an After abortion

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Thursday, May 5, 2005

Progressive Democrat Digby blogged a few weeks ago in solidarity with Paul Rogat Loeb's essay that women have to start telling their abortion stories in order for abortion to remain legal:

For those of us who believe, as I do, that abortion must always remain an available choice for all, even as it continues to be a morally impossible choice for some, we ["we?"--Ed. note] have to start telling the stories. That means those of 15-year-olds and grandmothers, married and single women, those unsure whether they’ll ever have children and those who have more than they can handle.

Planned Parenthood’s recent distribution of “I Had an Abortion” T-shirts and Jennifer Baumgardner’s film of the same name are good beginnings. But the process of telling the stories has to be extended further. For only by giving flesh to the abstractions and getting into the heart of the difficult decisions and consequences individuals face, can we convince our culture to deal with these choices with true compassion.
All of which falsely assumes that when women tell their stories, the stories will be abortion-positive, but let's put that aside for the moment.

I was mostly interested in how some women responded to the Loeb/Digby proposal that women start talkin':

One commenter, Tata, says:

It is telling that in a discussion of telling abortion stories the conversation appears here and now to be conducted by men. There is no jeopardy in it for you. You will not be shamed. You will not be dismissed from your job when someone finds out...
Look, forget about angles. Forget about melodrama. It doesn't matter why a woman gets an abortion. It's her body and - however she proceeds - she lives with the consequences of her actions. As men of a certain political stripe, your job here is to stand with us, vote with us and weep with us. If you are demanding we expose ourselves to even greater grief you have been partly persuaded that we are accountable to someone else's conscience. This is a betrayal.
And another woman writes:

The 'sharing stories' tactic might be practical, but the whole idea of it pisses me off. Why should we have to come with our tragedies on our sleeves to to throw ourselves on the mercy of our fellow citizens in the hopes they'll be benevolent enough to permit us a right that is granted freely to everyone else?
If I were a pro-choice woman who'd had an abortion, I would feel the same way.

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