It really comes down to this – my body is none of your business. Decent folk may have a variety of opinions, may even know deep in their hearts that choosing an abortion would be an impossibility for them. But being personally pro-birth in no way entitles one to make that decision for anyone else.

The anti-abortion rights movement and its enablers have brought us to a point where we no longer have a Supreme Court; we have a council of bishops, imposing dogma on the entire country. Dobbs v. Jackson is unconstitutional because it establishes a de facto religion in America.

Six unelected individuals had the appalling hubris to elevate a creed that sanctifies potential human life above all other life in the universe. Theirs is a sickening and inhuman distortion of reality.

I graduated from college in 1969, four years before Roe v. Wade. I remember the whispers about classmates who’d gone to Mexico over spring break. A month after graduation came the shocking, sobering news that a newborn had been found dead, discarded in a garbage can. I pondered the mystery of this girl, tried to imagine the birth, her panicked decisions. A strong feeling crystallized in me: Things should never get to this point.

Come September, off I went, armed with my history degree and my diaphragm, to discover what I might do in the world. “Personal energy under personal control” was my watchword.

I had my first abortion at age 25. The changes in my body told me what the test results would show: I was six weeks pregnant. I remember my grave wonder, but there was no bewilderment; I knew what the right choice was for me and our situation. We were not ready to be parents – let alone commit to raising a child.


My second abortion, several years later, was medically necessary (both pregnancies were with the same partner, and we had not even begun to live together). I began to miscarry and there was some danger of an ectopic pregnancy, requiring thorough removal of any cellular remnants. I wanted it all to go away so we could get on with our lives.

Both times I counted on the Eastern Women’s Center in New York for expert support and medical counseling. I remember the quiet, professional setting. I was conscious during the procedure, felt no fear or pain, and afterward I lay on a cot in soft green light, among several other women, with a fortifying cup of cider.

Nor did these abortions do any harm to the mutual trust and regard my partner and I shared. Our relationship lasted and deepened for a number of years before we finally parted, to pursue different life paths. My experiences confirmed my belief that the human need and quest for intimacy and sexual satisfaction is universal, but the human need and quest to procreate is – and should be – far more selective.

A good mother is full of optimistic wonder. When she brings a new life into the world, she does so confidently, with pride and pleasure. She is prepared, and she looks forward to this new chapter. Every child deserves such a mother.

Pro-birth forces reveal such a poverty of imagination. To deny a girl the common decency of enabling her to rid herself of the handful of cells wrongly implanted in her through violent assault – or that represent to her an untenable future course – is unconscionably cruel, myopic and arrogant beyond belief.

Overturning Roe v. Wade will not hold. We will regain our humanity and encode it into national law. Pro-choice forces will prevail because the majority of Americans know that it is fundamentally wrong to force motherhood on someone who does not want it.

We are endowed by our Creator with life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and we must insist on it.

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