My Illegal Abortion Almost Killed Me

by Anonymous

July 12, 2022

It was 1961. I was an art student, two months pregnant, penniless and estranged from my parents. My boyfriend, also a student, had to borrow a hundred dollars from his mom for the only doctor we could find to perform an illegal abortion

It was called PACKING – a tube inserted deeply in the vagina – terribly painful and unforgettable to this day. Then a shot of penicillin and instructions to stay physically active till the bleeding starts. Lastly I was given the doctor’s business card and told to contact him if needed.

Three days later I was hemorrhaging hopelessly. My neighbor called for an ambulance. But first the police came and badgered me on and on for the doctor’s name – which I refused to reveal. At last I was taken to the hospital and told how close I had come to dying – the fate of a young woman my doctor had tried to save just one week earlier.

Six years later I was called before a Grand Jury to testify against the doctor who had performed the abortion. (His business card had been found in in my apartment and that was the beginning of a long surveillance of his practice)

I did not menstruate for seven years after the abortion. Then one day my period returned and a month later I became pregnant. My son is named for the doctor who saved my live after that illegal abortion. If not for him I would have died, my son would never exist nor would his daughter.

We must think more deeply about the term Right to Life!


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