08/15/2013 09:51 am ET

New Jewish Rituals For Women Who've Had Abortions Offer Communal Support


Forty years ago, in a moment of what she later described as “self-centered professional zeal,” Batya had an abortion. She was 22 years old, a grad student about to leave the country for an archaeological expedition. “I did it in panic. I always wanted to have children, but I just wasn’t ready,” said the now-mother of three, who agreed to speak about her abortion only if she was identified by her nickname. That abortion turned out to be the first of two: The second occurred later, when her first marriage was falling apart. But afterward, she was troubled by feelings of grief and loss that she admits, many years later, are still partly unresolved.