The Most Traumatic Thing About Abortions Is the Judgment
By Rajvi Desai
May 22, 2020
Cynthia was 20 when she got pregnant. She wasn’t allowed to go out with anybody, let alone have sex. Breaking the news to her parents was an unimaginable act. The apprehension that came with the pregnancy was so intense for her, Cynthia says it never even crossed her mind to keep the child.
“It was like I was not pregnant, and I had to get the abortion to ensure I continue to be not pregnant,” Cynthia says. “It wasn’t even a child I aborted — more like a cold that had to be cured.”
Why We Need Literature on Abortion
In this excerpt from Choice Words, Annie Finch's anthology of abortion poems, stories, and essays, she reflects on how literature on abortion is necessary on both a personal level and a larger societal one.
May 1, 2020
I had an abortion in 1999.
Searching for literature to help me absorb my experience, I realized that I had rarely read anything about abortion (and I have a Ph.D. in literature). I was astounded to discover that there was no major literary anthology about one of the most profound experiences in my life and that of millions of others. A physical, psychological, moral, spiritual, political, and cultural reality that navigates questions of life and death, abortion should be one of the great themes of literature.
My anthology, Choice Words: Writers on Abortion, which was published recently, was the result of the 20-year search that grew out of this initial sense of shock and loss.
Abortion Without Borders in the time of COVID-19
April 7, 2020
by Mara Clarke, Member, Abortion Without Borders/Founder, Abortion Support Network
In my 18+ years of talking about abortion, this is the first time that words have failed me. Please bear with me, while I try to explain to you the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on Abortion Without Borders (www.abortion.eu) and the people who contact us, seeking abortions.
Things started changing for Abortion Without Borders (AWB) on 13 March, when Poland announced they would be cancelling all flights, trains and busses – and stopping international post. Like so much of the news around Covid-19, this news was half true and some of these services continued to run. Before the Covid-19 crisis, the Abortion Without Border’s Polish helpline received an average of 300 calls per month. In three days alone, from 13-15 March, the helpline received 114 calls. From 13 March until 31 March, the helpline took 308 calls. This is a full month of calls in approximately two weeks.
Abortion storytellers and the harassment they face
By Steph Herold, opinion contributor
Next month, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in June Medical Services v. Gee, the first major abortion-related case to come before the Court since Justice Kavanaugh’s appointment to the bench. The case largely focuses on a Louisiana law designed to close abortion clinics by imposing the exact requirements that the Court declared unconstitutional in the 2016 case Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt.
Yet this time around, abortion opponents are arguing that only patients, not abortion providers (such as Whole Woman’s Health or June Medical Services), should be able to bring these cases and that nothing prevents patients from doing so. This raises an unusual and pertinent question: is it reasonable to expect people seeking time-sensitive, stigmatized health care to drop everything and sue their state?
Independent submission to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on the situation of human rights in the Philippines as requested by the Human Rights Council (the Council) in its Resolution 41/2 adopted on 11 July 2019
Posted 10 February 2020
Supplementary information on the grave human rights violations resulting from women’s and girls’ lack of effective access to safe and legal abortion in the Philippines
Respectfully submitted on January 31, 2020
by Catholics for Reproductive Health
Center for Reproductive Rights
Family Planning Organization of the Philippines
Philippine Safe Abortion Network
Women’s Clinic Pilipinas
Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights
1. This submission was prepared by a coalition of civil society groups working in the Philippines to contribute to the upcoming report of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on the situation of human rights in the Philippines as requested by the Human Rights Council (the Council) in its Resolution 41/2 adopted on 11 July 2019 on the promotion and protection of human rights in the country. We would like to direct the attention of the OHCHR to grave violations of fundamental human rights resulting from one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the world which causes preventable deaths and injuries among women and girls who are unable to access safe and legal abortion services.
39 Abortion Stories Show Just How Important Abortion Access Is
There's one story for each of the 39 Senators who asked the Supreme Court to reconsider Roe v Wade.
By Danielle Campoamor
January 9, 2020
On January 2, 39 GOP Senators signed an AMICUS brief urging the Supreme Court to reconsider Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court case that secured the legal right to abortion. In the brief, these senators, along with 168 Republican members of the House, asked the sitting Supreme Court Justices to revisit and overturn Roe v Wade when they consider a case based on a Louisiana law that could severely limit access to abortion in the state.
For each of these 39 Senators, most of whom are cis men who will never know what it’s like to be pregnant when you do not want to be, I wanted to talk to 39 people who do know that feeling.
4 Women On What It Was Like Before Abortion Was Decriminalized In Canada
Yes, access has radically improved since 1988—but we can’t be complacent.
by Rachel Chen
Updated Jan 7, 2020
Abortion was decriminalized in Canada in 1988, after pro-choice advocate Dr. Henry Morgentaler successfully challenged the constitutionality of Canada’s abortion law. Three decades later, access to both medical and surgical abortion isn’t perfect—especially for women in rural areas—but it’s radically better than what it once was. Still, as we see threats to Roe v. Wade (the landmark case that gave Americans a right to abortion) growing next door in the United States, it is important to remember how we got where we are.
Here, four women share what it was like to be faced with an unwanted pregnancy prior to 1988—and why we can never go back to such restrictive access.
How Abortion Storytellers Feel About Michelle Williams’ Golden Globes Speech
Actress Michelle Williams highlighted that parenting and choosing abortion are not mutually exclusive. Her speech comes at a critical juncture for abortion rights in the United States.
Jan 7, 2020
Aimee Arrambide, Jordyn Close & Sarah Lopez
During Sunday’s Golden Globe Awards, actress Michelle Williams used her win for best actress in a limited series to emphasize the power of supporting working women in all aspects of their lives, including being able to choose what to do with a pregnancy.
Williams, pregnant with her second child, told the audience that winning the award meant they were “acknowledging the choices” actors make, including “the education they pursued, the training they sought, the hours they put in.” Her speech then pivoted to talk about “choices” as they relate to pregnancy, and alluded to the #MeToo movement in Hollywood and the power of voting rights:
Men On How Abortion Changed Their Lives
Last Updated 23 October 2019
"I didn’t really feel like I had a right to feel any kind of outward emotion about it," 35-year-old Jon Pollock, a health and safety manager in civil construction, is telling me. There’s a tangible apprehension in his voice – he’s choosing words carefully – because we’re talking about something that he’s only shared with three other people in the last decade. Something that is not for his kind, if you listen to public discourse.
"I feel like I’m intruding on something that isn’t mine to talk about," he says, suddenly.
‘Abortion Regret’ Shows the Long History of a Favorite Anti-Choice Talking Point
Apr 19, 2019
Dr. Cynthia Greenlee
Abortion rights supporters tout relief as the signature emotion that most abortion seekers experience after their procedures. Anti-choicers have their own frequently publicized post-abortion feeling: regret.
As the recent book Abortion Regret: The New Attack on Reproductive Freedom by scholars Shoshanna Erlich and Alesha Doan argues, emotions don’t occur in a vacuum. As individual and in-the-moment as emotions appear, their meanings—and how they are expressed—are socially and politically constructed, sometimes in complex ways and sometimes in simplistic binaries that say “men punch walls when they get angry” and “women cry.”