A reader shares a gruesome experience that took place six years prior to Roe vs. Wade:
I am not using my name because my kids don’t know about this, and there’s no reason for them to know. In the spring of 1967, I discovered that the woman I had been with all winter long was pregnant. I was 19 at the time and she was 28, with three kids. She was recently divorced and for some reason we seemed to get along—so much so that we had sex pretty much all the time. It never occurred to me that she was not using birth control. After all, she had been a married woman, and I was a child of the ‘60s; I knew all about the pill (or so I thought) and so I assumed she was using it.
But when she told me that she was pregnant, I was stunned. How could that be? “Well, I’m not using any birth control.” You’re what? I was flabbergasted. But you had been married for seven or eight years. “Yes, but he always pulled out—except for the three times I got pregnant.”
Wow. She said she wanted an abortion. I didn’t, but it wasn’t my choice. I am adopted and have always deal with feeling of abandonment. My adopted mom had died the year before, and the thought of not doing whatever my girlfriend wanted never occurred to me. I asked a friend of mine if he knew where I could take her to get an abortion. He thought maybe Sioux Falls. We lived in Vermillion, South Dakota, so that made sense. Of course abortion would not be legal for another six years. The cost? We didn’t know but we thought maybe $300. Which I didn’t have.
So, at the time, it seemed like the only option was to do it myself.