I was 19, in college, engaged and happy. My first sexual experience was with my fiance. I became pregnant. It was impossible to share my news with my successful, Jewish parents who believed I was perfect . My fiance and I were fortunate to know of a physician who did illegal abortions. I hoped I would be fine. I was taken at gunpoint to a back alley building and told to pee in a kitty litter box. I was alone and scared and unprepared for what was to occur. I somehow thought because I was paying $2,500 it would be in a clean doctor’s suite. The procedure was hushed; I was blindfolded and gagged so I would not scream. My insides were scrapped and then I was returned to the same original location where my fiance was waiting with a dozen red roses. I shook and collapsed, not due to pain but because I was so emotionally unprepared and anxious.
After a few days I was physically fine. The secret though permeated my days at college and I felt undeserving of my rather perfect life as a coed. Years later, I grieved the loss of an unborn fetus and the deception that allowed me to pretend that Life was good, was convinced. I would be “punished forever ” for the accident of pregnancy.
The physical scars grew distant but the challenge of integrating the magnitude of my decision plagued me for years. I blamed my fiance because I never knew about birth control before we had sex. The 60’s were promiscuous but not well integrated in providing sexual information.
I later became a therapist and counseled young woman before they chose to have an abortion. I gave back to a community that needed to be better informed.
Today, we teach about sexual responsibility and allow choice. How I wish I had not been victimized by this lack of education in 1967. I am 68 years old and not a day goes by that I don’t remember the sheer terror of being alone in a back alley and feeling like a criminal for the sin of being young and in Love.