Democracy Has Prevailed.

May 9, 2022

The Day After Mother's Day - A Personal Story

OK, so I've been mulling this over for some time.

Considering Alito's leaked draft opinion, now's as good a time as any, I suppose.

I am, at the time of this writing, 58 years old and as such I was born in 1963. Late 1963, to be more a little more specific.

My parents were married in April of 1960 and my brother was born in February of 1961. He's 2 years 9 months older than I am. My parents were aiming for 6 kids but they stopped with 2.

A few years before he passed away in 2007, my dad told me the story why.

He said I was a just few weeks old - so this sets the story in late late '63 - and one evening after my mother had gone to the bathroom, he heard what sounded like a large jug of water being spilled on the bathroom floor.

He rushed in there and said that there was blood everywhere. Mom had hemorrhaged. She hemorrhaged a few weeks after giving birth to me.

Not one tile on the floor of the bathroom was spared, he said. There was blood everywhere, he said.

My dad must've been scared out of his mind.

He quickly got mom to the hospital and along with his concerns about his wife's health he was concerned, were she to die, about being a single dad raising two infant sons. How was he going to do that?

Luckily mom was well taken care of (she lived another 50 years until she passed in 2014) but the doctors told her that, even after she recovered, having another child would put her life at grave risk and she could die.

But this was Connecticut in 1963-4, more than a year before Giswold v Connecticut was decided. And from Giswold, we learn that at that, the General Statutes of Connecticut then held:

Any person who uses any drug, medicinal article or instrument for the purpose of preventing conception shall be fined not less than fifty dollars or imprisoned not less than sixty days nor more than one year or be both fined and imprisoned.

Birth control was illegal in Connecticut in 1963 - even for married couples. And my parents were very married.

What were their choices? Use the illegal birth control or put my mom's life at risk were she to become pregnant again.

This was also the reason my mother was, throughout her life, adamantly pro-birth control and pro-life.

It was very personal for her. For her birth control protected her from a possibly fatal pregnancy.

It was her choice to set her own family plan.

She's the only person with the moral authority to make that decision.

That's the way it should be for everyone else - now and into the future.