It makes your eyes squint. You want to turn away. Look somewhere else. You hold your stomach without realising it. You feel sick as you you listen to the stories of these women talking about the abortions they received before abortions were legal.
One had been raped. She begged to abort the baby. It almost killed her, the procedure, and she could never have children.
Watch the harrowing video here. Post continues afterwards.
Another wasn’t permitted anaesthetic and was forbidden from screaming.
“They’ll hear you,” her ‘surgeon’ said. The same surgeon who molested her while she was still bleeding, directly after the operation.
The video was created by The Scene and shows the stories of women in America who received their abortion before 1973 when the senate passed Roe v Wade, which legalised the procedure and gave women a choice.
Jane received an abortion in 1968. She had been raped in her final year of college; woken up with a man’s hands around her throat. “If you scream I will kill you”.
She begged for an abortion. She did not want the baby of the man who raped her. She said to the hospital, “I will commit suicide if I do not have this procedure”. They refused. She sought an illegal abortionist – almost suicide in itself.
Three days after her abortion in upstate Louisiana, by a man who said he was an MD, Jane was still in pain. It wasn’t going away as her abortionist had predicted. The pain was getting worse.
Women in these situations – in pain and in danger following an illegal abortion – couldn’t just take themselves to an emergency room. The shame and the stigma and the weight of the phrase ‘I had an abortion’ was so much worse than the procedure itself.
“Being raped was bad. But having an abortion was shameful,” Jane told the camera.
Soon, she had no option but to go to hospital. “It had been a very bad abortion. The doctor had actually left in tissue that had, um, putrified and had caused a massive infection in this whole area of my body.”
Jane was suffering peritonitis – an inflammation of all abdominal membranes due to bacterial infection. She was in hospital for two weeks. The doctor told her she was seven hours away from death at the time she was admitted.
The surgeon who drained her abdomen also called the police.