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Mary's Story

I got pregnant the first time I had sex. I was a sophomore in college and had my whole life ahead of me. It was not the right time for me to have a baby. I decided to terminate the pregnancy. This was in 1971 before abortion was legal. I had to have a "therapeutic" abortion. I had to go to DC, though I live in Virginia but luckily I was under anesthesia in a hospital OR.

Finally, after I was married and ready to have a family, I decided to get pregnant again. I had two miscarriages and then got pregnant for the 4th time. I was determined not to miscarry so I took off work and made it past the first trimester. My husband and I were so happy.

I then found out, through a sonogram, that the fetus was severely disabled. I am a special education teacher and when the doctor said it was hydrocephalus, I knew what he was talking about. The problems started so early in the pregnancy that the baby's brain was not able to develop. We were told by a genetic counselor that he would have a 1 in 400 chance of even being able to roll over. That was if he lived outside of my body which was doubtful.

Emotionally, I could not have gone 9 months and delivered a dead baby. Thank God I was able to go to a hospital and have a D & E (LEGALLY!) under anesthesia. This was one of the hardest decisions of my life! It was not done lightly!! My husband and I consulted several doctors before making the decision.

This decision was between me, my husband, my doctors and my God. It was no one elses. Especially not some male politician who will never know what I went through. Yes, I was there at the March and I will continue to fight for the right of all my fellow sisters to have safe, legal abortions.
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