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Tue Sep 22, 2015, 05:31 PM

I set up #ShoutYourAbortion because I am not sorry, and I will not whisper

lmost exactly five years ago, in September 2010, I took one pill, and then another, and lay in my bed for a night and a day, and then I wasn’t pregnant any more. It was a fairly smooth experience, distressing only because my relationship was bad and I had no money. The procedure itself was a relief. Not being able to have it would have been the real trauma.

Suddenly, last week, in the thick of the rightwing, misogynist crusade to defund Planned Parenthood (a vital American nonprofit that provides a broad range of healthcare services, including pelvic exams, STI screenings, contraception and abortion), a thought bowled me over: I never, ever talk about my abortion. I live in a progressive city, I have a fiercely pro-choice social circle and family, I write confessionally about myself for a living – so why is it that I never speak about abortion in anything beyond an abstract way, even with my closest friends? I know about who has a vagina infection, whose boyfriend’s penis bends weird, who used to do drugs, who still does. And I know how all of them feel about abortion, policywise. But I don’t know who has had one, and they don’t know about mine. It’s not a secret; it’s just something we don’t talk about.

Not talking about our personal experiences with abortion wasn’t conscious – it felt like a habit, a flimsy ouroboros of obfuscation. We don’t talk about it because we don’t talk about it because we don’t talk about it. So, on Saturday, when my friend Amelia Bonow posted this plainspoken, unapologetic announcement on her Facebook page, it felt simultaneously so obvious, so simple and so revolutionary: “Like a year ago I had an abortion at the Planned Parenthood on Madison Ave, and I remember this experience with a near inexpressible level of gratitude ... I am telling you this today because the narrative of those working to defund Planned Parenthood relies on the assumption that abortion is still something to be whispered about. Plenty of people still believe that on some level – if you are a good woman – abortion is a choice which should be accompanied by some level of sadness, shame or regret. But you know what? I have a good heart and having an abortion made me happy in a totally unqualified way. Why wouldn’t I be happy that I was not forced to become a mother?”


“The assumption that abortion is still something to be whispered about.” That struck me hard. The fact that even progressive, outspoken, pro-choice feminists feel the pressure to keep our abortions under wraps – to speak about them only in corners, in murmurs, in private with our closest confidantes – means that opponents of abortion get to define it however suits them best. They can cast those of us who have had abortions as callous monstrosities, and seed fear in anyone who might need one by insisting that the procedure is always traumatic, always painful, always an impossible decision. Well, we’re not, and it’s not. The truth is that life is unfathomably complex, people with uteruses own their bodies unconditionally, and every abortion story is as unique as the person who lives it. Some are traumatic, some are even regretted, but plenty are like mine.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/sep/22/i-set-up-shoutyourabortion-because-i-am-not-sorry-and-i-will-not-whisper

7 replies, 1181 views

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Reply I set up #ShoutYourAbortion because I am not sorry, and I will not whisper (Original post)
ismnotwasm Sep 2015 OP
TeddyR Sep 2015 #1
ismnotwasm Sep 2015 #4
randys1 Sep 2015 #5
ismnotwasm Sep 2015 #6
LanternWaste Sep 2015 #7
randys1 Sep 2015 #2
ismnotwasm Sep 2015 #3

Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Sep 22, 2015, 05:34 PM

1. Ok

 

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Response to TeddyR (Reply #1)

Tue Sep 22, 2015, 05:37 PM

4. Ok what?

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #4)

Tue Sep 22, 2015, 05:49 PM

5. Women shouldnt be too loud maybe? Need to be more ladylike.

Jesus , I am a guy and I HATE that word, lady

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Response to randys1 (Reply #5)

Tue Sep 22, 2015, 05:56 PM

6. Heh!

Me too.

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Response to TeddyR (Reply #1)

Fri Sep 25, 2015, 01:51 PM

7. RKBA Guy chimes in with weighty comment full of irrelevance. Film at eleven.

RKBA Guy chimes in with weighty comment full of irrelevance. Film at eleven.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Sep 22, 2015, 05:34 PM

2. STOP APOLOGIZING for being GAY or being a WOMAN who wants AUTHORITY over her own body!



Just two examples of things NOT to apologize for.

If men got pregnant I can assure you everything surrounding this issue would be very different.

Abortion clinics?

More common than Starbucks.

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Response to randys1 (Reply #2)

Tue Sep 22, 2015, 05:37 PM

3. Yes!

It's why I love that hashtag. So much at stake right now we cannot afford to "whisper"

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