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Anonymous, 60

I had my first abortion at age 17.  It was illegal at that time in every state but California and New York.  My only other option was an "unwed mother's home."  We needed cash and it was clandestine.  I was lucky.  My family doctor gave me the contact info for an MD.  The anesthesia didn't take.  It was so painful, I gagged.  My mother held my hand.  I was about to graduate from high school. The doctor sent me home with antibiotics and ergotrate in case of bleeding.  A month later I was at college; I hemorrhaged and was afraid to tell anyone. I took the ergotrate. The bleeding stopped. I was one of the lucky ones.  One of my friends - a doctor's daughter - ended up in intensive care with a life-threatening infection after an illegal abortion.  :(

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