My Mom Survived a Back-Alley Abortion

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Her story taught me the importance of having choices.

My mom couldn’t wait to get me birth control. Growing up, she’d gently yet boldly say things like, “Every woman should have access to birth control” and “Whenever you’re ready, we’ll get you the pill.” Her feelings were so ingrained in me that I thought all moms were all about getting their teenage daughters birth control.

Despite this, I still went behind her back to get it at Planned Parenthood when I started having sex in high school. It wasn’t my mom’s fault — I was sneaky about everything, including going to raves around the Bay Area in the ’90s. And while I knew my parents wouldn’t approve of my drug use and all-night shenanigans, I didn’t know why my mom was so passionate about birth control.

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Acid, Dance, Unity: What Happened to the ’90s Bay Area Rave Scene?

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Remembering a different time in San Francisco.

My first rave was called Eon. It started in a donut shop on San Pablo Avenue in Berkeley. My friend found out about the donut shop, a.k.a. the Map Point, by calling a phone number listed on the flyer for the rave. I was 16, and it was January 1996.

My acid was kicking in when we stumbled into the donut shop, the fluorescent lights frightening, the rainbow sprinkles fascinating. We handed our five dollars to two guys resembling an ostrich and a bear sitting in a corner with a cash box. They handed over a piece of paper with handwritten directions on it.

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