Abortion Story #276: Grateful for My Abortion in 1973

Roar will publish a first-person story about abortion, “My Abortion: A Daily Story,” every day for at least 365 days. The following excerpt is from Amy Oppenheimer’s story. She opens up about how her right and decision to access abortion in 1973 benefitted her life, in contrast to her mother’s limited right to self-determination. Read her full essay that was published in Huffington Post.

Note: Together with other women lawyers, Amy’s story was shared in an amicus brief supporting abortion access when the US Supreme Court considered Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt, challenging restrictions in Texas that were designed to shut down abortion clinics. In June 2016, the Court ruled to strike down those policies.


“…I have to wonder, if my mother and grandmother had the opportunity to achieve higher education and follow their dreams, what would their lives have been like?

Two major legal events gave women, like myself, the ability to be active in the workforce like never before — the 1964 passage of civil rights laws prohibiting discrimination against women and the 1973 Supreme Court decision recognizing the right to abortion. I can speak personally about how access to a safe and legal abortion allowed me to live the life I dreamed of.

In 1973, the same year the landmark decision in Roe v. Wade legalized abortion, I became pregnant at age 21. My relationship with my boyfriend at the time was unstable and I was just starting to figure out who I was and what I wanted to do.…”

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