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Abortion was illegal in our state

I was fifteen years old, “madly in love” and thought I had met the partner who I would eventually marry. I skipped a couple of periods and knew I was probably pregnant. I went to have the big conversation with him. During that conversation I was told that he was also dating another girl who was also pregnant (she was younger than me). I was absolutely distraught and in shock. With great trepidation, I finally confided in my parents, which broke their hearts, but despite their emotional pain, they immediately made an appointment with the OBGYN who had delivered me. They also consulted with our minister who was a kind and progressive man, and a great supporter of them. In 1970, abortion was illegal in our state, but the doctor made connections for us to travel to New York to have the procedure done. The boy’s parents were in opposition to the decision that my parents, minister and doctor had made for me. Yes, that decision was made for me-- I was a child.

I remember feeling as if I was in an emotional fog. I was mortified as I attended classes at my small high school as the gossip had spread quickly. It appeared that everyone knew. When the appointed date came, my parents drove me to New York. I remember very little of the trip. Upon arrival at the clinic, I was taken into a procedure room, alone. I remember separating myself from everything that was happening and to this day all I remember is the examination table, the paper on the table, and the stirrups. I was 14 weeks pregnant and weighed 95 lbs. I was a child, a very naïve child. I know the decision that was made was the best for me, but I still feel such guilt about it.

I’ve placed a small pink quartz stone on the grave of my son who died by suicide at 39. It helps me grieve. Two lives never, never to be forgotten.

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