A WOMAN’S RIGHT TO LIVE – Marilyn Armstrong

I remember those bad old days. When contraception was nearly impossible to find and no matter how hard you tried, you could still end up pregnant. We fought a lonely battle to retain control over our own bodies. We won. I was sure we won, didn’t we?

Roe V. Wade put an end to getting abortions in a back room somewhere. Right?


I remember 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 terminal results for mother and child.

Despite conservative backlash and brainwashing on this issue, and despite the current frenzy in Washington DC, having an abortion was not and is not a sign one is irresponsible or anti-life. It’s a choice to have a good life when the alternative is at its best, bleak.


Women have abortions for all kinds of reasons, including a desire to be more than a mother. Physical health. The welfare of existing children. The basic will to survive. Meanwhile, men are trying to stop a woman’s access to abortion are simultaneously determined to keep women from getting effective birth control.

That isn’t “pro-life.” It’s entirely “anti-woman.”

It has nothing to do with preserving life. It’s about power. Getting women back to their position of subjugation so old white men can regain world control. It has always been about that.

So many women my age went through an abortion. Were we happy about it? No, but we weighed our options, then did what we felt was our best (only) choice.

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. This is about women. All women. Whether or not we are fully equal in our world and have the right to decide what happens to our bodies.

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.

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

Categories: Government, Health, Legal Matters, Mother and motherhood, women

Tags: , , , , , ,

14 replies

  1. I too remember the bad old days. The absolute best way to prevent abortion is easy access to cheap reliable contraception and good education on its use, along with edict and empowerment of women to truly say yes or no in relationships. And that is what the misogynistic control freaks truly hate.

    In my years as a family doc, every year I saw women, often middle aged mothers in my office, saying I don’t believe in abortion and I am going to have one because I can’t have a child or be pregnant now.


    • I’ve been there, although in my case, I thought I was past the point when I could get pregnant. It turns out you can hang onto fertile eggs for a long time after menstruation ends. Nature took care of it, though, and I miscarried. After that, the husband got a vasectomy because I was finished with pills and implants and all the other things.

      Yes, it IS all about keeping women (and everybody who isn’t rich and white!) subservient. Everyone is so busy being “pro-life.” Except that they won’t provide a living wage or medical insurance … or even basic support for a newborn and his/her mother. Burns my butt, even all these years later.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. As a young woman I worked at a switchboard answering phones for businesses after hours. This was before the time of the answering machine or it may have been that some businesses needed a live body to answer their phones 24/7. ANYWAY one of the clients was the only abortion clinic in the whole State of Utah (at the time). I admit to getting real sick of hearing call after call from distressed women who wanted to wail about their lost child. Rarely we’d get calls from someone who was having complications after the procedure; mostly it was distraught women who regretted their decision..too late. I was judgmental about it until I went to work for Clinical Genetics at the local University. Clinic Genetics dealt with chromosome abnormalities and other reasons that women sought to have abortions. Sometimes the baby wasn’t viable (there are conditions that lend to malformations so severe the child can’t survive); sometimes the health of the mother was a factor and some (whom I admit to judging harshly) didn’t want to deal with a retarded or malformed child. But I learned from that job why SAFE and medically supervised abortions are necessary. I wish some of those horrid men who are speaking of doing this (or who may have done it already..remember I remain uninformed. Deliberately so); would have to sit through a month and see some of the OTHER reasons behind abortion. It’s not just about the so-called slutty woman who is using the procedure as birth control (and i actually have met one or two of that kind. Glad they got the abortions too. No child deserved that kind of ‘mother’). What about the incest victims, the rape victims and those who have pregnancies like I’ve describe above? Those stupid men can’t have a clue. Their plumbing is all wrong..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, what about them? Mind you many women carry — voluntarily — the babies caused by rape and even incest (though I think that is perhaps unwise). And some carry babies who cannot survive in any normal way. There are also a fair number of women who should absolutely NOT be mothers and if they are remotely healthy, they could be great mothers for adoptive babies. But mostly, what you find are young women, scared to death … or mothers of already very large (poor) families who feel that one more mouth to feed is one mouth far over their line. I don’t judge. I do strongly advise young women GET birth control and prevent pregnancy. Abortion is not birth control and was never intended to be.

      Oddly, the same men who want to eliminate abortion ALSO want to eliminate birth control. So it’s not about “life.” It’s about oppression, pure and simple.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The more we progress the more backward we are going, as if any progress made is being destroyed.


  4. I so agree with you- it is about power and subjugation. Frightening times we are living in- the thought of going backwards terrifies me


  5. I agree with you wholeheartedly, Marilyn. We need to fight to retain our gains to date or they will be gradually eroded.

    Liked by 1 person

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