On ‘my mother’s abortion’: Beth Matusoff Merfish discusses her mother’s difficult choice


As the Texas state Senate redoubles its efforts to pass legislation that would ban abortion after 20 weeks and effectively shut down all but 5 of its abortion clinics, it looks to join the 17 other states that have already passed similar laws this year. On Tuesday’s Now with Alex Wagner, Beth Matusoff Merfish joined the panel to discuss this alarming trend, and her recent op-ed piece for The New York Times in which she recounts her mother’s own difficult decision to terminate a pregnancy. Having cheered on Wendy Davis’ dramatic filibuster from the gallery of  the Texas State Senate, Merfish writes from the front lines of the battle for reproductive rights. On today’s show, she spoke of her mother’s story:

I’m incredibly proud of her. At the age of 20 years old, she had the wisdom and the courage to know that her own potential would be cut short by a pregnancy, and to terminate that pregnancy. And I think many of our mothers have similar stories and it is really important to talk about that.

In her op-ed, she further recounts:

Until recently, fear of shame has kept her quiet about her experience, even as she passionately, publicly supported reproductive freedom. This is the first time we’ve discussed her abortion in public.

My mother waited until the evening before I began my first year at Wellesley College, in 2001, to tell me about her abortion. Her voice shook but never broke as she described her fear and her decision. She ended by reiterating that her choice was the right one and that her love for my sister and me was unequivocal.

Watch the video to see the panel’s discussion, and read her whole piece here.

On 'my mother's abortion': Beth Matusoff Merfish discusses her mother's difficult choice