I had an illegal abortion when I was nineteen. I went to Juarerz, Mexico, because I wanted to have a doctor, anesthesia, and a nurse. When I returned to Los Angeles I started to hemorrhage and then was running out of blood, so I had to be rushed to Cedars hospital to save my life. In the hospital I contracted mononucleosis, and then was sick for the next five months. I would encourage all other women to tell publicly about their abortions—both legal and illegal.
I wrote along poem “When the Clock Was Smashed” about my illegal abortion and published it in my first book of poetry Under the Ladder to Heaven, my first book of poetry published in 1984. In that book I also wrote a poem about Rosaura Jimenez, the first woman to die from a bad abortion after abortion was legalized. In 1977 Jimenez couldn’t afford a legal abortion (she was a college student in Texas planning to be a teacher) so she went to an illegal abortionist. The anti-abortionists caused cutbacks in funding for abortions for low-income women so Rosaura Jimenez couldn’t afford to pay for a legal, safe abortion. Jimenez’s illegal abortion gave her an infection and her suffering was intense; her death was totally unnecessary.
I am 100% pro-abortion because legal abortions save women ‘s lives and save women’s health—particularly saving women from hemorrhaging like I did and save them from bad infections that killed Jimenz.
The Los Angeles Times yesterday June 1, 2009, has an excellent article “A History of violence on the fringe,” detailing the violence of the anti-abortionists: “Bombings. Butyric acid attacks. Sniper shootings. Letters filled with fake anthrax.” The Times reported that the National Abortion Federation “documented more than 6,100 acts of violence against abortion providers in the United States and Canada since 1977. The group classifieds as ‘violent’ not only acts of murder, attempted murder, bombing and arson; but also vandalism, burglary, and stalking among others.” The anti-abortionists aren’t pro-life. It’s not pro-life to bomb, shoot, or set fires. They are anti-life.
The anti-abortionists have murdered eight abortion workers in the U.S. or Canada including four doctors. Dr. David Gunn was shot and killed in Pensacola, Florida. Dr. John Britton and a 74-year old clinic worker were killed in 1994. Also in 1994 “John Salvi III shot up two Boston-area clinics killing two receptionists and injuring five other people.” In 1998 an anti-abortionist murdered a clinic security guard and injured a nurse in Birmingham, Alabama. In 1998 obstetrician Barnett Slepian was murdered in Amherst, New York. Just a few days ago Dr. Tiller was murdered in church in Wichita, Kansas.
When you next think about the anti-abortionists, call them anti-life. Nine people are died: Rosaura Jimenez and eight clinic workers. Nine people who should be alive.