“I was 19 and a junior in college. He was my co-star in a production we were both in. Needless to say our attraction for each other was immediate and intense. But he did not attend my college and I knew as we spent the summer rehearsing our scenes and riding to picnic locations on his motorcycle that it was strictly a 'summer romance’.
Only, in September when I missed my period, I knew immediately that I was not going to be able to cut my ties with him that quickly. I went to the Free clinic to confirm what I already knew — I was pregnant. There was no doubt in my mind that I was going to terminate the pregnancy, graduate, and go on with my life, which included working and traveling, but not being a mom. Besides, I knew my parents would kill me, pull me from school and ruin whatever chances I had for the life I truly wanted for myself. I had no money.
In 1969 abortion was only legal in Hawaii and New York. I had never flown and had no one to talk to and couldn't make phone calls from home lest my parents find out. So, I turned to the only adult I felt would understand. The director of the play we were both in. I found the number and location of a clinic in New York in an article in Playboy magazine I needed $250 for the abortion and $100 to pay for the stand by flight. Oh, and cab fare. The minute I walked into my professor's office sat in his chair and started to cry he knew what had happened. He didn't say anything for a moment and then asked, ‘How much do you need?’
My girl friend allowed me to make the calls to New York on her apartment phone and arrangements were made. It took 3 flights but I finally secured a stand by seat. I don't remember how but ended up at the West Side Port Authority where I got a cab to the clinic. I remember a nurse taking my vitals and giving me some pills. I was put in a sitting room with with 5 other girls where we all began to share our stories as one by one they took us out. I remember waking up — being given something to eat and drink and having a cab waiting to take me to the airport where I caught the first standby seat back home. I got home around 5 and told my parents I felt ill. Got up the next day and went to work.....it was over.
Since I was never able to have a child of my own (unexplained infertility) and ended up adopting — I spent years in fertility support groups. And eventually someone would ask, ‘Are you sorry (sad) that you didn't keep the baby?’ NO. I truly believe everything happens for a reason...and my life, I believe, would not have been as rich or rewarding had I chosen not to terminate. I married a wonderful man and we adopted a baby for whom I believe, down to the depths of my being, was meant to be my son and I his mom. No regrets. I made the right choice for me. Women should always have the choice— it is their life, their body, their choice.” —Linda