Why They Ended Their Pregnancies

Three Women, Three Decades, Three Decisions

June 2022

Editor’s Note: Roughly six in 10 Americans oppose the overturning of Roe v. Wade, and around eight in 10 say abortion should be legal in at least some circumstances, according to Gallup.

Yet if the U.S. Supreme Court actually rules to eliminate the constitutional reproductive rights women have had for almost half a century, as many as 25 states—home to roughly half the country’s population—are likely to outlaw nearly all abortions.

Today, most women live within an hour’s drive of a licensed abortion clinic. But without Roe’s protections, clinics in half of the states are expected to shut down in relatively short order, according to analyses of state laws from the Center for Reproductive Rights. For women living in Mississippi, for example, that might mean the closest abortion clinic to them will now be 600 miles north and a nine-hour drive away, in Illinois.

The Court is expected to issue its abortion ruling this month or in early July. A leaked version of an early draft opinion suggested that the justices were leaning toward a full overturing of Roe, allowing individual states to ban abortion. Such a ruling wouldn’t establish a national policy that could completely outlaw abortion; that would require federal legal action or a separate Supreme Court ruling granting constitutional rights to fetuses. But the ultimate impact of such a decision remains unclear.

Many of the states that will ban abortion already have very restricted access (i.e. Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, North and South Dakota), while more than half of legal abortions (54 percent) are now obtained through medication, rather than a surgical procedure. State bans will likely try to outlaw those meds as well, but they’re readily available online and can be sent in the mail with little ability for the government to intervene.

Still, there’s widespread fear that criminalizing a woman’s right to choose might lead some to seek out dangerous pre-Roe abortion methods, and that it will likely have the largest impact on poor women, primarily Black and Latina, as well as teenagers, the uninsured, and undocumented immigrants. Many won’t have the resources to travel to another state, or have access to medical professionals who can provide appropriate information.

For perspective on the potential impact of a nation post-Roe, The Reporters Inc. asked three women, each of whom chose to end a pregnancy—one in the 1960s pre-Roe, one in the 1970s, and one in the 1980s—to explain how and why they came to their decisions. Our hope is that by sharing their very personal stories, our readers can better understand the importance and necessity of maintaining and securing laws that ensure every woman the right to make her own decisions about her reproductive health—about her right to choose.

 

The 1960s

“This man gave me something and I suddenly got very sick. I got terrible cramps. Everything was a blur after that. Whatever I drank was to actually–it was a drug to induce the abortion.”

 

Name: Judy

How old were you when you had the abortion? 24

What year was it? 1964

So, this was about nine years before Roe v. Wade legalized abortion nationwide? Yes.

Where were you living at the time? Indianapolis, Indiana

Who was the father? A guy I’d been dating for a couple months.

Did he know you were pregnant? Yes, he drove me to the doctor who performed it.

Neither of you wanted to get married? Oh, no, no, no. He said, “I’m not ready” and we didn’t know each other that well, and I wasn’t, you know, pushing for that at all. I also knew my parents would fall apart if I had a baby without being married.

Were you surprised when you got pregnant? We both were.

Were you using protection? I don’t remember. I just didn’t, you know, I didn’t have sex that much at all. I was not a sexual person.

Were you just naive? Yes.

Did you consider adoption as an option?  Well, I had a job. I had a career. And I couldn’t have a child as a single woman. I’d be fired. It would have been considered immoral. And I wouldn’t have been able to hide the pregnancy.

Did you know anyone at the time who had had an abortion? Nobody. I didn’t know what to do.

How many people did you tell? I told one person, a friend I worked with at the time. And she’s the one who told me about the doctor who could perform the abortion.

So how did she know about it?  All I recall is that she gave me the name of this doctor right away. She said he was reputable. I don’t think I was ever told his name.

Did you have any deep religious conviction about your decision?  No.

How did you find out you were pregnant? I have no idea. I must have missed my period, I have no idea. They didn’t have home pregnancy tests back then. I may have gone to a doctor. It was a long time ago.

How many months along were you, when you found out? I think maybe two months, no more than three.

If you had found out when you were, say, six months pregnant, do you think you would’ve kept it? I would not have kept it unless the guy I was dating had said he wanted to keep it and that he’d be with me. Then I would’ve kept a baby.

How much time passed between when you found out you were pregnant and when you actually had the abortion? I’d say maybe a week. I had to make an appointment.

You had to take time off from work then? What did you tell your employer? I just told them I was sick.

So, the doctor your friend referred you to, what kind of doctor was he? She just said he was a well-known doctor and that he also worked with prostitutes. He would check on the prostitutes. And if they needed an abortion, he’d do it.

But was he an actual doctor, like an OB-GYN?  Did he have an office? I don’t know. We were told to check into a motel and wait for a man to come who was, I think, the doctor’s aide. Then I was blind-folded and taken to a bar. When I got there, he gave me something to drink. I don’t know what it was, and I don’t remember much after that. Then he blind-folded me again and took me somewhere else after that. It might have been in an office.

Was your boyfriend with you? No, they didn’t want him there. They told him to wait at the motel.

But what do you remember about this doctor? Was he old, young?  I have no idea.  Like I said, this man gave me something to drink and I suddenly got very sick. I got terrible cramps. Everything was a blur after that. Whatever I drank was to actually, it was a drug to induce the abortion.

So, this all sounds very secretive and sketchy. Like “you gotta ring twice and go to the back booth” kind of thing. I don’t know. I can’t remember. I just know they took care of me.

Did they explain what was going to happen? No, they just said “drink this.”

Did you have to pay up front? In cash? I think so. My boyfriend and I split the cost. I think it was somewhere around $800.

That was a lot of money in 1964. Right. But at that point, I didn’t care.

Despite being out of it, can you remember anything after the bar? I remember being in a waiting room with other women, who I think were prostitutes. They were nice to me. Then I remember laying back and putting my legs in the stirrups. I didn’t see anything. They covered it up, up to above my stomach.

Was it painful? Isn’t this awful. I just, I don’t know. I think I was so nervous. They gave me some pills. I, I know I bled. And I know I had cramps afterwards.

What were you most nervous about? Well, I’d heard or read that if you had a bad abortion, you might never be able to have children in the future.

When it was over, do you remember them saying like, “this is what you do for the pain” or “you need to go see your regular doctor when you get home?” No.

When you did see a gynecologist for check-ups after that, was there ever any mention of the abortion – by either you or the doctor? No. Nobody ever said that. I think it was a, a decent procedure that didn’t affect my physical health in the long run. Emotionally, though, it was tough.

How so? Well, I think I had the abortion in November or October of 1964 and my boyfriend asked me if I wanted to spend Christmas with his family. He had several siblings there, and they each had three or four children. So here I was just having had an abortion. And I was watching all these little kids running around and I just started crying. I, I just couldn’t stop crying. I suddenly just felt so guilty and so awful about it. I was thinking maybe, I don’t know, maybe if he’d said he would marry me, I would have said yes and not gone through with it.

Did your decision ever change your mind about when you felt, or feel, life begins? No, I’ve always felt it’s at birth. The fetus has to be, it has to be able sustain itself and that would be at birth.

Any regrets ever about this? No. None.  But I think if I, if I could not have been able to conceive later in life, I would’ve been very, very upset. Thankfully, I had a healthy baby girl three years later after I was married.

Did you tell your husband about the abortion? Yes. Oh my God. I mean, the man got hysterical. He called me a murderer and screamed, “how could you do that?!” And, oh, it was awful. Anyway, that marriage didn’t last.

But you’ve never bought into that “murderer” accusation? Oh no, no. Never.

Did you ever wonder, if you’d proceeded with that pregnancy, what that child would have been like? No, no, this was not a child that was formed already. I mean it was like 12 weeks tops.

Over the years, how many other people have you told about your abortion? Only a few. Another friend, a sibling, my child, my second husband. But never my parents. They didn’t need to know that. What would the point have been? It’s my body. It’s really nobody else’s business.

What do you think is the main thing people need to be aware of, if Roe V. Wade is repealed and the power to legalize or ban it is returned to the states? I had the resources to be able to afford an abortion. I had the money and my partner was able to help me. If Roe is repealed, it will come down to whether a woman in a state that has banned abortion can afford to travel across state lines to a state where it’s legal. It’s going to mainly affect poor people, poor women who couldn’t even afford contraception or who maybe were raped or—I just can’t imagine the nightmare, the horror of it all.

After the Supreme Court upheld Roe v. Wade in 1973, did you ever think that it would be reversed?  No, I, I can’t believe it. I just cannot believe it. Much of the country seems to be turning to the (political) far right because of the influence of evangelical Christians. They’re gaining a lot of the power, after Trump was able to name three anti-abortion justices to the bench. They’re also getting deeply involved in all these state offices and I don’t think people realize that. The minority is making decisions for the majority. It’s very, very frightening to me to think about that. People just need to vote in the primaries because this isn’t just an attack on abortion, it’s an attack on women.

Editor’s Note: In the early 1960s, 44 states only allowed abortion when a woman’s life would be endangered if she carried the pregnancy to term. Alabama, Colorado, New Mexico, Massachusetts and the District of Columbia permitted abortion if the life or physical health of the woman was in jeopardy. Mississippi allowed abortions in case of life endangerment or rape. Only Pennsylvania prohibited all abortions.

In the 1950s and 1960s, the estimated number of illegal abortions ranged from 200,000 to 1.2 million per year, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

Women with means, like Judy, were able to get abortions by leaving the country or secretly paying a physician in the U.S. a large fee for the procedure. Others weren’t so lucky. They sought out so-called back-alley procedures or took matters in their own hands: inserting knitting needles and coat hangers into their vaginas, drinking chemicals or douching with lye. These methods resulted in medical emergencies and, in some cases, death.

By 1965, illegal abortion accounted for 17 percent of all deaths attributed to pregnancy and childbirth that year. Yet those were just the cases that were officially reported; the actual number was likely much higher.

In the early 1960s, Cook County Hospital in Chicago was treating more than 4,000 women a year for life-threatening effects of botched illegal abortions. In 1962 alone, nearly 1,600 women were admitted to Harlem Hospital Center in New York City for incomplete abortions. In 1968, the University of Southern California Los Angeles County Medical Center admitted 701 women with septic abortions, one admission for every 14 deliveries.

A study of low-income women in New York City in the mid ‘60s found that almost one in 10 (or 8 percent) had attempted to terminate a pregnancy by illegal abortion. Of those, eight in 10 (77%) said that they’d attempted a self-induced procedure. Only 2 percent said that a physician had been involved in any way.

 

The 1970s

“I was already on public assistance at the time and living well below the poverty line. Having to provide for a second child would have certainly exacerbated the depression and the already dire financial situation in which my son and I were living.”

 

Name: Helen

Age you had the abortion: 19

Year had the abortion: 1979

Where were you living at the time: Detroit, Michigan

Reason for the abortion: I’d been in a relationship for close to a year. It was during the summer of ’79 that we learned of the pregnancy. We both were quite shocked because I’d been taking birth control. And the news came at a time when I was beginning to realize that he was not the person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. To complicate things, I already had a four-year-old son. Though my partner was still heavily vested in our relationship, most concerning to me was his inability to be an adequate role model or mentor for my son. He neither had the patience nor the desire to raise one child, let alone two. I was not eager to start a family with him under these circumstances.

How difficult was it to make the decision? It was not a decision we, as a couple, agonized over. In fact, as soon as we learned I was pregnant, my partner’s immediate reaction was that I should have an abortion. Based on my feelings for him at that time I felt this was the best decision for all concerned.

What were your other options and why did you ultimately settle on abortion? There was no discussion between us about alternative options. It had been so abundantly clear right away that neither of us wanted to have a child together. An alternative option of carrying the child to term and then giving it up for adoption was simply implausible. This would have changed the dynamics and complicated matters considerably by involving both of our extended families. I have no doubt that they would have pressured us into doing the “correct” thing by getting married and raising the child. Such a decision would have been disastrous given the circumstances. Choosing to have the abortion was, in my mind, the only option.

At what stage in your pregnancy did you have the abortion? It was within the first 12 weeks.

What role, if any, did religion play in your decision? Religion played no role in this decision.

Do you regret having the abortion? I have never regretted this choice. The bigger regretwould have been if I had caved to the pressure of marrying a man I knew I did not love for the sake of this child. Having the abortion made sense to me then and still does to this day. I know in my heart that I took this situation very seriously and considered my options carefully. It was the only viable option at the time, given my feelings about where our relationship was heading and also taking into account my son’s happiness. I am not one to dwell on past choices. I have always tried to instead learn from life’s valuable lessons and to make better choices in the future. That’s the attitude I’ve chosen to live with. To this day, I still feel it was the right choice for my family.

What would your life have been like if you had the child? More likely than not, we all would have been extremely unhappy. Bringing a fourth person into an already difficult situation would not have brought joy. If I had decided against marriage and raised the child on my own, I would have been a single mom responsible for two children. I was already on public assistance at the time and living well below the poverty line. My financial status caused constant stress and depression as I was unable to afford many of the most basic everyday needs for me and my son. Having to provide for a second child would have certainly exacerbated the depression and the already dire financial situation in which my son and I were living.

How many people know about your decision? A select few. Only those I feel I can trust.

If you keep that decision very private, why? This is a good question because it’s not a decision I feel ashamed of. I made the best decision for me and my son. Even looking back 40+ years, I know it was the right decision. However, this topic has always been a volatile one. It’s hard to know who will be understanding or accepting. I’m not willing to put myself in a position where I have to explain or justify myself to someone who has not walked in my shoes.

For those who don’t know how the process works, please walk us through the actual procedure, as much as you’re comfortable and/or willing to share. This happened 40+ years ago so some of the finer details are vague now. In actuality, my experience was quite different and less traumatic than for most women.

I had made the initial appointment at a nearby clinic. I remember arriving at the clinic, getting checked in, and then being ushered to a room where other women had also gathered. There were eight women of various ages present. Some of them appeared calm. I remember feeling utterly terrified.

A woman came into the room to counsel us on the many aspects of this procedure. She addressed our emotional state and shared alternative options. She was informative, helpful, and she, in no way, ridiculed or belittled us for the predicament we were in. I felt the session helped to ease my worries about the next steps. Afterward, we were individually examined by a medical doctor.

When it was my turn, this doctor became concerned following his examination. He explained that he had found a cyst on one of my ovaries. He said it would require surgery as soon as possible. All the while, this doctor was kind, patient, and empathetic to my feelings regarding this urgent situation. He told me that he could not perform the abortion on that day but that the procedure could be done at the same time as the cyst removal.

After my initial examination at the clinic I was sent back to the waiting room and asked if I’d like to sit with the rest of the group following their procedures, to share a snack with them. I agreed. It felt strange to witness their recovery phase. I felt fortunate to have escaped the experience of having the procedure on that day. Some of these women were resilient to both the emotional and physical trauma but some openly struggled. This is not a procedure for the faint of heart.

The doctor performed my surgery and abortion shortly thereafter at a local hospital. The cyst had grown considerably from the time of its discovery to the day it was removed. I have always wondered the outcome had this cyst gone undetected for much longer.

What are your concerns now about women who might not have easy and safe access to an abortion? About women who become pregnant through rape or incest, etc.? I remember some of the more controversial aspects and the main reasons that warranted the legalization of abortion in 1973. When abortions were illegal it did not eliminate them. What it did was create unsafe practices that resulted in many deaths. Regardless of the reasons behind those abortions, desperate women acted out of desperation. Many performed their own abortions. Many others sought out the only recourse available to them which meant going to quack doctors in back alleys under unsterile conditions. Only those who could afford it were able to travel to a location where abortions were legal.

Also, as a child, I was a victim of both rape and incest. Fortunately, neither of these experiences resulted in an unplanned pregnancy. But I say with certainty that I cannot imagine being forced by law to give birth to a child under such circumstances. I understand how fortunate I was to have access to the same care I received, care that in my case, also detected an ailment that most certainly would have worsened over time. A woman’s right to choose is being threatened once again. This sends a clear signal to women like me that we are incapable of making our own choices. Whether those choices are good or bad, they are ours to make. This type of decision should not be determined in a public domain by government policy. This is and should remain a personal decision between a women and her doctor. And, with all of the noise in today’s world about loss of freedoms, this is a major loss of freedom to us as women!

Are you surprised by the news that the U.S. Supreme Court looks like it’s going to repeal Roe v. Wade, or did you see it coming?  As I mentioned, this is a volatile topic and a divisive one that clearly separates the two major political parties. It was only a matter of time before this issue resurfaced. I see no rhyme nor reason to repealing abortion given the many urgent issues (i.e. Ukraine, COVID, mass shootings, baby formula shortage) that we as a nation are currently faced with. For those intent on banning abortions, prove that you truly are “pro-life” as opposed to being “pro-fetus.” Focus your concern on the already-born babies who are dying in Ukraine, dying from COVID, and who will die due to the baby formula shortage. Focus your attention on children who are being slaughtered by guns in their schools. Focus on basic medical care for poor women in our society and their already-born children.

What do you think the biggest and most long-term impacts of this decision will be? Research shows that, overall, abortions have decreased considerably since they became legal in 1973. Abortion-related deaths are also low. This is because education has been widely available for those faced with an unplanned pregnancy. Education allows women to make informed decisions that work for them, whether they choose an abortion or an alternative choice. If Roe v Wade is overturned, abortion-related deaths will surely rise once again and the necessary education, especially for poor women, will disappear.

Do you fear “back alley” abortions will return, or that women will somehow be able to navigate safe care if some states refuse to repeal abortion? Yes, I have no doubt that “back alley” abortions will return. It will be only those with the financial means who will be able to navigate safe care by traveling to other states or in some cases, to other countries.

 What do you say to those who celebrate the repeal? My first question is, are you “pro-life” or “pro-fetus?” Does your passion to save an unborn child’s life extend to making sure it has the proper care and safety after it is born? Because overturning Roe v. Wade poses so many risks and challenges. Many women who are stripped of the legal option to terminate a pregnancy will face hardships and possible prison time if they choose to perform their own abortions. Make no mistake, performing self-induced abortions has happened in the past and it will happen again if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

What if the women who go to prison have other children to care for? Who will care for them in their mothers’ absence? Are we, as a society, willing and equipped to step in? Will we, as a society, require that fathers of these children take responsibility for them or will fathers continue to elude this responsibility as they have in the past? In cases of rape and incest, will the perpetrators of those actions be charged appropriately for those crimes?

For those who celebrate the repeal, this does not mean that abortions will go away. This only means that they will no longer be performed safely.

I find it frustrating that those who are against a woman’s right to choose refuse to admit that there are more aspects to this entire issue than simply having an abortion. Clinics like the one I went to empower women to make the right choice for themselves by offering education, resources, and counseling. I know from experience that these clinics offer invaluable services and education. They are safe havens for women who, for whatever reason, are faced with a monumental choice that is all too often made alone. I was fortunate to have access to one of these clinics which included the services of a medical doctor and a clean and safe environment. I don’t know what I would have done otherwise.

What do you say to those who believe we must fight it? What should they do? We mustmake our wishes known to our representatives. We must vote accordingly. It is more important than ever that all women support each other.

What does this say about the state of the U.S.?  I have grave fears about the future. Some states are determined to legally classify having an abortion as equivalent to murder. Some states are creating laws allowing others to report you if they find out that you’re either planning to have an abortion or are “aiding and abetting” someone who is having the abortion.

In fact, turning someone in could involve a large monetary reward for doing so. In addition, legally there is no statute of limitations on murder. Therefore, if someone I am acquainted with felt empowered to report their knowledge of my past abortion, could I be brought up on murder charges all these years later?

I wonder how this will affect interstate travel for women. Will they be forced to get a pregnancy test against their will by simply traveling from one state where it’s a crime to have an abortion—to another state where it’s legal? Can those women be charged with murder upon returning home? None of these ideas seem that far-fetched given the “police state” ideological climate that currently exists in this country.

Editor’s Note: According to the Centers for Disease Control, there were 1,251,921 legal abortions reported in 1979, an 8.1 percent increase over the number reported for 1978. Women obtaining abortions in 1979 tended to be young, White, and unmarried. Approximately 30 percent, like Helen, were 19 years of age or younger; 35 percent were 20-24 years of age; and 35 percent were 25 years of age or older. Approximately 70 percent were White, and 75 percent were unmarried at the time of abortion.

In 1979, more than half of all reported legal abortions were performed in the first 8 weeks of gestation, and more than 90 percent at less than 13 weeks’ gestation. Only 0.9% of women obtained abortions at 21 weeks or later.

Just 18 deaths associated with legal abortion were reported in 1979.

 

The 1980s

“This condition was fatal for both me and this fetus if I did not have surgery to remove it from my fallopian tube.”

 

BY CLARE MARTINSON

In light of the revelation that the U.S. Supreme Court may soon decide to repeal Roe V. Wade, I’ve decided to publicly share—for the first time— a past experience I had with an ectopic pregnancy, so that others will understand what’s at stake, from emotional, physical, and legal standpoints.

In today’s potentially post-Roe world, there have been efforts in some states to pass new laws that will punish doctors and patients for ending an ectopic pregnancy. It’s become a common target in anti-abortion legislation, despite the fact that ectopic pregnancies never result in a baby and can be fatal for a woman if left untreated.

I was married in 1985, at the age of 32.

Before I married, I had been using a copper IUD. After a few years the IUD was causing uterine scarring. It became so painful that I had it removed and switched to birth control in pill form. A month before I got married I went off of birth control in anticipation of starting a family with my new husband.

I knew my body very well. I was aware of my monthly cycle and of the days of the month that weight gain was expected. My cycles were like clockwork every 28 days.

Six months after our wedding I experienced an unusually early start to my monthly period, by one week. I discussed this with a close friend who was a nurse. Even though this was only a minor irregularity I decided to call my gynecologist. After I explained the situation I was advised to go in for an examination. After the exam was completed, he was concerned enough to recommend exploratory surgery. This was done soon after the initial appointment.

It revealed that I had an ectopic pregnancy in which the fetus had lodged in my fallopian tube and had not made its way to my uterus. I was told by the gynecologist that this condition was fatal for both me and this fetus if I did not have surgery to remove it from my fallopian tube.

One out of every 50 pregnancies, or 2 percent, in the U.S. are ectopic, according to Planned Parenthood.

What I remember about the procedure is that an incision was made across my lower abdomen to explore the affected area. I was given a choice about the direction of the incision, whether it was to be horizontal or vertical. To young women like me who are concerned about appearances, small decisions like this become part of the larger discussion.

I had the surgery and my recovery time in the hospital lasted several days. During that time I found out that the surgery had left me with only one working fallopian tube. That time period is a blur and was unemotional for me. I was on a heavy dosage of pain medication and my brain was mostly in recovery mode.

Even when a friend came to visit me in the hospital and had asked how I was doing, I couldn’t answer her. I felt detached from the experience. The first sign of emotional turmoil didn’t occur until after I had come home from the hospital. One night I woke up with excruciating pain from the surgery. I broke down, sobbing, and couldn’t stop despite the added pain it caused to my abdominal area.

My husband saw to it that I receive an extra dosage of medication that would help alleviate the pain. It was after that when I realized the full weight of this loss and that my life would never be the same. I had been left with an ugly scar which still represents a major loss that has affected me deeply ever since this happened. In addition, my chances of becoming pregnant had been decreased by half. That was a big deal for me as a new wife.

I don’t know how I knew to be proactive in this situation. I do know that it was the best decision I’ve made in my life. I wonder what might have happened if my doctor hadn’t taken my concerns seriously right away. What if he’d delayed treatment, and told me instead to just monitor my period and come in at a later date if it remains irregular?

What if I’d dismissed the potential seriousness of the entire situation? I was fortunate that my doctor had listened to my concerns and that he acted appropriately and timely.

If this corrective surgery hadn’t taken place I wouldn’t be here today. I wouldn’t be able to share this emotional journey that I know affects many women. Most importantly, my husband and I would never have become proud parents to a beautiful daughter five years later. I had finally become pregnant after suffering three miscarriages. I had all but given up hope when I was finally able to carry this pregnancy to term.

Our daughter was healthy, vibrant, and perfect. I cannot fully express the happiness we felt. I just know that we were especially appreciative of a miracle that is now all grown up and has become all of the best parts of me.

The restrictive abortion laws that have recently passed in some states don’t outright ban abortions for ectopic pregnancies. They contain carve-outs for lifesaving care to the mother—which technically includes ectopic pregnancies—but the vague language regarding what is and isn’t legal can be confusing to healthcare professionals and might cause them to delay care out of fear of being prosecuted, according to many health care experts.

A recent abortion bill in Missouri originally banned abortions to treat ectopic pregnancies, but legislators deleted the ectopic pregnancy provision after public backlash. In it, a doctor could be charged with a felony  if an “abortion was performed or induced or was attempted to be performed or induced on a woman who has an ectopic pregnancy.” If convicted, the doctor could face up to 15 years in prison.

Some state legislators have even questioned why there should be exceptions for ectopic pregnancies, trying to include provisions in their bills that require doctors to move an ectopic pregnancy from the fallopian tubes to the uterus—a procedure that is medically impossible.

They want to push for practices that are untried and unproven as alternatives to ending the pregnancy; practices that will result in many preventable deaths.

Thirty seven years ago, it was trying enough for me to deal with all of the trauma and physical pain I experienced, without the added legal issues that are threatening young mothers now and complicating an already complicated situation.

Editor’s Note: The latest Gallup poll of 1,007 U.S. adults, conducted May 2-22, 2022 after the draft leak of the Supreme Court decision discussing abortion rights, finds “a marked shift in public attitudes” over the last year. Fifty five percent of Americans now identify as “pro-choice”—the highest percentage of those polled since 1995. Thirty nine percent now identify as “pro-life,” the lowest percentage since 1996. And, for the first time, a majority of Americans (52 percent) now say abortion is morally acceptable, while a record low (38 percent) call it morally wrong.

 

If you have questions for Judy, Helen or Clare, The Reporters Inc. will gladly forward them; email us at

COMMENTS

One person commented on "Why They Ended Their Pregnancies"
Feel free to join the conversation and leave a comment as well.

  • Donna Gowin, MD says:

    This is a well written, concise article packed with information about pro-choice reasons for abortion and the consequences to women when abortion is not readily available. As clearly stated by the 2nd woman interviewed, are we pro-fetus or pro-life. If people were clearly pro-life in this country, we would not allow the slaughter of innocent children by assault rifles.

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