Notes on an Abortion: it doesn’t get more personal for a woman & nurse!

by Sue DeGregorio-Rosen, RN, CLNC, Contributing Editor

No one cared to know what happened to me, how it happened, where it happened, and what could happen.  It was an assumption on my part that only I would have to deal with this alone.  An unwanted pregnancy happened to me through no fault of my own. It took a man’s sperm to complete the act. 

As a health care provider life is precious and extends beyond pro-birth itself. It’s all of life, and if the health and the well-being of the mother is in jeopardy or in question then pro-birth is second to the mother. It was my body and my choice.

I had two babies, as a young mother even though I had a choice. And I loved my babies more than life itself, however I was not prepared to bring another welfare recipient into this world as I struggled to leave that stigmata.  It was 1972, a different era. A different time beyond the labels of the present and woke culture. But yet all eras have common qualities – human emotions and health. It was a one-night stand that went too far, nothing more and nothing less.

It feels surreal now. I was excited to be invited to this backstage party. I’m dressed in my low-cut landlubber jeans and a short cropped top donning my platform boots. He was there, looking into my eyes, he looked at me as if I were golden. He was climbing to fame, impatiently and I was impulsive. As he reached for my hand, I followed his lead. Pure seduction, at its finest.  

There was an abortion clinic located on this street and on each side of that street people were lined up.  The left side contained the women, they were sad yet fearless and the right side were men, white, old, and angry.  They were dressed in long black robes. I knew this was a dream.  I watched from a distance, not sure of what to do. A red cardinal flew by, and then that same bird flew by me again, and this time she sat on my shoulder. Whatever she was singing was beautiful.  I was always taught that a red cardinal is an angel visiting. She flew along with me as I ran to show my support. The bird and I made the news in a beautifully well-done photograph taken by Annie Liebowitz.

The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade still has me in tears. Sometimes I feel anger, and despair. My past experiences whisper to me that I am lost in time.

The rallying cry is loud, I hear it and I am ready to do my part again. I cannot wrap my head around this threat to our basic rights to make our own decisions, our bodies, and our health. We must be once again, the vigilantes for the generations of young women to come. We will fight to uphold these rights because apparently, those men are still out there who feel they are so powerful that they are unashamed to disrespect us.  They use force, they use intimidation, but I have been here before, and I go into autopilot.  My contagious spirit is something I will share.  You are safe with me, and with my tribe. Do not be afraid. It’s your body, your health and well-being and your choice.