Ginny’s Story

I am a forty-eight year old, married woman. I was raised in a very pro-choice household. My mother told me early on that no one had the right to make a woman bear unwanted children. She must have been involved in the underground before abortions were legalized. She told me that women have always had abortions, legal or not. She said the laws prohibiting abortions hurt poor women the most. So, the seeds for my being pro-choice were sown very early.

My husband and I have been together since I was nineteen. When I was 20, I got pregnant. We were in college at that time. Having a baby was not an option that either of us considered. We had birth control failure, I was using a diaphragm. This was the era before AIDS was a problem so he wasn’t using a condom.

Anyway, when I learned from the school health center I was pregnant; the doctor suggested I take a little time to decide what to do and to consider adoption. I knew I was not going to consider that alternative.

I arranged to terminate my pregnancy as soon as possible. I saw a doctor about a menstrual extraction, as I was very early into the pregnancy. The doctor said I wasn’t far enough along. I went the next day to a clinic for the abortion. It was not a fun ordeal, I reacted to the xylocaine that they injected into my cervix, and had this all body sweat. They had me take extra time in the recovery area because my blood pressure was low.

We had a lot of help during this time from our friends and my sisters. I have never regretted this decision. I remember feeling enormously relieved that the abortion was over, that I could actually have some control over my life. I had the abortion on March 20, 1976. I note that date each year.

My husband and I are both professionals and successful in our fields. I am not sure we would be where we are now if we chose to have a baby before we were finished with college and grad school.

We have two great kids now, who are 17 and 20. I haven’t told them yet about the abortion, but think I will eventually. I don’t really talk about my abortion to anyone and it is strange but okay to be doing this now. We have supported Planned Parenthood and NARAL financially as we are committed to a women’s right to choose. Our children are very pro-choice, too.