In 1973, life in America completely changed for women. The Supreme Court decided that women had the right to decide whether or not they could terminate a pregnancy and, with this decision, Roe v. Wade became the landmark case that, finally, cemented a woman's right to choose.
But as the 45th anniversary of the decision approaches, women are still struggling today — especially with the continued anti-abortion moves by the Trump administration. Sometimes, it's easy to feel like we could be facing a repeal of Roe v. Wade, but the truth is many of us don't even know a life before Roe v. before abortion was legal. No matter what has happened with the current political climate, at the very least, abortion is legal. But there are plenty of who women do remember a life before Roe v. Wade — and we can't forget just how different things were.
Elizabeth was just 16 in 1973 when she became pregnant in New York, which had legal abortion before Roe v. Wade. But she wasn't sure the clinic she went to was legal and the experience she had there was traumatic. “I remember feeling very vulnerable,” Elizabeth told Bustle. “I was stark naked. Who would have you do that? I don’t know." First, the doctor didn't use painkillers when dilating her cervix and then used a vacuum to fill up a glass jar with the contents of her uterus — all of which was visible to Elizabeth. Afterward, he pushed the contents into her face saying, "Do you see what you did?" and told her to get out and that she should feel ashamed. “I left there shaking, not because of the procedure but because of how he treated me," she said. "It was awful — it was really, really awful.”
No woman should ever be forced to go through what Elizabeth went through. No woman should be punished and shamed for doing what she wants with her body.
So, for the 45th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, consider donating to one of the many clinics and funds that help provide safe, compassionate abortions for women in need. Here are eight that could use your support.