Ruth’s Story

I did it before and I’d do it again. I am not ashamed or embarrassed. My children know that I have had an abortion. It is not a secret part of my life. I would advise anyone to do it. Abortion should be covered by insurance, by Medicaid/care, supplied by the “state”. Cheap and available to any woman for any or no reason whatsoever. Although abortion is legal in this country, most women do not have access to safe and affordable abortion, some medical schools no longer even teach doctors this important element of women’s health.

I became sexually active in the early 1970s at the end of the “sexual revolution” and the “2nd wave of feminism.” “The Pill” was new and women had the right to say ‘”yes.” We weren’t worried about disease then, penicillin could cure anything. I fucked who I wanted when I wanted, I didn’t have to be in love, I didn’t have to know their names.

In ’79 I married, became monogamous, had a child. But the marriage didn’t last. I moved with my son to a small town where I worked 2 and 3 jobs to support us. My son had a minor birth defect that required a 300-mile medical journey every other month. I was not as promiscuous as before motherhood but neither was I abstinent.

I became pregnant when my diaphragm failed, it failed only because I failed to unpack and use it. There was only one solution. Another child was not an option especially as to work 2 and 3 I took drugs so I could probably look forward to another birth defect.

1984. I had to drive 300 miles to the city to obtain my abortion. I did not go to Planned Parenthood, I did not go to an abortion clinic. I went to a women’s health clinic. It was just before waiting periods, but already not covered any longer by insurance. There were no protesters although this clinic had had to move before due to mandatory motherhood people setting up shop next door. I didn’t have to watch films of abortions or fetuses. I wasn’t ‘counseled.’ I was treated as an adult, I made the appointment, took a pregnancy test, I was 9 weeks along. I was given a Valium; the procedure was short and uncomfortable. I was given a darkened room to lie in for 2 hours.

Although I was not supposed to drive, I drove 300 miles home, went to work the next day, eventually remarried and had another child. I made my peace with myself and my actions. Every child should have the best possible opportunities, I had already destroyed some of this (potential) child’s opportunity by my irresponsible actions, it would have been far more irresponsible to expect that ‘child’ as well as the son I already had to live with those consequences.