After railing in previous posts about the mother and baby homes in Ireland, I came up on a Washington Post article which shows that we had our own version of same. Pre-Roe v. Wade, young white women who became pregnant outside of marriage were often shipped off to the Florence Crittenden Homes, where they came under heavy social pressure to release their newborns for adoption. Young black girls, assumed to be promiscuous to start with, were left alone to give birth and live with their families. As in Ireland, healthy white babies were a hot commodity in the United States in the mid-1960’s. Healthy black babies were of less interest.
My mind goes back to my freshman class at the College of St. Elizabeth, which entered in 1963. One of our classmates simply disappeared mid-term, with no information on why she had withdrawn. She made contact with no one in our class, as far as I know, and she never came back to continue her studies. I’m wondering now if she might have been pregnant.
With Roe v. Wade newly under jeopardy from a right wing Republican Supreme Court, I’m shaking my head as I read. Is this really what we want to go back to?