1 Comment
Jun 28, 2022Liked by Erica Manfred

Here's my abortion story: I was 19 and in college in San Jose, CA, in 1968 or 69. I had intercourse for the first time with a 30 year old man who talked me into it and it was really not great at all. I was flattered by his attention because he was older and handsome and had the gift of gab. I realized I was pregnant when I missed my period. I could not tell my mother; she would have expected me to go away and have the baby (!!!) and I am disabled from polio.

It would have ended college for me; I was on a scholarship and could not quit school and keep it.

So I tried everything I could think of. I starved myself, I pushed cars, I took some quinine from my older sister's medicine cabinet; nothing was working. Finally I had been invited to go on vacation with a friend in Santa Cruz, and went horse back riding. The next day I lost the fetus; it was really apparent that I was having the heaviest period of my life so I know it was a spontaneous abortion or miscarriage.

I was so thankful because my options were terrible otherwise. I could not even tell my mother I was having sex; as a fringe Christian she would have hit the ceiling.

I had written a letter (no email then and he didn't have a phone) to the man I'd had sex with and told him I was pregnant. He came to see me when I got back to the school after summer break and claimed he'd had a vasectomy and it couldn't be him. I told him, well, you're the only person I've ever had intercourse with in my LIFE so it HAD to be you! And never saw him again. I later learned he had a reputation as a date rapist. I had just been a passive "victim."

At that time, you could not get birth control unless you were 21 or your parents or a clergyman wrote you a note. I knew a Unitarian minister and he wrote me a note for birth control. I had been flirting with disaster in more ways than one, and got birth control pills.

No one should have to bear a child if they don't want to. Unwanted children have terrible options in this life. And certainly no disabled person, rape or incest survivor should have to bear a child, but there is no reason that consenting adults should not be able to have sex. Accidents happen even with birth control. A fetus has electrical impulses but they are not the same as being a complete human being with a fully developed brain.

I am contributing to charitable organizations which assist women with any type of birth control or family planning that they need.

Thank you, Erica!

Francine Falk-Allen

Expand full comment