Bethesda Magazine explored the local impact of the Supreme Court’s June ruling in Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health in the story “How a landmark abortion ruling’s impact on Montgomery County Is already being felt” Here, two Montgomery County women share their own perspectives.
Rachel Carlucci, 18
If Rachel Carlucci’s biological grandmother had her way 18 years ago, Carlucci wouldn’t be alive today, she says. Carlucci’s birth mom had refused her mother’s demand for an abortion and instead moved in with a Germantown couple who supported her throughout her pregnancy. After Carlucci was born, the couple—who had five children of their own—adopted all three of the biological mom’s kids: Carlucci, her toddler sister and her 3-year-old brother.
Now a freshman at Montgomery College, Carlucci is a member of several anti-abortion life organizations. She even started her own anti-abortion club while in high school but shut it down after being attacked by another student in a school hallway and getting death threats on social media, including one threatening to bomb her house, she says.
At 17, she had her own pregnancy scare. “I [hadn’t] understood the fear and anxiety that girls go through until it happened to me,” she says. But even while she waited for the results of her own pregnancy test (which ultimately yielded a negative result), abortion never crossed her mind. “I wouldn’t have wanted my [biological] mom to give up on me,” she recalls thinking at the time. “Why should I give up on this child?”
Robin Fader, 66
Robin Fader was 14 when her parents drove her from their New Jersey home to a clinic in New York City for an illegal abortion. It was in the pre-Roe days, and she’ll never forget the doctor saying to her, just as he was putting her under, “Shame on you!”
Today, Bethesda-based Fader, 66, is a wife, mother and award-winning commercial producer and documentary photographer. Recently she’s been chronicling the fight for women’s reproductive rights with powerful black-and-white photos of abortion-rights marches and protests throughout the D.C. region. Since the Dobbs decision, she also volunteers as a patient escort at a local abortion clinic.
“I have been living with this for all these years,” Fader says about her abortion more than a half-century ago. But until Roe was reversed, she didn’t “feel the sense of urgency” to become more active in the pro-choice movement. “I was lucky…to have parents who could afford to get me the abortion and to drive me there,” she says. “I often think about what my life would have been like had that not been available to me.”