1 in 3 is Me
Abortion is not a sorority that any woman anticipates joining and it is diverse for exactly that reason. My reasons for becoming a handmaid are tied to the fact that I have had, not one, but two abortions in my life, and I live in a state that is constantly trying to chip away at my rights of reproductive choice and bodily autonomy. I speak out because I got tired of being told that I should feel regret and shame. I speak out because I spent years being silent while people talked about "those women", and feeling that I had to be polite. I speak out for those women who are where I was, and who are struggling to find their voice. I speak out for those who never will.
I have spent many years going online to support for women considering abortion. I've heard "I was pro-life until..." more often than I can count. When things become real, opinions change... at least for a little while, and sometimes forever. I have spent hours correcting the propaganda. "No, abortion won't cause you to become sterile. It's the exact same procedure used for a miscarriage." "No, it won't cause cancer. That's another myth." "No, provided you are making the choice of your own free will, abortion is not something you will regret for the rest of your life." "In a perfect world (as if the world is ever perfect), what do you want to do? Are the obstacles immovable or do you simply need to brainstorm resources?" "No, I can't tell you what you "should" do, or "must" do... you know in your heart what is right for you... I'm just here to ask the open-ended questions that will help you figure it out."
I have seen that the only way we are going to change peoples' minds is if enough of us come out of the shadows and refuse to take the abuse. We HAVE to put a face on reproductive rights. We HAVE to call out every lie, every twist of misinformation, every shred of propaganda. We HAVE to keep screaming into the void until people listen.
The right of a woman to complete bodily autonomy must not be negotiable. The myth that consent to sex is the same as consent to pregnancy must be shattered, or we will be forever inextricably linked to the possible consequences of sex and made to pay the price for it.
St. Charles, MO