We do not want to go back to the days when abortion was illegal. The memories and stories are too painful. We have posted several stories on this blog about the way it was. Making abortion illegal will not stop the need for access to safe abortion. It will just make it more difficult for clients to get them.
There is a famous saying by George Santayana. “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
For anyone wanting to explore the history of abortion in Kentucky, we highly recommend “Standing Up For Reproductive Rights The Struggle for Legal Abortion in Kentucky” by Fran Ellers, published Chicago Spectrum Press; 1ST edition (2008).* You will learn, among other things:
- In 1973 the first abortions were available in Louisville and Lexington
- In 1973 Right to Life in Louisville started monthly marches to oppose abortion
- In 1973 Kentucky Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice was founded
- In 1986 the National Organization for Women chapter in Jefferson County began providing escorts
- Escort notes from 1986-1987 could have been written last week. They tell the same stories we tell today.
There is another piece of history in a book recounting the murder of Dr. George Tiller we recommend. “The Wichita Divide: The Murder of Dr. George Tiller and the Battle over Abortion” by Stephen Singular, published by St. Martin’s Press, First Edition edition (April 12, 2011)**
Being familiar with the history of the war on reproductive rights is a necessary step to protecting those rights in the future.
Reminiscence from fml:
I remember when I first realized I was pro-choice, back in the early 80’s. A friend of mine was telling me about the plans she’d made to improve a life that seemed hopeless to her at the time. She described her goals, the steps she’d planned, the things she’d already done to start the process. It was very exciting.
I was enthusiastic, but I could tell something wasn’t quite right. She got through describing her plans and said, “Sounds great, doesn’t it?”
I nodded, all hopeful.
“I’m pregnant,” she said.
I swear I heard a cell door slam. A sick feeling in my stomach, an ache in my heart, and the sound of a metal door slamming shut.
I was so glad she had a choice. It doesn’t matter what she did. I’m just so glad she had a choice. We can’t go back.
Abortion Support in Kentucky is celebrating Roe vs Wade with their donation drive towards efforts to make abortion and reproductive healthcare more accessible in Kentucky. Please visit their website and contribute whatever you can.
*A copy can be purchased for $25.00 by stopping by the ACLU office Monday-Friday 9a-5p. Reproductive Freedom Project, American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky, 315 Guthrie Street Suite 300, Louisville, Kentucky 40204
**Available for purchase at book stores and Amazon.com.