Kate Michelman spoke at the PA Unite Against the War on Women rally in Harrisburg, Pa. Photo by Joanne Tosti-Vasey
by Allison Robertson
At the PA Unite Against the War on Women rally in Harrisburg on April 28, a woman stood up and spoke about her difficult decision to get an abortion.
Kate Michelman, now the former president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, lived with her husband in State College in 1969. At the time, she was a Catholic rejecting all forms of contraception and had given up her career to raise her three daughters.
Her life changed when her husband left her. Struggling to make ends meet, Michelman was receiving public assistance as a single mother when she discovered she was pregnant.
“I knew having a child in these conditions was wrong,” Michelman said.
To get a legal abortion in 1969, Michelman had to stand in front of a board of male doctors and explain why she was “mentally unfit” to be a mother, she said. They granted her permission to have the abortion. However, when it came time for the procedure, Michelman discovered that under state law, her husband was required to sign a paper that granted his permission for her to have the procedure. Read more »