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1972–pregnant and off to college

by Diana

June 12, 2017

I got pregnant the summer after I graduated high school. I was heading for college in the fall and had no intention of having a baby. But I was lucky enough to live in New York state and 1972 was the first year abortion became legal.

I didn’t tell anyone else I was pregnant—especially not my Italian, Catholic parents. My boyfriend and I found a local progressive doctor who had taken on the cause of women’s reproductive rights. He and his staff were kind and non-judgmental and discussed birth control with me after the procedure.

The relief I felt after it was over was indescribable. I went home, took a 2-hour nap and then went out to the movies that night with my friends. No one had a clue until I told my closest friends after I finished college. To this day, I tell people—and my children (yes, I had 2 kids later, both of whom I had when I was ready)— that those stories of guilt-ridden women are incredibly exaggerated and that the feeling of relief is natural.

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