Helen Nienheuser’s Compass piece Wednesday reminded me of a woman I met nearly 40 years ago now. No, she didn’t die from a back-alley abortion. She’s the abortion I didn’t have. She is the abortion they recommended I have after I was raped, and because I said “no,” she got to grow up, marry, and have children.
The millions of women who resorted to — and the thousands who died from — back-alley abortions are a myth. The CDC reported 39 maternal deaths from illegal abortion in 1972. We now have 10 times that number of children legally killed every day. Didn’t we fight the Civil War over whether people could be the property of other people?
If any woman deserved a say in my choice, she did. I know what she would have said, because I know what she did say when I first met her, before she had words.
— Pam Siegfried