An Abortion in 1970

When I wrote Night Swim, I wanted readers to experience what one upper middle class teenage girl would face in 1970 should she have an unwanted pregnancy. What would it involve? What would it cost? Would it require travel? Secrecy? Shame? Where would she go for help? The only state that allowed a legal abortion at that time was New York. A few years later, in 1973, the Supreme Court ruled to protect a pregnant women’s right to choose abortion, regardless of what state she lived in. Never, in my wildest dreams did I imagine this right, cemented into law for fifty years, would be revoked. But here we are, back in 1970, fighting for full ownership of our own bodies again.

JESSICA KEENER to YONA ZELDIS MCDONOUGH, Lilith Online, November 2023.