I remember those bad old days. When contraception wasn’t great and no matter how hard you tried, you might end up pregnant anyway. We fought a lonely battle to retain control over our own bodies. We won. I was sure we won, didn’t we? Because Roe V. Wade put an end to finding abortion in a back room somewhere.


I remember the days of backroom abortions performed with chlorine bleach, coat hangers and turkey basters. When sepsis or perforation of your uterus was not an unusual price to pay to end a pregnancy. Where young women, unable to obtain an abortion threw themselves off bridges rather than have an unwanted baby, or tried to abort themselves, often with lethal results.

Despite conservative backlash and brainwashing on this issue, having an abortion was not and is not a sign one is irresponsible or anti-life.


Women have abortions for all kinds of reasons, including a desire to be more than a mother, physical health, welfare of existing children, and simple desire to survive. Meanwhile, men are trying to stop a woman’s access to abortion are equally determined to keep the same women from getting effective birth control.

So if too many feminists are “anti-man,” how many of these men are blatantly anti-woman? Maybe all of them? If there is any other possible logic to men who want women to not abort also making sure they are bound to get pregnant, tell me what it is.

What’s the real point? I don’t think it has anything to do with life or with living a better life. It’s about power and putting women back in their place so these old white men can take back the control they’ve lost. Back to the kitchen for us, barefoot and pregnant.

If men had babies, this would not be happening.


So many women my age went through an abortion or something very close to it. Were we happy about it? No, but we weighed our options, talked it over with friends, family, counselors, ministers … and then did what we felt was best, not just for us but for everyone. Life doesn’t happen in a vacuum. We were adult women. We had the right and the obligation to decide what happens to our bodies and our lives.

I maintain my long-standing position on this matter: if you are not in personal possession of a vagina and/or a uterus, your opinion is unwelcome. I do not care what you believe. Until you walk in my shoes and live in my body, you know nothing.

Why am I weighing in on this?

The most significant gains in personal freedom women have won are at risk. If we don’t speak up, speak out, and stand together, we will lose it. All of it.

I am many years past child-bearing age. This isn’t about me, my friends, or my life. It’s about women. All women. Here and everywhere. About whether or not we have the right to decide what happens to us. If there is a right to life involved, how about the right of women to have a good life, to bear the number of children we want from none to whatever.

I want all woman to not be managed by men whose stake in the matter is tangential. At best. How about that?

No one wants an abortion, but sometimes, you need one.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. I am retired and delighted to be so. May I live long and write frequently.


  1. I am a man who happens to strongly agree with everything you wrote in this post. I don’t understand how anyone who opposes abortion can, at the same time, oppose contraception. It makes no sense whatsoever. But then again, neither do most things supported by the conservative and religious right.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This whole issue has never had anything to do with life or the right to life. It’s about suppressing women, which is old as the hills. I hope more women get involved in this because we worked — my generation and the one before me — incredibly hard to win the right to own our bodies. To have that slip away would be a gigantic loss. Thank you for the support.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. As i see it it all comes down to what exactly you think the purpose of sexual intercourse is?

    Nature has ensured that there is an excess of it in the mammalian species in general. As supposedly intelligent beings we make remarkably bad decisions regarding all aspects of it (adultery, rape, abortion, sub-teen pregnancy, hormonal prevention, divorce, betrayal, marrying through guilt/force rather than through love, etc. etc.) in my opinion, and always have; most probably always will. 😦

    As a teenager i certainly was not ever given intelligent advice on the matter or gave it the degree of thought i have been able to in the last 20 years and was as guilty of being driven by my hormones as much as anyone of my peers. I am in no way proud of that now. I was one of the lucky ones who got away with ‘free’ sex without having to accept the consequence of an unwanted child or having to face the choice of an abortion/adoption or having to ingest an anti-pregnancy pill.



  3. I agree that the anti-abortion, anti-contraception argument is antediluvian and ridiculous beyond belief. Let the fundamentalists practise their outdated ideas if they must – it’s a free country – but who do they think they are, trying to force them on other people… Oh yes of course, what was I thinking? God’s mouth is to their ear, I forgot.
    Not sure they are necessarily anti-women, though, or whether they simply have their heads too deeply buried to recognise anything beyond their own fundamentals. Perhaps for the good of the planet and in the interests of their own beliefs, they could practise abstinence.


    1. Well, if they are not anti-woman, they sure do a good job of hiding it. They are against anything that promotes women, so whether it’s a religious prejudice or a person dislike? Does it matter? The result is the same.


  4. There are situations where abortions are necessary and they should be safe and legal. Having said that, my opinion is that if some skanky woman is using the option as birth control, sterilize the waste of time. I answered phone for one of the earliest abortion clinics in Utah, in the early 1980s (these doctors did them, they were threatened and maligned at all turns). For every five women, three of them were using the clinic as birth control. In those days the pill was available (free through planned parenthood) and condoms (although not infallible) were too. I got mighty fed up with the whining and crying calls after hours from some idiot who had gotten scraped and regretted the choice after the fact. I was judgmental about it. Then I went to work for Clinic Genetics and found out why abortions are necessary sometimes – health and safety of mother, child is non-viable, genetic disease has rendered the pregnancy unthinkable. I changed my mind about abortion. I still think if one is going to be a drug or alcohol abuser or gets pregnant because of laziness or stupidity, sterilization is the answer…not abortion. And we’re all entitled to our opinions. I’m with you though – women’s bodies are their own property and some MAN should have better sense than to dictate what a woman does with her body.


    1. The problem is, the powers that be are so busy preventing us from getting birth control, what do they expect? I’ve never met a woman who had an abortion that wasn’t on some level, an emotional heartbreak. I don’t think most women get pregnant because of drugs or stupidity or carelessness, though some are. MOST of us are married, trying to build a life, never expected to get pregnant. Thought the birth control (whatever it was) would work. Didn’t not that (for example) “pulling out” doesn’t work. Was very young and no one suggested REAL birth control. Take the lack of education about sex and babies and plus a lot of religious claptrap, a lot of young women don’t know how the whole thing works.

      If we don’t educate them, won’t provide reliable birth control AND close the places where they might both learn and get the stuff they need, exactly what do you think is going to happen? Forget any other personal issues like poverty, drugs, etc ad nauseum … if you take away everything that might protect a woman and then refuse abortion too? No one could possibly believe that was fair or right … unless you are talking about an old white guy.


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