Unwanted pregnancy feels like womanhood at its most hateful and cowlike—the broodmare inside the bombshell. You are yourself, full of wit and dreams and adventure. But biology is conspiring against you, to sicken and trap you. Nature cares nothing for individuals.
… My abortion was when my politics become personal. Sure, one can march against the Iraq War. But it’s far more visceral to know that decaying politicians would force you to give birth. That 50 years ago they would have had you, you personally, die in pain and shame.
The ability to have an abortion is as important for women as the vote. It is the basis of fertile women living equal lives. As soon as I could, I raised a thousand dollars for Planned Parenthood. It felt like paying a debt.
What pulled me out of my depression was refusing to shut up. I talked about abortion with my girlfriends. With my acquaintances. With a bluntness that was probably uncomfortable and annoying in retrospect. What I found was that almost every woman I spoke to had had one too. Behind our sleek careers, our prettily painted faces, we had our blood and pain.
One out of three American women has had an abortion. But that’s a statistic, not a face. I’ve never spoken about my abortion publicly. It’s terrifying. One expects death threats, to be called a baby killer. One’s societal training is to be classy, be private, pretend your activism is on the behalf of others. Never let them see you bleed.
Never, ever tell your own story.
But silence, as much as anything, is why abortion’s such an easy target in America. Stories save lives.
I had an abortion. I’m not sorry. I’m not afraid."