My two beautiful children owe their lives to that freedom.

by Marilyn

July 4, 2018

I am 71 years old. I had my first pregnancy in my early 20s with my first husband, who had been medically certified sterile and who absolutely did not want any children. We had been living in Turkey for a year, when lo and behold, I got pregnant. I had no support systems, no means of independent support, and a family-hostile husband. Starting a family with this man at that time was a recipe for poverty and suppression. I got an illegal but safe abortion in Istanbul and was free to re-start my life. I have zero regrets. With the freedom to run my own life, I was eventually able to meet and marry a good man and start a family in stable circumstances. My two beautiful children owe their lives to that freedom. Then at age 42, when I was still recuperating from serious back problems as a result of my second delivery at age 40, my diaphragm failed and I became pregnant again. To carry another child to term at my age and condition risked serious harm to my health and by extension to our family’s well-being. With a simple, safe procedure performed by my doctor my health and my family were protected and preserved. Again, zero regrets. To have constitutionally guaranteed protections to health, life, and well-being denied to women constitutes state cruelty and freedom denied, pure and simple.

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