In Impossible Motherhood, Irene Vilar writes, "I want to explore how when abortion takes on repetitive and self-mutilating qualities it can point to an addiction." But her book is really an exploration of a single tragedy-stricken life.
Those who saw Vilar's appearance on ABC know she comes from a Puerto Rican family both lauded for its political activism and dogged by mental illness and addiction, and that she had fifteen abortions in fifteen years, twelve of them during her marriage to a much-older professor she met as an undergraduate. The beginnings of her "abortion addiction," as she repeatedly calls it, lie in this tumultuous relationship. Thirty-four years her senior, her husband told her early on that he liked young women, women "without too many wounds." He would get one but not the other.