Shortly after the news broke about the leaked Supreme Court draft decision that may overturn Roe v Wade, I received a call from a friend. He asked that I tell his story. I agreed to do so and present it to you below, in his words.
“It was before 1973 so it was before Roe v Wade. That is as specific as I am prepared to get.
“She had been my girlfriend, then we broke up for a while until for a few months we rekindled. The first time was great but the second time around was different. There were plenty of reasons for that; our circumstances had changed, we had changed, and we no longer felt as close as we had before.
“One fall day, quite out of the blue, she told me she would be going to New York for a few days. She had a girlfriend there that she wanted to visit. It wouldn’t be a long trip and I probably wouldn’t hear from her for a short time.
“I was young and not that great at figuring out what people didn’t want me to figure out. But even I had to wonder. I was aware certain things were legal in New York, things that were only permissible in a handful of states, and Illinois was not one of those.
“We were not sexually active together, but there had been that gap in our relationship, those few months of free fall. She had intimated that it had been a bit of a wild summer for her. The time since then would have been just enough for her to learn she was pregnant, back in those days before home EPT tests.
“I never asked her. I didn’t know how to ask. To this day, I don’t know if her trip to New York was to terminate a pregnancy, a journey of hundreds of miles to get a safe, legal abortion. If that is what her trip was for, I hope at least she did have a friend in New York, someone to hold her hand.“
The country had seemed to move forward since then. Now 50 years later are we right back where we started, lonely women on lonely journeys?
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