Abortion 40 Years After Roe v. Wade


"Once I started to tell my story, people in my life started to tell me theirs," Hauser said. "Abortion is part of women's lives throughout generations. The shame and stigma of that keeps us very isolated from each other. It really inhibits our ability to talk from the heart about why abortion access is important."

The campaign has attracted hundreds of stories, which are posted online in writing or on video. Loren Seigel, a 67-year-old lawyer based in New York, decided to tell her story last year. She said she had an abortion "in the days of 'Mad Men,'" when sexual liberation was encouraged but unwanted pregnancies were a woman's problem.

When Seigel became pregnant, her parents took her to a rabbi with connections in Puerto Rico, where women often traveled to obtain illegal abortions. The rabbi warned them that the locals knew white women traveling alone were looking for abortions, and if she didn't get in the pre-arranged taxi, a competing abortionist could snatch her up and perform an unsafe procedure.

Seigel said her mother volunteered to travel with her, but the rabbi refused to allow it. He said Siegel should have to take full responsibility for her choices.

So they went elsewhere and eventually found an illegal abortionist in midtown Manhattan, who did the procedure, but did not use anesthetics.

"It was traumatic, but I got through it," Seigel said.

During her follow-up visit, which was rare at the time, Siegel's doctor "lectured" her to tell the father of her baby, who was a coworker she'd only slept with one time.

When she saw him at work, she pulled him aside and told him about the abortion.

"He took a few steps backward and said, 'Can you tell me the name of your abortionist? I got my girlfriend pregnant,'" Siegel said in her video, calling it the punch line of her abortion story. "This one young man had impregnated two women within the space of two weeks."

Arrindell, who helped a near-stranger drink Turpentine when she was 19, also took part in the "1 in 3" campaign.

"In some ways, it feels wrong not to step forward with stories that can help," Arrindell said. "I think what telling these stories does is takes away the notion that there's a certain kind of woman that would have an abortion -- a class of women, a category of women, a group of women to whom this applies."

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