Dee Dee Bridgewater, jazz musician and host of NPR’s JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater, recently shared her illegal abortion story to highlight the fact that a woman’s reproductive rights are still being challenged.
Bridgewater’s abortion occurred in 1968, when abortions were illegal. But til this day, women are still fighting for their right to choose in some states.
In the video she describes the incident in intimate detail:
Forty-one years ago, the Supreme Court recognized our right to reproductive choice. Many young women today have no idea how it was to find yourself in a situation where you needed to get an abortion and you had nowhere to go.
It was 1968. And I found myself in a situation where I had to have an abortion. I had a girlfriend who had a friend who was a nurse. And she said that she would give me the abortion. I had to meet her in a hotel room.
I remember being very humiliated, to the point that today, I haven’t thought about this for years. Thinking about it makes me want to cry.
She took out a long, rubber hose. I’ll never forget. She made me lie down on the bed and she inserted this hose. And she said ‘you’re going to have to keep this hose in your body for the next couple of days.
And two days later, I remember starting to hemorrhage.
I had to be rushed to emergency. I just remember this excruciating pain.
If a woman’s right to choose is taken away, imagine how many other similar scenarios can take place.