The wealthy 85-year-old Harriett Hills Stinson (from the San Francisco family that founded Hills Bros. Coffee) has decided to make public her choice to kill her unborn child decades before Roe v. Wade made it legal for her to do so. She is encouraging other women to proudly speak out on their own action(s) to make that ultimate choice of death for their child(ren).
"I've never regretted it. . . . for the sake of my family, it was not right for me to have a fourth child."
-- From "Women urge others to go public about abortions" by Carla Marinucci, San Francisco Chronicle Political Writer 10/13/11
On Wednesday, Stinson was honored as national, state and Bay Area supporters of abortion and reproductive rights gathered on the Peninsula for their annual Power of Choice lunch sponsored by NARAL Pro-Choice America, the nation's largest abortion and reproductive rights advocacy group.
The gathering in Palo Alto of 600 supporters was held to assess the political landscape on a key social issue and discuss the impact of what women's leaders are increasingly defining as a conservatives' "war on women" as the 2012 presidential race heats up.
Stinson's decision to tell the story of her abortion at Wednesday's event comes as pro-choice supporters warn of an increasingly militant conservative lobby that they say hopes for sharp restrictions on family planning funding and legal abortions - an issue they predict could influence the women's vote in next year's election.
Stinson urged the estimated 1 in 4 American women who have had abortions to "be bold and brave and do something drastic," to tell their stories to their friends, family and legislators, an effort she said will bring the matter out of the shadows and dramatize the need for safe, legal services.
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Also read, Worldwide Abortion: The War on Girls