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Thu Jul 5, 2018, 01:24 PM

Daring to Remember: From El Paso to Juarez and Back Before Roe (NEVER AGAIN)

Daring to Remember: From El Paso to Juarez and Back Before Roe (NEVER AGAIN)

This post is part of Daring to Remember, an ongoing series of stories from the years before Roe v. Wade. We must remind the country what a nation without any safe, legal abortion access looks like. We must remind our lawmakers what women’s lives without abortion access look like—and the devastating ways in which an end to abortion access is an end to our freedom. We are fighting for Roe by publishing women’s stories of life without it. We are daring to remember. Submit a story here.



El Paso’s second ward in 1972. (Photo by Danny Lyon for the National Archives.)

My abortion at 16 years old in 1967 was decided on by my mother and the father of my boyfriend. I was sent alone on a plane to El Paso, where I was instructed to take a cab—but not a Yellow cab—to Juarez and go to a supermarket, telling customs that I was going shopping. I was given a secret number to ask for if approached to make sure it was the right person. At the supermarket, a man approached me and told me to get into his car. I did as told and I was driven around and around for about a half-hour and then into a middle-class neighborhood. As we entered the driveway, the garage door was opened by a woman inside and then quickly closed. I was led to a living room, where I sat with two other girls. When my name was called, I was interviewed by the doctor who asked for the agreed-upon money and then demanded $200 more—or he would turn me away. I had about $75 more for food and cabs, and I gave it all to him. He called me a whore.

He led me into a bedroom, where I removed my clothes and was given a gown. I was placed on a gurney and wheeled into a converted operating room with the doctor, the woman who had lifted the garage door and another man. They gave me ether. At one point in the procedure, I heard all of them yelling at me: “Breathe!” “Breathe!” I came out of the ether fog and heard them clearly but I couldn’t make my lungs work. The doctor still had an instrument inside of me and I could feel the pain. The other man socked me in the stomach, hard, and I gasped for breath. Then they put the ether back on me and I was out again. When I woke up a few hours later, I was laying in the bedroom with the other girls. The woman came in and put three tampons tied together inside of me and a large pad. She told me to get dressed. I was led back to the car and driven about five minutes away into a very sketchy neighborhood and dropped off in front of a bar. It was night, and there were many men hanging around outside. I had no money for food or a cab back to the United States. I was crying.

. . . . . .

I could have died at that man’s home, died standing in front of that bar or bled to death at home. No one should ever have to go through what I did. I felt defeated, ashamed, branded, lost all self esteem. I don’t know who the man was who drove me back to El Paso or why he did it. I am thankful to him—the one person who showed me kindness during that ordeal.

http://msmagazine.com/blog/2018/07/05/daring-remember-el-paso-juarez-back-roe/

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Response to niyad (Original post)

Thu Jul 5, 2018, 03:39 PM

1. Never again another season of silence. We will NOT go back. n/t

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Response to niyad (Original post)

Sat Jul 7, 2018, 01:24 PM

2. There is not enough rage to vent my feelings about apathy towards Our Lives.

The fucking fetus worshippers can imagine a baby very well by they’re ignorant of how lack of access to safe abortion threatens female lives.

This woman’s story is beyond heartbreaking. The barbaric treatment from family and strangers .... I just am filled with rage and frustration....

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Response to BlancheSplanchnik (Reply #2)

Mon Jul 9, 2018, 11:38 AM

4. not only are they ignorant, they simply do not care. women's lives have no value to them.

even though they all came from a woman, a rather significant fact they prefer to forget.

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Response to niyad (Reply #4)

Wed Jul 11, 2018, 04:26 PM

6. Depraved. They're all depraved monsters. And...

I’ll be aiming my vote at them in November.

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Response to niyad (Original post)

Sat Jul 7, 2018, 09:37 PM

3. If only I could rec this more than 1x

This deserves it

Do women today not get it?

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Response to NotASurfer (Reply #3)

Mon Jul 9, 2018, 11:40 AM

5. some women do not. I actually heard a woman last night, who really should know better,

saying that Roe would never be overturned, so it doesn't matter who the orange dotard nominates.

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Response to niyad (Original post)

Thu Jul 12, 2018, 11:52 AM

7. . . .

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Response to niyad (Original post)

Thu Jul 12, 2018, 03:29 PM

8. I recommend the late, great Harlan Ellison's semi-autobiographical story

"Neither Your Jenny Nor Mine."

It's a shattering look at the horrors of back alley abortions in Tijuana in the '60's and '70's.

Ellison was an unshakeable supporter of women's health rights.

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Response to Aristus (Reply #8)

Fri Jul 13, 2018, 12:17 PM

9. thank you for that excellent reminder.

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