It was 1973 and the Supreme Court had just made their decision on Roe v Wade. I had a two year old daughter and was newly divorced. I was scrupulous about birth control and was glad for the decision but I didn’t think it would affect me. I had begun dating someone but was having reservations about him. I decided to break it off. We hadn’t yet been intimate. He showed up at my house in the evening and was upset. He wanted to talk. I let him in. I was young…and trusting…and couldn’t imagine that someone I knew would hurt me. We talked. It got late. He asked if he could sleep on the couch. I said ok and went to bed….in the bedroom I shared with my little girl. I awoke to him on top of me, his hand over my mouth. I wouldn’t have screamed. I wouldn’t have wanted to scare my little girl. He loosened his hand and I begged him to just put on a condom. I said I wouldn’t struggle any more if he would just do that. He wouldn’t. He didn’t. Afterwards, he left and I didn’t know what to do. There was no such thing as “date rape” in those days. Then there was the wait. My period, always like clockwork was late. One day after another passed and I was so crazed that I went to Planned Parenthood and arranged for an early abortion. I wasn’t even sure I was pregnant but I didn’t know if I could go through with it if I’d been sure. In those days, you couldn’t know for quite a while. I couldn’t wait. It hurt. I cried. I healed. Some months later I was stopped at a stop sign and he walked across the street. He stopped in front of my car and SMILED at me! I felt my hands grip the steering wheel. I felt my foot slide off the brake and on to the accelerator. He saw the look on my face and jumped out of the way. I never saw him again. I never regretted the abortion. I had no complications and was fine after that, but I harbored a hatred of him that lasts to this day. Less for the act he committed, more for the system that gave me no way to resolve this. The laws are better now, I know, but somehow there are still people out there who think abortion should be illegal. I think of my daughter and what would have happened if our lives had been connected to this monster, through a child, for life. He changed me, but the Supreme Court had made it possible for him not to completely ruin my life and I thank them for that.
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