When I was 18 years old I became pregnant. It was 1972. Abortion was still illegal in most states, and I lived in New Jersey. It was legal in NY state but not in NY city. My mother had found my birth control pills (I was still living at home) and threw them away. I became pregnant that month. My boyfriend and I found a place to get an abortion in upstate NY, a five hour drive away.
I was about 6-7 weeks pregnant but was already having a lot of morning sickness and couldn't function. This was in the days before nausea medication. We drove up to the abortion clinic: a small log cabin in NY state. There was no ultrasound then. It was late December, 1972. The doctor examined me and said I was not pregnant, gave me a shot ( I bet it was progesterone) to bring about my period, gave me some birth control pills and sent me home. I did start bleeding later that week and restarted the pills.
My period never came, so I had another pregnancy test the next month. I was pregnant. I always was. By the time we tried to arrange for another abortion I was at least 11 weeks. The cut off was 12. We found another clinic and I was the last patient of the day because I was the farthest along. I was starting to show-- I was very skinny in those days. I was sick because I hadn't eaten all day and remember the pain and vomiting after the procedure. We again had to drive six hours to upstate NY in the winter. It was January 1973 and Roe v. Wade had just passed. I was unemployed so my boyfriend paid for everything. We broke up later that month.
I am so glad I had the abortion. I was so young, still in college and not in a stable relationship. I never doubted or felt bad about my decision. I went on to marry, have a beautiful daughter born in 1980 and become a medical professional. I am an abortion provider and women's health care clinician.
Women today do not appreciate the war we fought to make abortion safe and legal. Something we still do today. We need to speak out and keep our voices strong.