I write in response to the Maine Voices on March 21: “As efforts to limit abortion rights grow, clinics need support of community.”

As a woman who grew up in the 1950s, I remember the days when women were dying because abortion was illegal, and access to contraception very limited. Public hospitals had wards to take care of women who had had unsafe, illegal abortions and were very ill. Many died.

It was clear that women seek abortion, even when their lives are at risk. They have for centuries; they will continue even with the risk of death or legal punishment. The stories are painful to hear; many of the women who died left children behind. All too often the women who did not die suffered lifelong injuries from having an unqualified person do the illegal abortion.

Communities at all levels must support this option for women. As the part of the community that remembers the times before Roe v. Wade in 1973, Grandmothers for Reproductive Rights GRR! salutes those who work in the face of political attacks and relentless fear-mongering. We will continue to work through education and advocacy to secure for younger generations the access to reproductive rights, justice and health care for which our generation fought so hard.

Julia Kahrl


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