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I was 22 in the summer of 1983 ...

January 20, 2015

"I was 22 in the summer of 1983, and I was pregnant with my boyfriend, despite the use of a diaphragm. We loved each other, but I was heading off to grad school, and he was heading to Germany, where he was from, to finish school. We both felt too young and not at all ready to begin a family, or even to commit to staying together. We talked about it and decided that abortion was the best choice for us.

 

Afterwards, I mentioned it to a few acquaintances, and they told their similar stories to me. I realized that I was not alone. I was also encouraged to find out that on April 5, 1971, 343 French women had signed a letter to the news magazine Le Nouvel Observateur, stating that they had had abortions, which was still illegal in France. They were not afraid to have their names known. Some of them were very famous, including Simone de Beauvoir and Catherine Deneuve. This became known as the "Manifest of the 343." Charlie Hebdo, the satirical magazine, labeled these women "salopes" ("sluts"). In solidarity with these and millions of other women who have exerted their reproductive rights, I sign my name here."  —Marie Lathers

 

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