- Posted February 14, 2013 by
New Orleans, Louisiana
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Have you had an abortion?
Daughter of Privilege
In 1972, a year before Roe v Wade, I found myself with an unwanted pregnancy. I was 20 years old & in the early stages of alcoholism. Although I was in a relationship, I somehow knew that marrying this man & continuing the pregnancy would be a huge mistake. Telling my Mother was not an option & my Father & I weren't particularly close but I did have a good relationship with his new wife. When I told him, he was surprisingly supportive &, being a physician, he was able to tell me about my options. Abortions were not legal yet, but "daughters of privilege" will always have access to termination. My father arranged an appointment with a Doctor who actually had a little clinic outside of New Orleans, where we lived at the time. He even offered a "professional courtesy" waiver of the fee. My Father invented a cover story because he worked for a group of doctors who were staunchly anti-choice. I was given the alias of "Lisa LaTour, a physician's daughter from Opelousas, LA". He drove me to the appointment but left all of his identification at home, just in case. He did not come in with me & my last glimpse back at him will stay with me always. It was evening & he had parked under the expressway, beneath a streetlight. He was attempting to read the newspaper. My recollections from the actual office & procedure are hazy, but I do remember a few things. The building was an old house & set up like a typical doctor's office. A nurse greeted me. When I met with the doctor, he said, "Did you see the woman who left just now? She took 3 busses to get here & she will take 3 more to get home." I'm not sure why he told me that, perhaps to let me know how "lucky" I was. I remember some pain, but not much more. I went back to my Father's house & his wife took care of me for several days. There were complications, but again I was lucky to have a doctor for a Dad. I have never looked back nor regretted my decision. Even though I was seriously addicted to alcohol at the time, I managed to make my first real adult decision & believe it was the right thing to do for me. I would never have been able to go through with a pregnancy & put a child up for adoption. I would not have been capable of raising a child. I have been sober for quite a while now, but it took 10 years from that time. That would have been 10 years of neglect & possible abuse of a child. I knew it would be a mistake. I read stories now about young people who decide to continue a pregnancy & it sometimes results in serious damage & even death to the child. I firmly believe that termination might have been a better, more responsible choice & I will defend the rights of women to make their own choice as long as I can breathe. When I finally told my Mom, years later, we had a little talk about abortion. She claimed to be against a woman's right to choose, but then said, "Oh, I just think it should be between a woman & her God!" AMEN