I have a friend who almost died from an abortion. 

She was unwed and pregnant. She found an abortion provider. She had the procedure. But something went wrong. She ended up in the emergency room bleeding with an infection that could have taken her life.

 This was in New York in the 1960’s. This was pre-Roe. Women died from complications of illegal abortions. 

I was born into a country that is  different. I was born into a post-Roe country where women have a constitutionally protected right to abortion. I was born into a country where we talk about women having the right to make decisions over our own bodies. While I know that there are people chipping away at this right, I never really fathomed what it was like to live without it.

As we celebrate the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, I think of my friend. I think about how she had to break the law in order to make her own health care decision. I think about how lucky I am to have her in my life. And I pause and think upon those who lost friends, sisters, mothers, and daughters over 40 years ago.