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Editorial Reflections

One woman's story lends insight

When the Supreme Court voted to overturn Roe v. Wade on June 24, with far-reaching implications, I, at 74, remember well the lack of adequate birth control and rules oppressing women. Single and poor women who were pregnant found themselves without the needed hope and help to plan and have a better life with families.

I believe women need to "come out" and share their stories.

I love this country, this state, this county and the town of Tonasket where I live.  I feel more at home here than anywhere I have lived. I have many friends and a good community. As a veteran of the Vietnam War, I took the oath and have served my country, worked in nursing for 45 years, retired and now volunteer for my community.

I hope what has happened on the federal level will not tear my community apart and I hope that somehow we can and will make this right again. 

I know many women here in this county have had abortions for many reasons. The decision is not easy and anyone I know who has made that decision has searched hard and deep before making it. I have talked with many older women over the years as I worked in the nursing home. Some were poor when they were young, had more children than they could support and ended up having to give them away. 

These stories broke my heart. Some women said if they could have had an abortion they would have done so.

Roe v. Wade gave women and girls hope, a way out of impossible situations and the ability to plan their families, benefitting not just them, but their partners and children as well.

I had to make the decision twice, once because I had made a commitment to serve, and the military would not allow pregnant women to continue to serve. The Army had paid for my education, and I  wanted to serve. The other time was because birth control, an IUD, did not work, and I did not want to risk an in utero injury to a child. I was 24, single and unsettled after the war. I was not in good shape. Getting myself back took time.

Since I made those two decisions, I ended up in Washington state, had two former husbands who I have loved, and now a husband who is the partner I love.  I have two stepchildren and two biological children whom I love very much. My daughter has two children, and they have my three great-grandchildren. My son has one child and another on the way.

That makes nine wonderful people who are alive because of those decisions. I love all nine of them very much.

I wonder how many people are alive and loved because their mother had to make that decision?

Karen Schimpf - Contributor

Copyright@ The Fig Tree, September 2022