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Monday, January 22, 2007

My Choice, My Body - 34th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade


Roe v. Wade at 34: A Pillar of Reproductive Freedom

The National Organization for Women Marks the 34th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade
In Remembrance: Women Who Died from Illegal and Unsafe Abortions.....

When my Mother was a teenager in the 1950s, she knew personally and through the teenage grapevine, knew of other teenage girls who had back alley abortions. The bloody symbolic weapon used for botched back alley abortions was the 'wire hanger.'

Some of those girls died and some of those girls wished they had died.

If they survived, their ability to get pregnant when it was the right time, was taken away. The trauma took its toll on their physical and mental health. My Mom told my sister and I the stories of her youth when we were close to puberty. She imparted her wisdom and her memories, had always educated us about our bodies and our rights.

My Mom also spoke of the responsibility of the other half of the equation....the male. Unfortunately, most males still live by different societal standards yet today.

All the way into 1960s my Mom always met a friend who had contemplated to have or had had a back alley abortion. She took care of one of those friends, who had no other options, who was married and had children.

By the time I was an adult, I had a few friends who had had a safe and secure abortion, no back alleys for them, No horror stories connected to wire hangers or toxic potions, no tragic unnecessary loss of life by a shadowy figure in a germ infested backroom.

These women were given choice over their bodies. No matter the circumstance and there are many, these women were important enough to make their decision based on ownership of their own body.

By the way, I was born in a "private girls hospital." My Mother had to fight to keep me, the staff tried their best to convince her to give me up for adoption. I was placed in a foster home when she became increasingly ill and extremely weak while in the hospital, after giving birth to me.

Even though my Mother and Father loved one another, the families were against them marrying. My Father bent to the will of his family and wed another. My Mother gained strength to fight tooth and nail to keep her baby, to keep me, it was her choice.

Even though outcast from her family for many years, her brother and her friends helped her to get on her feet. You see, I was not only born out of wedlock, but I was mixed too. My Mother never passed judgment on another for their choice. She passed her wisdom on to me, my body, my choice.
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