With the recent Supreme Court leak about the possible overturn of Roe v Wade and the subsequent uproar, I decided the time has come for me to be more public with my own abortion story. In 1966, I got pregnant – lonely college girl, friends, parents all out of town, one night stand with a Marine on his way to Vietnam who promised “nothing would happen” if we spent the night together. But it did and I was pregnant. Later Roe v Wade made it legal, but that did little to diminish the shame and guilt I felt for years and every time the controversy arises, it brings it all back. I told my parents (who never thought it would happen to me.) A family friend arranged the abortion. My minister said it’s what he’d do for his daughter. The abortionist was a dentist in another state, Catholic, from Cuba, who provided abortions to save money to get his mother out of Cuba. He told the Virgin Mary that if he got his mother out, he would quit smoking. Cognitive dissonance. To his credit, he gave me morphine, a Rx for antibiotics, and his phone number in case there were complications, more than many women got for backroom procedures. There were no complications. I returned to school, graduated, went on with my life, but not without sorrow, grief, guilt, and recriminations. A second chance…but at a cost. I don’t want others to go through what I did for any reason. Sometimes the pro-choice activists raise horrific circumstances – rape, incest, ectopic pregnancy, health/death of the mother. Often the circumstances are like mine: wrong decision, wrong guy, wrong time. But the abortion was the best choice for me, my future, my mental health, and my family’s well-being. It is a fact of my life but not my whole identity. My choice may not be yours, but we can’t make it for others. Other rights could fall if this one does. Too old to march but I can send warm thoughts and cold cash to those who do. And vote. If my story helps save Roe v Wade, it’s worth it.