Women from all sides of the political sprectrum, from all backgrounds, from all races and all classes have the shared experience of having had an abortions. There is a power in this shared experience and that is why I created this poster encouraging women to come out about their abortions and to share their stories.
My piece is a call to speak out against the shame, the isolation, and the secrecy surrounding abortion. By not telling our stories about abortion, and by endorsing a code of secrecy, we are giving into the right wing machine that shames women who have abortions.
1 in 3 women in the United States has had an abortion, yet the stigma attached to it is so great that many of us are silent about it, hence giving up our power to organize and allowing conservative anti-choice powers to control the narrative, and ultimate pass laws. I recently ran into the "1 in 3 campaign" whose website read:
As we tell our stories and support our family and friends as they come forward with theirs, we begin build a culture of compassion, empathy, and support. It's time for us to come out in support of each other and in support of access to legal and safe abortion care in our communities.
This poster was inspired by a conversation I had at Netroots Nation with Levana Layendecker, who had just come from a talk featuring an elected official, Darcy Burner,who said, "We are not alone. Nobody should be allowed to shame us into silence, to demand we live isolated and unable to talk about the decisions we’ve made, whether easy or hard." I've also been greatly inspired by the movement of UndocuQueer youth who come out about their immigration status, refusing to live in the shadows and refusing to be kept silent.
A friend posted a comment on this image which I think sums up the way in which we DO talk about abortions - that is - only in the context of shame and pain. But that also ends up affecting us in negative ways. She writes:
So many assume that the circumstances surrounding an abortion are supposed to be emotionally, socially, and physically painful. I'm sure that's the experience of some women, but for those of us who didn't have that experience, we feel like we're being shamed. As if those feelings were supposed to arise and because they didn't, there is something wrong with us. Sometimes an abortion is a blessing. Sometimes it's a relief. Sometimes, it's not painful at all. Sometimes it's the best decision you've ever made and you don't feel that way in retrospect, but as you're making the decision to have one.
You can download my poster by clicking here.