Maria

Maria from Austria is 81 years old when she tells her abortion story. Abortion had then recently become legal in Austria.

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    OTALT/Helene Karlsson

Maria's story is collected especially for the SHHH project. All informants and stories in this project have been anonymised. All names are changed.

I first tried herbs, in vain. Then I went to a woman. At that time, it had just become legal, but I wouldn't have dared to ask a doctor.

Maria

My husband and I used to run a refuge in the mountains in the summer. That was very exhausting for me with the four children. I cooked for fifty people every day. Then I tidied everything up. I had no help with that.

When a fifth child announced itself, it overwhelmed me. I was tired, I probably had a depression. It was clear to me that I didn't want this child, although I love children very much. My husband agreed, even though we were both Catholic.

It's good that women today can decide for themselves.

Maria

But it was not easy at that time. I first tried herbs, in vain. Then I went to a woman. At that time, it had just become legal, but I wouldn't have dared to ask a doctor. Some women told me about this woman, behind closed doors. It's still difficult for me to speak about it and I don't want to tell you who she was. Today I know that it was dangerous. 

My four children have long been parents themselves, and I am even a great-grandmother of five. It's good that women today can decide for themselves.