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Another abortion horror story, etched in memory — and policy

Abortion rights activists held a demonstration at Boston City Hall Plaza on Oct. 3, 1991, to commemorate the death of Rosie Jimenez, who died in 1977 following an illegal abortion she had sought after passage of the Hyde Amendment barring the use of Medicaid funds.Justine Ellement/Globe Staff

On Oct. 3, 1977, Rosie Jimenez died from the effects of an illegal, unsafe abortion. When she died, she had her Medicaid card in her purse and an uncashed check for aid for her education. Neither of them was of any use to her. Congress, in an exceptional act of cruelty and cowardice, had passed the Hyde Amendment, barring the use of Medicaid funds to pay for a safe, legal abortion.

This month, the so-called highest court in the land, in a purely political act, showed its determination to take away more women’s lives, to make women virtual prisoners of the state. Women like Jimenez, working hard to do better, to be better, to fulfill their dreams, will be denied their right to safe, legal abortions.


Now is the time for courage. Now is the time for all of us to act. Congress needs to codify Roe v. Wade as the law of the land. Let’s put a stop to the continuing effort to control our bodies and our lives. Let the Supreme Court know; let your elected officials in Congress know; let your family, neighbors, and friends know.

Abortion is health care. Abortion is essential. Abortion is every woman’s right.

Pat Yingling


The writer is a member of the Bad Old Days Posse, a group of women sharing their experiences of abortion before Roe v. Wade.