Editor’s Note: Danielle Campoamor is freelance writer and reporter, formerly of TODAY and NBC. The views expressed here are her own. Read more opinion on CNN.

CNN —  Danielle Campoamor

If everything had gone according to plan, the 28-year-old would be the mom of two living daughters. She would be balancing the Herculean task of raising her six-year-old, Adalie, while navigating exhausting late-night feedings, never-ending diaper changes and everything else that goes with caring for a three-month-old.

Instead, she’s running for the District 75 seat in the Tennessee House of Representatives, and suing the state over its abortion ban, after she was forced to travel out of state to obtain an abortion to end her non-viable pregnancy

“My journey is the biggest reason why I’m running,” Phillips told me. “But the people in my state deserve better. My family and the people in my community, we all deserve to have happy, healthy lives — no matter how we choose to do that. It should be our choice.”

‘My baby was going to die’

Since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, abortion has become an even more galvanizing political issue, dominating the midterm elections, becoming one of the top issues for voters in the upcoming presidential vote and drawing a record number of voters to the polls in local and state elections. 

The Dobbs decision also motivated an increased number of women to consider running for office. Organizations like Emerge and Run For Something all reported an increase in website traffic and in the number of women signing up for information about public office training programs – what was dubbed “The Dobbs effect.” 

It has also opened the floodgates for countless, harrowing stories of women being denied abortion care, in some cases putting their lives at risk, forcing them to carry doomed pregnancies to term and traumatizing families in the process.

Phillips’ much-wanted second pregnancy was diagnosed with multiple fatal fetal abnormalities at 18 weeks gestation. The fetus — a baby girl named Miley Rose had a brain that did not split into two hemispheres, a heart with only two working chambers and a bladder, stomach and kidneys that did not develop properly.

Phillips was faced with two options: Carry a non-viable pregnancy to term, possibly putting her own life at risk, or end her pregnancy.