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Sat May 20, 2017, 11:08 PM

My Grandmother's Desperate Choice

~snip~

As a child, I knew only that my grandmother had died when my mom was still a baby. The one time I asked what had happened to her, a bolt of panic flashed across my mother’s face. “A household accident,” was all she said.

I was twelve years old when she finally told me the truth. Some friends and I had got into a long after-school discussion about abortion, prompted by the gruesome posters that a protester had staked in front of the Planned Parenthood in our Vermont town. I had already begun reading my mother’s Ms. magazines cover to cover, but this was the first time I’d encountered a pro-life position. When I hopped into my mom’s car after school, I was buzzing with new ideas. I had almost finished repeating one friend’s pro-life argument when I saw the look on Mom’s face. That’s when she told me: the “household accident” that had killed her mother had, in fact, been a self-induced abortion.

Her hands were tight on the steering wheel as she spoke. I realized later that it wasn’t the topic of abortion itself that made her so uneasy—she was a nurse and a Roe-era feminist who usually responded straightforwardly to even the most embarrassing health questions. Rather, her anguish arose from sharing a truth that she’d been brought up believing was too terrible to speak.

Sitting beside her in the passenger seat, I struggled to absorb the meaning of what she’d told me. I had only just grasped what abortion was a few hours earlier, and was still trying on this new pro-life idea. “O.K.,” I said, “but what about the uncle or aunt I never had?” Mom whipped toward me, face taut with a rage and fear that I somehow understood had nothing to do with me. “What about the mother I never had?” she said.

Read More: http://www.newyorker.com/culture/personal-history/my-grandmothers-desperate-choice

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Arrow 12 replies Author Time Post
Reply My Grandmother's Desperate Choice (Original post)
StevieM May 2017 OP
bobbieinok May 2017 #1
BlancheSplanchnik May 2017 #2
Permanut May 2017 #3
Warpy May 2017 #4
CaliforniaPeggy May 2017 #5
Solly Mack May 2017 #6
luvMIdog May 2017 #7
Stonepounder May 2017 #8
TxDemChem May 2017 #9
MLAA May 2017 #10
iluvtennis May 2017 #11
StevieM May 2017 #12

Response to StevieM (Original post)

Sat May 20, 2017, 11:21 PM

1. Important reminder of lives lost when abortion is illegal

Read the entire article.

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Response to StevieM (Original post)

Sat May 20, 2017, 11:23 PM

2. KICK and REC. and applause for the New Yorker

Because the catastrophic consequences of illegal abortion have been purposely silenced by conservatives, so that all we ever hear, all anti-abortion people think about is crying over imaginary "babies", and accusing women of murder. And sluttiness.

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Response to StevieM (Original post)

Sat May 20, 2017, 11:45 PM

3. Right wing nutcases here..

think that overturning Roe v. Wade will bring an end to all abortions. More willful ignorance.

More info about "back-alley" abortions in the 40's and 50's:

http://www.nytimes.com/books/first/s/solinger-abortion.html

Edit to add that I understand the OP was not about back alley abortions; choices then were all life-threatening.

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Response to StevieM (Original post)

Sat May 20, 2017, 11:50 PM

4. Yeah, that's what they want, all right

Antiabortion laws kill women. They have no other function.

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Response to StevieM (Original post)

Sun May 21, 2017, 12:06 AM

5. Heartbreaking. And these Republicans want women to go back to those awful times. FUCK THEM. n/t

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Response to StevieM (Original post)

Sun May 21, 2017, 12:11 AM

6. K&R

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Response to StevieM (Original post)

Sun May 21, 2017, 12:29 AM

7. long time ago I knew a woman who used pick up sticks like this in the pic to self abort

She told me she was young and very terrified of having a baby. She said she went in the bathroom and used these sticks. It's a wonder she lived to tell the tale


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Response to StevieM (Original post)

Sun May 21, 2017, 12:42 AM

8. Make America Great Again - going back to the 50's.

When wages were high and unemployment was low and the country was booming.

And abortion was illegal and women died.
And Jim Crow was the law.
And young women who got pregnant 'out of wedlock' simply disappeared for a while.
And homosexuality was illegal.
And when AIDS showed up we did nothing because it was 'that gay disease'.
And women didn't work in 'men's jobs'.
And spousal rape was an oxymoron.
And lynchings were not uncommon in the South.

And America was a Christian nation.

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Response to StevieM (Original post)

Sun May 21, 2017, 01:23 AM

9. A great read

Thank you so much for posting this article. I never want to see an era where women are in the same predicament as Win. Just utterly cruel, especially for the surviving family members.

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Response to StevieM (Original post)

Sun May 21, 2017, 01:36 AM

10. Thank you for sharing

Your story touched me deeply. Thank you.

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Response to MLAA (Reply #10)

Sun May 21, 2017, 01:41 AM

11. And me too

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Response to MLAA (Reply #10)

Sun May 21, 2017, 02:49 AM

12. I think you misunderstood. This wasn't my grandmother's story. I was reposting the article.

But of course, this woman was somebody's grandmother. So many women suffered needlessly in pre-Roe vs. Wade America.

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