(This is not a political statement advocating abortions. Instead, it’s a heads up about what could happen if abortions become illegal.)

Back in the 1950s and early ‘60s abortions were illegal and most people agreed that they were wrong. Only desperate women would have them. I knew of someone planning to flee from an abusive spouse who wouldn’t be able to get a job and support herself if she was pregnant, and another with a hereditary disease and didn’t want a child who would probably have it, who decided to have abortions. And many women had abortions back then because a pregnancy would show they’d had extra-marital affairs, which were frowned on by society.

But medical professionals didn’t perform abortions, so there were only two ways to have them. Someone could use a wire clothes hangar to hook and drag the fetus out of the womb, which was very dangerous. Or the woman could take some kind of medication known to cause miscarriages. But that second method didn’t always work, and people who had tried it often had babies with neurological damage.

I worked with kids who had special needs for many years and in some cases knew, and in others strongly suspected their mothers had tried to abort them.

If abortions become illegal again we’ll need to be prepared for lots of kids with Special Needs entering our schools in a few years.

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Janet Ann Collins

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