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Gennie, over 45

My mother was 38 when she passed away. I was 17, and my brother 14. My father told us that she died of kidney failure, which was not entirely a lie.

When I was 59 I learned the truth. Yes her kidneys had shut down, and so had her other organs, but organ failure was the effect, not the cause. The cause was a massive infection because of an illegal abortion. But that was not all I learned. I also learned that the whole family knew the real reason but kept it from my brother and I. The whole community knew as well. When I first learned the truth I went into denial, but too many other things added up. Slowly I realized that she did not have to die, that it was the result of laws made by men to control women's bodies.


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