by Niko Vertti Lorcan
In 1969, my best friend was a junior in high school and pregnant. She would be the homecoming queen a year later, her beloved, a star football player, would stand beside her on the field. Both were from good upper middle class families living in a conservative small town in the east. Despite the rumblings of change coming from abortion advocates, abortion was illegal; so most girls who “got in trouble” were either sent away to live with extended family until the baby was born or sent to stay in our town’s home for unwed mothers. But that fate did not befall my friend. She had an abortion. Swearing me to secrecy, she told me about it afterwards, and we both cried. She assured me she was Ok, as her father, a lawyer, knew a doctor, and so it had been done. No one was the wiser, as far as I could tell, as we went on with our lives during our senior year. We drifted apart after high school, but the girl with the brains, beauty, and self-confidence I had admired so much, turned a little darker with each passing year until she just disappeared; I never saw her again.
Just four years later, the once unthinkable had happened. In 1973, Roe vs. Wade ushered in a new era, where a woman’s body became her own, and abortion clinics were quietly opening all over the country. But from that moment on, the passionate, controversial fires of pro- and anti-abortion advocacy would rage to the present day.
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