When I was 18, in 1969, and abortion was still illegal in the United States, an acquaintance of mine tried, without a doctor’s help, to abort the fetus she was carrying. Things went very wrong and she needed help. She called me because she was too ashamed, embarrassed and scared to tell her own family or close friends and, most especially, the man involved. When I got there, I panicked and took her home where my mom quickly drove her to the hospital. They did a D&C, as it was called then–abortion would not be legal in this country for another 4 years. She survived. I grew up a little that night. And I learned from my mom how to have a woman’s back.