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This is just one anecdote, from someone within my original circle of family and friends. The story is also a perfect picture of how anti-abortion laws (all part of those Good Ole Dayz for which return the RW are foaming) are inextricably tied up in anti-woman laws. Names are withheld.

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A friend of my mother's, a good Catholic woman, did everything the Holy Roman Church told her to do. She got married nearly fresh out of high school. She started having baby after baby, about one a year, the way most Catholic families in our circle did. 4 in all, in about 5-6 years of marriage.

Then her good Catholic husband ran off with his secretary.

Now these were the Good Old Days when divorce was unthinkable for Catholics, and when the courts didn't work up much of a sweat to track down deadbeat husbands for alimony and deadbeat dads for child support.

So the abandoned mom went to look for a job to support her kids and herself.

Now these were the Good Old Days when the want ads in newspapers were segregated as "Good-paying jobs that have a future of advancement and stability, benefits, and regular raises and promotions" and "Crappy, boring, repetetive jobs that pay chicken feed and will fire you at a moment's notice" - cunningly disguised under the headings "Jobs for Men" and "Jobs for Women." And these were the Good Old Days when it was legal to pay a woman less for doing the same job as a man.

So mom found a crappy-paying job that paid her the crappier-still woman's salary, and went to work - even though working outside the home made her a Bad Mom in the eyes of her society and church. She probably had trouble buying some things because she didn't have a credit card with her own name on it (also part of those Good Old Days).

...And then mom started throwing up in the morning.

It seems Dear Old Hubby had left her with one last souvenir before he took off with their car and all their savings.

Now remember, these were the Good Old Days when women were routinely fired for getting pregnant (or if they were younger, fired for getting married). As skimpy as this woman's paycheck was, it would become zero if she had that fifth child.

But, thank God, this was also the Good Old Days when Roe v. Wade had just become the law of the land, in the 70s before organized Christian misogynists routinely blockaded clinics and terrorized women (and of course eventually started bombing and shooting people).  These were the days when a woman could schedule an abortion and walk through the clinic doors with no more drama than if she'd come to have a toothache treated.

So that mom had an abortion that kept her from losing her job, that kept her able to take care of her four kids and herself, and kept her from seeing her entire family descend into poverty. In short, she had an abortion that saved her family.

My mother - a daily-Mass Catholic, mother of 10 children (9 of whom lived), who spouts every other piece of Catholic dogma with the fervor of a 7-year-old reciting the Catechism - has never said one cross word about this friend of hers. Because she saw the reality of this woman's life, and understands why she did what she did. And she was a nurse in the days before Roe. Perhaps she saw why Roe needed to happen in her own wards.

My dad, of course, only sneered that maybe that woman should have just picked one of her other kids at random to kill instead, because it was the exact same thing. Spoken like a Catholic patriarch who was in the office every time his wife had another one of his babies (and who had to deal with finding babysitters for 5 and then 6 and then 7 kids before she could arrange to get to the hospital).

I tell this story a lot (even turned it into a verse of a pro-choice song), because the story illuminates how even a "good" Catholic woman, who did everything she was supposed to do to be a Good Woman in the eyes of the church, could find it necessary to choose a pregnancy termination. And it perfectly shows how those attitudes about abortion, past and present, are so entwined with all the other laws that kept women second-class citizens in those Good Old Days.

Oh, she and the children survived and did all right after that.

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