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My Mother’s Abortion Decision

mgullettes Icon Posted by Margaret Morganroth Gullette

April 30th, 2010

In 1973, the federal government started to pay for abortions for very poor women under Medicaid. It took three years until the Hyde amendment put a stop to it.

In addition, abortion services are not provided for U.S. military personnel and their families, Peace Corps volunteers, Indian Health Service clients, and federal prisoners.

Since then, the media tend not to put a face on Hyde, because it would be an all too sympathetic face, in a context that few middle-class people can imagine–where hopeful thoughts of the future are defeated by present poverty. The face might be that of a woman who is already a mother and can’t afford another child.

I have written an essay about my mother’s abortion decision, made during the 1940s when the family was in economic straits.

It appears on www.womensENews.org (May 2). The essay tries to add this kind of nuance and humanity.

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