Merle Hoffman and her daughter, Sasha, on vacation Hoffman and her daughter, Sasha, on vacation

As U.S. restrictions tighten, women seeking abortions hit the road

By Abby Ellin | August 6, 2016 – “I saw myself leading troops into battle,” said Ms. Hoffman, now 70. “That didn’t allow for a maternal kind of orientation.” She was so clear on her decision that she terminated a pregnancy at age 32.

But when she was in her mid 50s, her husband of more than two decades died. The emptiness was palpable. “I had experienced many facets of love: sexual, devotional, parental from myself to my mother, the love of a cause. But I had never experienced what so many people experience as being the ultimate nonconditional love,” she said. “I wanted to experience what it was to love like that.”

At 58, Ms. Hoffman adopted a 3-and-1/2-year-old girl from Russia.

Friends greeted her with everything from shock to rage. “Some were like, ‘What are you, nuts? You’re too old!’” she recalled. “Some were supportive. Others were thinking, ‘Well, where’s my position in her life going to be now? Because this child will be the most important person.’”


Merle Hoffman featured in NY Times Family Story
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