Pre-Roe Reality

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In this Mother Jones essay, Eleanor Cooney tells her story of getting an abortion before Roe v. Wade, shedding light on what it means to live in a society in which abortion is illegal.

“That year in the 1960s, several thousand American women were treated in emergency rooms for botched abortions, and there were at least 200 known deaths. Comparing my story with others from the pre-Roe era, what impresses me is how close I veered to mortal danger in spite of not living under most of the usual terrible strictures.”


Lisa Dusenbery is the former managing editor of The Rumpus. More from this author →