Printed in The New York Times, September 22, 2014:
(This letter was in response to an opinion piece by Merritt Tierce, which appeared in The Times on September 13)
To the Editor:
The abortion stories of Merritt Tierce and Wendy Davis have one thing in common: Both women had access to safe, legal procedures. I did not.
A victim of workplace rape in the days before Roe v. Wade, I was among the millions of women who sought out back-alley abortionists. Happily, I survived; unhappily, countless others did not.
Each of our stories, just like every woman’s story today, was complex, personal and private. We had only desperation in common.
The lesson is that you can ban or restrict abortion all you want — as is happening all over the United States — but short of chaining a woman to the bedpost for nine months, you cannot force her to continue an unwanted pregnancy. If she has the money and resources, she will find a safe procedure somewhere. If she is poor and powerless, she will do desperate and dangerous things.
In the headlong rush to restrict access and eventually ban abortion once again, guess who suffers?
FRAN MORELAND JOHNS
San Francisco, Sept. 13, 2014
The writer is the author of “Perilous Times: An Inside Look at Abortion Before — and After — Roe v. Wade.”
(It’s interesting to note that the only anti-choice letter published in this group is from a white male Catholic who sees only the fetus and not the woman. I respect his religion, but not his inability to see the woman’s part, or her need to make decisions about her body.)