What Roe v. Wade Means to Me

If you are a guy, chances are you won’t want to read this. Same as if you are a pro-lifer. But let me tell you, I got upfront and personal with what it was like in America before abortions were legal in all fifty states.

No, I didn’t have an abortion. But my friend in junior high school did. At age fifteen. And it was illegal in Iowa in 1969, so she had to fly to New York, where abortion was legal. She went by herself. Her boyfriend helped her scrape up the money.  She told her parents she was babysitting all weekend. Then she took a flight to the clinic. Did I mention how young she was?

If her parents would’ve found out she was pregnant, she would’ve had to keep the baby and maybe raise it, too. That meant she would have dropped out of high school and would’ve never graduated. A 9th grader is too young to become a mom.

The pregnant girl wasn’t my best friend, but she was in my circle of friends, and we all knew what she was going through. I was fourteen at the time and had never been out of my state and had never flown on a plane.  I worried about her nonstop for 48 hours.  She showed up at school Monday morning as though nothing profound had happened that weekend.

But something profound had happened, something that saved her life. As a teen she graduated high school and saved herself from condemnation by her parents and their church. She went on to marry and have a family.

No, she shouldn’t have gotten pregnant. But humans make mistakes, both men and women, boys and girls. Women and girls are the ones who pay the consequences if the condom breaks, the birth control pill fails, or the diaphragm doesn’t work.

Before Roe v. Wade, women who were raped in some states had to have their babies. Think of it, an event that would change your whole life forever, having to give birth to a baby created in an act of violence.  Imagine the horror of waiting to find out if you were or weren’t pregnant from a rape. There were no pregnancy tests at the drugstore back then.

Several college friends and friends of mine in their twenties became accidentally pregnant. Some of them had abortions. Most of them wouldn’t talk about it.

I love children and have three of my own. I never had a situation where I had to fly halfway across the country alone to end a pregnancy. But I know a young girl that did, before abortions were made legal nationwide by Roe v. Wade.



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