What Would Happen If They Raised Their Hands?

This week’s New York Times Room for Debate section asked what would happen if more women who had had abortions shared their experiences. The responses are predictably varied, but I like Sonya Renee’s:

The lives of actual women are so often invisible in this debate as to make one wonder who is actually having abortions. We are reduced to statistics, politicizing a profoundly personal issue. But when women speak out about our experiences, as I finally chose to do, we erase the political narrative. We remind people of the truth. We are mothers, students, lawyers, teens, humans making decisions about autonomy, family and self-determination.

I don’t believe there’s a right or wrong reaction to having an abortion. I wouldn’t invalidate the experiences of women who regret their choices just as I wouldn’t invalidate the experiences of women who found the decision easy and painless. I do, however, think there’s a lot of value in speaking up, of reclaiming the narrative from crusty old dudes. One in three women will have an abortion before they turn forty. This is not an uncommon American experience. This is not an uncommon female experience. When we treat the seekers of abortion (and their supporters) as pariahs, we are not acknowledging this reality of 21st century America.

I wrote some more on this subject and about the first person I ever knew who had sought an abortion for Role/Reboot:

roe

Related Post: Ever wonder about the experience of an abortion provider?

Related Post: How to celebrate Roe’s 40th anniversary

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2 Comments

Filed under Gender, Media, Republished!

2 responses to “What Would Happen If They Raised Their Hands?

  1. No doubt you’ve heard Caitlin Moran’s suggestion for combatting the inescapable whine of old, white men pontificating about what women can and can not do with their bodies: she suggested that every woman who has had an abortion goes on strike for the day. I’m sure this would include woman working in the home.

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