Choosing Jonah—a family history of abortion, choice and love

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Originally posted at Autostraddle on January 22, 2013.

By Kristen Zimmerman

I have a photograph of my mother that I love. She is 21 standing in her graduation gown beaming expectantly at the camera. Round belly poking through dark drapes, it’s the first portrait of us “together”—me nested inside of her, a sliver of white pressing through the black folds that usually conceal its opening. As if I am graduating too. At this threshold you can see that she (we) just barely made it to this moment. While I irrevocably altered her life, she was fortunate that I arrived in the world about a month after her commencement.

My arrival was not a given. I came at a time of great change, upheaval, and risk, born in 1968, five years before Roe v. Wade became law. Politically the world was volatile and in the throws of great social movements. Two important leaders—King Jr. and Kennedy—assassinated.

My mother did not want a baby. With her eyes set on international relations she was ambivalent at best about her relationship with my father. I was not the plan, and so, like many young women of her time and class, she sought a way out.

Continue reading at autostraddle.

This post is part of Still Wading: Forty years of resistance, resilience, and reclamation in communities of color, a blog series by Strong Families commemorating the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.