Sweet Pea's Story

I was most inspired by the poem "fetus" by Jessica, Jessica thought of her child as a berry, and I am told mom, Olive, thought of me as a pea.

It was many years ago, mom had two suitors, both sailors, each contending for her affection. I was an unexpected surprise, she couldn't be sure who the father was, and really neither would have been a good dad. It was a horrible mistake and Olive took months to decide she couldn't have a child by either (one was a disfigured pipe smoker, the other a large brutal man).

At 8 months pregnant, Olive decided to abort. Her thought to solve the problem was unfortunately about as ill conceived as was I (this was during WW II and abortions were still illegal, Olive had only friends advice and resources to rely on, her life experience caused her to make a tragic conclusion as a cure all for most problems). She had decided to use spinach to solve her problem, and unfortunately selected rancid spinach from an old discarded rusty can left around by one of the sailors, quickly she became very ill. Mom confused her faintness and stomach cramps for symptoms of abortion, resulting in her trying to sleep the abortion to come off on her couch.

Sadly, mom died as a result of her abortion attempt yet I (her fetus), resulting in my effectively aborting a parent. To me mom was only a decaying smelly tissue clump, never a person (a cadaver actually). My only contributions to the world have involved being part of the team mapping the human genome and helping to cure cancer, never have I brought the satisfaction to sailors mother did.

Years ago, when I shared my story with an unsympathetic partner I was ridiculed. The claim was made Olive's having unprotected sex with multiple sailors during wartime was inherently dangerous and a stupid thing to do (the usual blame the victim thing), or that ingestion of rancid spinach was perhaps the most idiotic method to abort ever imagined (my partner sadly hadn't read your board, or would have known differently, thank god for Sara's story!).

Sweet Pea
16 May 2001

more stories -- share your story

Birth Control Comparison - alll methods Abortion Info from Feminist Women's Health CenterShare your story
Poetry and Prose - by women about their reproductive lives Teens HealthResources for Women of Color
Feminist Abortion Clinics Real Life Abortion Stories from teens Questions and Answers


"'That's what I like about you; you're like me. We're both going to make it because we're both too tough and crazy not to!'And we held each other and laughed and cried about what we had paid for that toughness, and how hard it was to explain to anyone who didn't already know it that soft and tough had to be one and the same for either to work at all, like our joy and the tears mingling on the one pillow beneath our heads."
— Zami (1983) by Audre Lorde