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Julie, 44

Well, my story is my grandmother's story.  She grew up in the deep south in the early nineteen hundreds (she will be 87 this week). With a 9th grade education she married at 14 (which wasn't that unusual then) had my dad at 15 and then had two more children. Birth control was not an option at that time.

When she got pregnant a fourth time, there were no more resources for another child.  My grandmother gave her children everything she had, she worked picking cotton for 25 cents a bag.  She struggled with one of the most difficult decisions a person can make and she chose abortion.  Of course at the time it wasn't legal and feeling desperate and believing she was saving the lives of the three children she had, she administered the abortion herself which was incredibly violent and painful and came very close to bleeding to death. In fact she had to make this choice another time but the second time she was given a very strong "tea"  by a local woman known to help women in her situation.  Again, my grandmother experienced severe illness and near death.

I know this story seems harsh even brutal and something that shouldn't be spoken of let alone written down. But let's not fool ourselves into thinking this couldn't happen  to others if our choice is taken away. I tell this story to honor my  grandmother and her struggle.  She gave my father, my aunt and my uncle (And all of us grandchildren and great grandchildren) the gift of a better life.

Thank you Grandma, I love you and happy 87th birtday! 

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