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I deeply appreciate the personal stories of those who experienced abortion before Roe v Wade in 1973, and I particularly responded to yours. These stories help to illustrate your point that abortion will not end if the procedure is once again made illegal. It is irresponsible to assume that simply denying access to birth control, counseling, and legalized abortion will end premarital sex, or the practice of clinical abortion. Indeed, legally banning it will be a field day for opportunists. In small town 1960's, we could not get birth control unless we were married, or lied. It would not have occurred to me to lie to a doctor to get a prescription. I became pregnant at the age of 20, while attending college. My beau, a young poet and Vietnam vet with PTSD I'd been trying to save, was not supportive. I did not even once consider telling my parents; they were prominent professionals in my hometown and raised us with the tacit understanding, "Don't Embarass Us". This situation would have meant the end of college for me and a return home to emotional (and physical) abuse. It seemed easier to lie to my parents. Through the grapevine, I was given the number of a compassionate middle-aged nurse who "helped troubled girls" in a nearby town, and I opted to have an abortion. Eleven weeks into my pregnancy, and with the money from my cashed-in dormitory meal ticket, I went to my abortionist's trailer on the Friday night before Spring Break. She packed my uterus with gauze that had been soaked in a saline solution, then I left. She told me I would start labor in about 24 hours, but that I should not try to call her. I am sure she feared arrest if something should go wrong. A roommate stayed with me all weekend; she, too, was twenty years old. Neither of us had ever witnessed a birth or miscarriage nor had we any idea what to expect, or what to do in an emergency. I "miscarried" late that Sunday night, but all of the afterbirth did not expel. I was admitted to the county hospital two days later with sepsis. I don't remember much about my stay, or know what was written on my chart, but the hospital staff was more concerned with how I would be able to pay for my care. So many years later I know that, given the same set of circumstances, I would likely still have chosen that abortion, but I mourn the loss of what (who) might have been. This experience set me on my heels, made me an adult, and I don't think I really came to terms with it's many implications for decades to come. In that regard, I feel a kinship with the others who have shared their experiences here. The choice is private and painful. I agree with Hillary Clinton that abortion should be kept "safe, legal and rare". "Rare" because, ideally, women would be given supportive counsel and resources to follow through on all of their options, including birth control.
posted 4 years, 8 months ago
posted 4 years, 8 months ago
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