pace off just like the earlier driver. “This is every day,” she mentioned.

The third taxi driver who pulled over claimed her wheelchair wouldn’t match within the trunk. “It will,” Ms. Schiebergen mentioned. She put one hand on the automotive’s again seat, one other hand on the highest of the window body and lifted herself into the automotive. She then slid a hand behind certainly one of her calves and introduced one leg into the cab, then the opposite. I took the wheelchair into the again, the place it match simply. The course of took much less time than it takes to get a child and stroller right into a taxi.

The on a regular basis discrimination confronted by Ms. Schiebergen is all too widespread, mentioned Robert Fuller, an affiliate professor of obstetrics, gynecology and maternal-fetal medication on the University of Virginia. “In doctor’s offices, in taxis, in shopping malls and restaurants, this is what happens to people with paralysis every single day,” mentioned Dr. Fuller, who focuses on high-risk maternal care, usually for paralyzed girls.

Statistics on abortions for girls with disabilities are laborious to return by, Dr. Fuller added. “But what happened to Roxy is probably more common than people realize,” he mentioned. Women with paralysis, he continued, “are excluded from conversations about reproductive care because there is an assumption, ‘Oh, they could never do that.’ In fact, paralysis does not affect fertility in women.”

There isn’t any medical cause to disclaim an abortion to a girl who’s paralyzed simply because she is paralyzed, Dr. Fuller mentioned. But there are questions that ought to be answered to find out if she will be able to safely have an abortion at a clinic, as Ms. Schiebergen did, or if she ought to bear the process at a hospital. Those questions, he mentioned, embrace: Does your mobility have an effect on your bodily means to obtain pelvic exams? Are you capable of medically tolerate gynecologic exams or procedures? How excessive is your spinal twine damage?

He added that abortion suppliers ought to ask girls who use wheelchairs in the event that they endure from autonomic dysreflexia, a situation that afflicts some folks with spinal twine accidents. If a paralyzed lady has the situation, that doesn’t routinely imply she ought to have procedures solely in a hospital setting, Dr. Fuller mentioned, however a physician conversant in her well being historical past ought to be consulted.

Near Washington Square Park, Ms. Schiebergen and I received out of the taxi because the rally was already underway. She wished to grab an edge of a giant banner that the group was carrying up Fifth Avenue, however she couldn’t. “I need both hands to march,” she mentioned, rolling herself ahead.

The go to introduced Ms. Schiebergen near her N.Y.U. haunts, and in addition close to the Bleecker Street clinic. She mentioned she hoped it might welcome her and different paralyzed girls who would want its providers sooner or later.

“Because if you can’t get an abortion in Greenwich Village, New York,” she mentioned, “where can you?”