Kathleen Norris on Abortion
Kathleen Norris on A WOMAN’S PREDICAMENT
I’ve never been pregnant but have known too many women who’ve had abortions to judge them. One was my paternal grandmother, the wife of a Methodist pastor. In 1930’s America economic depression made raising five children on a minister’s salary exceptionally difficult, and her youngest, my namesake aunt Kathleen, developed rickets, which is a disease of poverty. When my grandmother got pregnant again her doctor advised her that she was too weak to sustain it and needed to take care of herself, my infant aunt, and her other children. She had her abortion at a time when even devout, conservative Christians like my grandmother believed that the matter was a medical and not political issue, best left to women and their physicians.
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