A misconception that guys weren't exactly falling over themselves to correct.
Fran Johns had an illegal abortion in 1956. At the time, she also wasn't really aware of the concept of an abortion:
"It was something that never crossed my mind. Y'know, we didn't have sex education in schools and when I was growing up there was no such thing ... but when I found myself pregnant after a really not happy time, I just knew I couldn't carry a baby ... it was just beyond unthinkable. And, um, I couldn't tell anybody ... I had a sister who was just a year ahead of me in school and we were joined at the hip. I would not have told her. She died never knowing that story."
In our modern world, with condoms raining from the sky, and IUDs growing from every tree (Ed. Note: where do you live, author? It sounds terrifying.) Dorothy might not have gotten pregnant in the first place (free birth control is the easiest way to reduce abortion rates). But Fran's case is different. She was raped by her boss. He was an oil industry executive, and it happened at a fancy '50s-style party. It was the '50s. Everything was '50s-style.
Everything except the idea that executives can get away with sexual assault, which is as timeless as the goddamn tides.
"The idea of rape was also something you would never never mention to your best friend. I know it happened all the time. It had to have been pretty common in those days. But you just didn't mention it. You didn't talk about it."
Fran panicked when she got pregnant, and her first instinct was a drug overdose. She decided to use paregoric, an opiate, to try and abort the baby.
For context, that big red "X" on the label does not mean "safe."
"It was over the counter ... I mean, I gave my kids a tiny teaspoon of paregoric sometimes, as a sedative. I remember having it in the house. And so one of the old wives' tales was that would do it. There were several other things you drank. Mostly though, it was falling down or inserting things to try to precipitate the abortion."