When I got pregnant in 1964, abortions were illegal in the United States and I had not really thought out anything. I did not expect to get pregnant, I barely knew the guy, we got together at a party. I called my parents and told them and they said,”Come home for fall break. We will help you.” My father was a Family Physician and because there was no safe place to take me for an abortion, he did it himself! He risked losing his license, our whole family’s income and future, because he wanted me to finish my education and live a fuller life. He had trained in New York City and been to the Margaret Sanger Clinic to learn about birth control, which was also illegal in the 30’s. He strongly believed in the value of women’s lives and choices.
I knew of people who flew to England, and people who had terrible complications from illegal abortions in the US. I was very lucky, and very grateful. l have tried hard to pay that forward by working to bring contraception to students, low-income women and homeless youth for the past 42 years, 32 years as a Physician Assistant. Women without options do desperate things; that should not happen now or in the future.