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.
How comedy is speaking up about abortion
It remains a contentious and emotive issue – but, despite opposition, comedians are determined to break taboos and speak their minds, writes Alice Jones.
By Alice Jones
22 August 2019
Comedy has a long and noble history of busting taboos but is every subject fair game for humour or are some too serious to joke about? What about abortion, for example?
In 2019, it remains a contentious and emotive issue: a YouGov-Cambridge Globalism survey in May found that 46 per cent of US citizens thought abortion was unacceptable (in the same poll, only 17% of British people said abortion was unacceptable). Beliefs aside, it has the potential to be a traumatic topic for some who have undergone the procedure.
Breaking the Silence Around Abortion
August 12, 2019
American discourse has changed radically in the past decade around a number of social issues.
And yet, there is one topic that, while high on the list of divisive issues that get people riled up, remains shrouded in shame and secrecy. When it comes to reproductive rights, and specifically abortion, conversations, when they happen, typically exist on a theoretical plane. The reasons women (and other people capable of getting pregnant) don't disclose their abortions are in many ways obvious: it's a highly personal medical decision loaded with cultural baggage, and sharing that you had one can lead to dire consequences. It's relatively rare for women to tell even each other about their abortions. This of course isn't true for everyone — some people are more open than others. But the social stigma remains, and whether in deeply conservative communities or supposedly woke circles, talking about your abortion is taboo.
Pro-Choice Groups Are Changing Their Strategy for a New Era of Attacks on Abortion
NARAL is shifting its strategy to embrace the term "reproductive freedom," which polls well with moderates and independents.
by Marie Solis
Aug 8 2019
NARAL Pro-Choice America, one of the largest pro-choice organizations in the country, is changing its communications strategy amid mounting attacks on abortion rights. In an exclusive interview, the group said it will place a greater emphasis on “reproductive freedom,” a framework its leadership believes will bring together a wider swath of the population in support of safe and legal abortion. Though NARAL has used the term in its messaging before, the group has relied more heavily on terms like “reproductive rights,” and "abortion access” to talk about their cause.
The unsentimental abortion scene in ‘Shrill’ isn’t groundbreaking. Here’s why that’s a big deal.
By Bethonie Butler
March 19, 2019
About 20 minutes into the pilot episode of Hulu’s “Shrill,” the millennial writer at the center of the story has an abortion.
Annie, played by Aidy Bryant of “Saturday Night Live” fame, doesn’t dwell on her decision to terminate her pregnancy. And after a roughly two-minute scene that shows Annie undergoing the procedure with her best friend at her side for support, she barely mentions it again — save for a few passing references and one awkward encounter with her boyfriend’s mother that’s played for laughs.
How ‘Shout Your Abortion’ grew from a Seattle hashtag into a book
Amelia Bonow was recently in Seattle to talk about the book, "Shout Your Abortion."
Originally published December 12, 2018
By Nicole Brodeur, Seattle Times columnist
Amelia Bonow was in a Lyft, headed to Seattle’s Neptune Theatre, when she told the driver what awaited her there: She had co-founded a movement called “Shout Your Abortion,” aimed at humanizing, normalizing and de-stigmatizing the procedure. It had spread from Seattle across the nation, and resulted in a book of personal essays by abortion clients, and providers, that was being launched before a crowd of supporters that night.
The driver had a story of his own, apparently, because at some point during the ride, Bonow posted on Facebook: ” … having my one thousandth conversation with a male Lyft driver who knocked somebody up who had an abortion and hasn’t ever talked about it …”
Let’s Talk About My Abortion (and Yours)
By Cindi Leive
Ms. Leive is a former editor in chief of Glamour and Self.
June 30, 2018
Several months ago, I appeared on a morning TV show alongside Cecile Richards, then the president of Planned Parenthood. Our topic had been women’s activism, and we’d both spoken in equal amounts. But when I checked Twitter later, the violent insults were flying only at Ms. Richards, with commenters calling her a “baby butcher” and “this puke bitch” for her support of abortion rights. None took aim at me — and as I read the stream, I felt more cowardly than I can ever remember, as if I were crouched in a foxhole while Ms. Richards took fire for the rest of us.
Why was I letting her take the heat? After all, I’d had an abortion myself.