Mabel’s Story

In 1966 I was 31, married with 2 children (born 1964 and 1965) and 3 months pregnant with my third child in as many years. I had an IUD in place. I was also nursing!

I knew I could not have another child so soon. I was physically and mentally exhausted. I was working, doing family work, 13 hours a day, seven days a week. My husband was not one who pitched in, changing diapers, doing laundry etc. We were an “old fashioned” couple brought up in the ethos of the fifties that focused on being in service to your husband, whose needs trumped everyone’s.

My doctor was sympathetic and with his aid I located an abortionist in Nevada. He, however, was “on vacation”. The next step was Tijuana. I had the support of my husband and we went, leaving the other 2 kids with a baby sitter. The abortionist was kind. I sobbed uncontrollably as soon as we were back on U.S. soil. It was one of the most difficult and best decisions of my life.

It is difficult for me now to imagine what I was willing to put on the line: my life. I was risking everything. If I died, my two children would have been without me. My husband would have remarried. My parents would have blamed him. The entangled consequences are painful to picture.

Indeed, the Right is making up a syndrome, another desperate attempt to void Roe vs Wade. I would never want my daughters-in-law to have to face the balance that my husband and I faced. And why should they? In all cultures, in all history and pre-history women have had to make the decision whether they could provide for yet another being. They made it alone, they carried it out alone in the interest of the survival of those who were living. For the Right to reserve the right to massacre others in war and at the same time blithely accuse women of murder is beyond ludicrous.