Speak-OutAt a recent NOW meeting, a new member was unclear about what the actual medical procedure for an abortion was like. Another member offered part of her personal experience and then stated that this was the first time she had actually spoken about her own experience publicly. Even though we are empowered feminists, we still have difficulty discussing our personal stories. Society continues to or revisits that those of us who choose or have chosen abortion are somehow less than. I think now more than ever it is time for us to speak-out.
The first abortion speak-out took place during the pre-Roe v. Wade era, when abortion was illegal in the United States. Each state had its own laws about reproductive matters (sounds eerily familiar?). It was rare if not unheard of to hear any woman speak publicly about her experience with illegal abortion. In February of 1969, Redstockings, the radical feminist group founding in New York “disrupted” a New York legislative hearing about abortion. Four years after the 1969 abortion speak-out, the Roe v. Wade decision altered the landscape by repealing most abortion laws then in effect and striking down restrictions on abortion during the first trimester of pregnancy.
And today, it is becoming rare for women to speak-out about their legal abortions. As more and more states enact laws that make access to legal abortions increasingly more difficult and more disinformation is spread as fact, it is important that we hear the real stories of real women who have chosen to seek an abortion, whether it was after or pre-Roe v Wade. I encourage you to contact me with our story, which I will share on my blog and Austin NOW’s website, I know there are other sites out there dedicated to women’s stories and this will be another avenue for our voices but encourage each and everyone to put their story out there so we are heard.
Email your story to me (firstname.lastname@example.org), indicate if you want your story to appear with your name, a nom de plume or posted anonymously. Or if you blog, I (and the Austin NOW site), will be sure to indicate your story is a cross-post. To get the speak-out started, I will post my story in a day or two.