My Own Roe V. Wade Issue-Speaking Out

Feminism is back in the news, thank you, Donald. Trump’s announcement at the last debate that he would appoint Supreme Court justices who would repeal Roe v. Wade got me thinking back to my much younger days and my brush with that particular mindset. This occurred when I was twenty-five, not too long after grad school. At that time I was married. We were living in Louisiana. I had occasion to visit a gynecologist for treatment of endometriosis. I didn’t inquire as to his religious or political affiliation, and as it turned out, I should have. When I awoke from the procedure, his first words to me were, “Congratulations, you can still children!” His priority was NOT relieving me of my misery but preserving my child-bearing capability! I ended up going back to the gyno in my university town who  was outraged at his treatment  of me and performed a hysterectomy posthaste. (For the record, my then-husband and I had discussed the issue of children before we were married. Neither of us wanted to reproduce. End of discussion.) The first doctor I mentioned was Republican, a foe of Roe v. Wade, AND Catholic…all of which came to  influence his medical treatment of me-a secular Democratic feminist Jewish female (at the time). When I confronted him later in his office, he readily admitted that he wanted me to have children-and when I sarcastically asked who would FATHER said children, as my husband had had a vasectomy, he calmly replied, “I’m sure you could find a way!” I walked out of his office, never to return! I was furious. He cost me time, an unnecessary medical procedure, and a fair amount of expense. He had come highly recommended in that small (mainly Catholic and Christian) town. It took an out of town, indeed, an out of state, trip to actually get my hysterectomy, but my gyno where I went to grad school came through with no problem, even though I was young (25). I spent 3 days in the hospital recuperating, had an appendectomy thrown in while they were in there, and received excellent care. Have I ever regretted it? Not for a minute! I kept in touch with that particular doc for a long time just b/c he was such an awesome person. I would give him updates on how I was doing (and never fail to say thank for a pain-free life, vis a vis the hysterectomy) and he would catch me up on what he was into. We lost contact in the early 2000s. I miss him.


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