I wrote this poem about my experiences with having an abortion in 1969, and the humiliation I went through. Unfortunately, politicians are now trying to turn back the clock and outlaw abortion. They need to get their grimy hands off our bodies!
My poem was published by New Verse News on January 18th, 2017.
1969. Nineteen years old and pregnant.
I couldn’t afford to keep the baby.
In those days, before Roe vs Wade,
you had to prove to two psychiatrists
that you were mentally unable to go through
with the pregnancy.
They wrote letters to the medical board of the
hospital performing the abortion.
Insurance didn’t cover the psychiatric visits.
The first psychiatrist asked if I would kill myself
if I didn’t have the abortion.
I said yes, I would take my life,
even though this wasn’t true.
He jotted some notes on a yellow legal pad.
He asked me little else.
The second psychiatrist asked if the sight of a penis
frightened me. I said yes. I lied that the sight of a penis frightened me.
He wrote that down.
My fate was in their hands.
my future . . .
The state of Texas now requires women
who have abortions or miscarriages
in abortion clinics
or in other health facilities
to bury or cremate the fetal remains.
In Indiana, Mike Pence signed legislation
to force women to have fetal funerals
for abortions or miscarriages.
This can be carried out by the facility.
A name for the fetus during
transport to the burial ground
is not required.