I Had an Abortion Before Roe v. Wade

In 1971 I was 18 and a student at Ohio State University in Cols. OH. When I found out I was pregnant, I knew there was only one choice for me to make: terminate the pregnancy. The problem was abortion was illegal in OH. There was a Planned Parenthood near the campus so I took the bus and went in to see where I could go. They referred me to a clinic in NYC where abortion had just become legal the year before. Great, but now we had to figure out how to get to NYC and pay for everything ourselves. We were dead ass broke, but we scraped up the $150 for the abortion and got gas money by collecting soda cans and bottles and getting the deposits. My BF and I drove 10 hours straight to NYC, only stopping so I could puke. I had the abortion, signed an AMA and we drove 10 more hours straight back to Cols. In 1973, after Roe v. Wade became the law of the land, a group of doctors opened a clinic and I worked there in its first year. It was the only clinic in OH at the time and I am glad to report it is still open. It’s been nearly 50 years since I made that trip to NYC. I have never regretted my decision and still feel immense relief that NYC was a driveable distance from my home. I shudder to think what would have happened to me had I lived in Kansas. Women have made huge strides politically, educationally, and socially since 1971. However, none of it matters if we do not have control of our reproductive lives. We can never go back and I will fight until my last breath. Thank you.