A Personal Story
I was seventeen years old in 1978 and living in a small rural Midwestern American town of eight thousand inhabitants, when I became pregnant. The father, Thomas, had been my ‘high school sweetheart’ and we had been intimate since I was fifteen and he was seventeen. In an attempt to be ‘responsible’, Thomas and I had secured a prescription for birth control pills – not an easy task at that time or place. One summer day, my mother found them in my dresser drawer and “all hell broke loose” as they say in that part of the country. The pills were immediately taken away, the prescribing MD was promptly called and all my dermatology appointments were unilaterally canceled (the latter, a white upper middle-class form of punishment, would have been funny if the consequences of the former had not been so tragic). My already strained relationships with my mother and step-father deteriorated even further.