I can only imagine what the women who went before me experienced. 

My story takes place during the Spring of 1972, less than a year before Roe v Wade was decided by the Supreme Court. The attitude of health care providers was misogynistic. I had just graduated from Auburn University in Alabama and was preparing for my upcoming wedding when I discovered that I was 2 months pregnant. I remember I asked the nurse where I had gone for a physical before starting my job as a bank teller for the 3 months between graduation and the wedding, and she was pretty hush hush about giving me the information. She gave me an 800 number and that's how I set up the flight from Alabama (it was my very first time on a plane) to JFK airport. My fiance offered to go with me, but I took a hard pass on that. Maybe I was beginning to be more independent, and just didn't recognize it as such. 

Arrangements were made for me to fly to New York, where I would supposedly be met by a discreet sign and instructions. Instead, as I came down the elevator with my little red train case in hand, there was a sleazy looking man in a shiny suit holding up a handwritten sign and yelling, “Billick Abortion Clinic!". I and about a dozen other young women were horrifyingly herded into a van and rushed out to Mineola, New York. We were lined up outside a concrete building in a strip mall to wait our turns to be admitted. After paying our $500 in cash, we were told we would be given a shot to put us into “twilight sleep”, and that we would not feel or remember a thing. Less than 15 minutes later, I was rushed down a hall to a dingy room with an examination table equipped with cold metal stirrups. After climbing up (unassisted) and placing my legs in position, a large German man in scrubs and a blood-stained apron came in, hurriedly inserted the speculum, and proceeded with the uterus evacuation. The motor was so loud I could barely hear my own screams. This enraged the man, and he looked up, called me a slut, shoved a fist in my face and said “You should have thought about this before you stupidly had unprotected sex. If you don't stop screaming, I'll stop and leave that kid to rot inside of you!". 

I never had any second thoughts about my decision. I have always felt lucky I had the choice to direct my own future, and would do it all again if I had to. I can only imagine what the women who went before me experienced. And now “they” (and we all know who “they” are) want to turn the clock back to keep control of us and our bodies. Sadly, many of them are female, and I wonder if and when either they or someone they know has to deal with the loss of choice, they will wish they had not cast that vote.

I'm just too angry to type anymore. There's not much to say beyond this, except that I survived, unlike many who didn't over the years.

"Now 'they' (and we all know who 'they' are) want to turn the clock back to keep control of us and our bodies."

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