My Body, My Story

It happened…millions of American women lost what was thought to be a fundamental constitutional protection. On June 24, 2022, Roe v. Wade was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. This means that abortion rights were rolled back in nearly half of the states, with more restrictions to come. We lost 50 years of progress. Why and what can we do about it?! I’ve gotten to the point where marching, donating or joining another group is not enough. None of it seems to be making a difference. I’m saddened, angry, and frustrated, and I don’t know what to do. Maybe it’s time to tell my story.

I was 16 years old when it happened. I got pregnant. Of course, at this age, I didn’t think it would ever happen. We used protection, but not every time. All I could think was “what am I going to do now?”. I couldn’t go to my parents because they would probably disown me. I couldn’t tell anyone. Thank goodness, my boyfriend at the time was very supportive. Together, we decided that we would go to Planned Parenthood in another city. At this point, it was 1976. Roe v. Wade had already passed in 1973 and a woman’s right to an abortion was protected. Even with that, the whole process was still strange and bizarre. How do you process something like this at the age of sixteen?

I must admit that some of my memories of the experience are blurry. Maybe that’s part of me trying to block it out — I don’t know. I remember as we were driving to the facility, I looked out the car window and tried to block what was about to happen out of my mind. I remember lying there on the bed and listening to someone tell me what was about to happen and what to expect afterward. I don’t remember exactly how far along I was in the pregnancy, but it was early into the first trimester. They would use what is called vacuum aspiration. Basically, a gentle suction to remove the pregnancy. The procedure was over fairly quickly. With my boyfriend’s hand holding mine, the drive home was silent. I don’t know what I would have done without his support. He dropped me off at home as though we had just gotten back from a date. I had some bleeding and cramping. I spent the rest of the day in my room sobbing into my pillow. 

Up until now, the only people who know about my abortion are my husband, daughters, and a couple of friends…and now you. I turned 62 this year and the world has turned/is turning upside down. Millions of women don’t have the right to choose what will happen to their bodies anymore. So many women will die because they’re not able to abort a pregnancy that may be detrimental to their own life. And, what about the children that are born from these unwanted pregnancies? What will happen to their futures? I’m angry! There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about what is happening. The future of our children and grandkids is at stake. We’ve got to do something to stop the madness!

By Linda S

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