I recently finished reading this beautiful compilation, and absolutely recommend you get your hands on it! Advocates for Youth’s 1 in 3 campaign is an amazing opportunity for individuals to share their stories of abortion. In this book, and through their website, countless women have for the first time or the hundredth time shared their experiences with abortion.
“1 in 3 women in the United States will have an abortion in her lifetime. The 1 in 3 campaign is about ending the cultural stigma and shame women are made to feel around abortion. By sharing stories, we can empower others to end their silence and encourage all supporters of abortion access to publicly take a stand.”
I began reading this book with the idea of coming from the perspective of someone in my life who is anti-abortion, but (I think) is open to changing that view from the perspectives of individual women and circumstances.
The impact of this amalgamation of stories is the ease of one story flowing into another, though each is punctuated by their own details. By page 15 I felt overwhelmed by the sameness and differences. By page 30 I was incredibly moved. By page 75 I, as my anti-full-spectrum-reproductive-healthcare persona was convinced that abortion should be available to any and all. As someone who personally is pro-choice, I immediately wanted to share this book with everyone I knew and advertise to anyone on the fence about abortion as healthcare. By the end I wanted more, I longed to reach out to those women who had bravely shared their experiences, and I wanted to encourage others to participate in the project.
“I have always been pro-choice, but I never imagined I would face the choice that I did.” – Anonymous
“My grandmother went on to have 5 daughters, and the youngest had me. I can’t help but feel that without SAFE abortion, I may not even be here.” – Cynthia
“That’s the best we can do, right? Make the right decision for YOU at that time.” – Anonymous
“I will forever be grateful that my decision to have an abortion was treated with professionalism, dignity, and kindness by the medical professionals who helped me. I never had moments of guilt, shame, or indecision and have stressed over and over to my now grown daughter, this is your choice, your body, your medical decision, your life… you get to call all the shots. Let’s work together to keep it legal and safe.” – Roxanne
“The abortion was hard because we loved each other and wanted a child, but it was not extremely painful or dangerous BECAUSE IT WAS LEGAL AND CONFIDENTIAL.” – Anonymous
“And, perhaps the most important reason to me as a mother, is that being open about my experience with my children will avail them of the knowledge that abortion is not shameful or uncommon. It isn’t something “other” women do. It is a real, valid choice that women they know and love have made without remorse.” – Jessica
The power of stories, birth stories, abortion stories, assault stories, affirming stories, is paramount. Stories can encourage others to come forward, to allow some to not feel alone, to pave new ways forward, and to “encourage all supporters of abortion to publicly take a stand.”
Check out the 1in3campaign to read more stories, purchase the compilation, order resources for your campus or organization, and take a stand. Also visit Advocates for Youth to find out more about their work.
Want a free copy? Advocates for Youth have graciously provided one copy for FeministMidwife readers. Leave a comment here or on the Facebook page about the power of stories. Comments will close next Saturday, March 30th, and winner will be chosen by random number generator (my partner). Looking forward to hearing your voices!