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.
Why An Abortion Was The Right Choice For Me: 5 Women Share Their Story
Vogue speaks to five women around the world – from Northern Ireland to Bolivia – who share their deeply personal experiences of abortion, and explain why they believe the choice is a fundamental human right.
By Emily Chan
Friday 5 July 2019
When Alabama passed its anti-abortion law in May – 46 years after abortion was first legalised in the US, in 1973 – it sparked international outcry. The ban, which prevents abortion in nearly all cases, led to thousands of women sharing their abortion experiences on social media, using #YouKnowMe, a campaign launched by American actress Busy Philipps. “One in four women will have an abortion before age 45,” said Philipps on her late-night show. “Maybe you’re sitting there thinking, ‘I don’t know a woman who would have an abortion.’ Well, you know me.”
As Philipps highlights, this is a subject relevant to us all; regardless of age, geography or socio-economic context. Crucially, a woman's fundamental right to choose is under attack, as pockets of political discourse seek to control women’s bodies and reproductive rights.