And it’s a necessary one.
Coming up on the 25th anniversary (January 28, 1988) of R v. Morgentaler in Canada and having just marked the 40th anniversary (January 22, 1973) of Roe v. Wade in the United States, a friend shared this article with me today, and the author is dead on.
I had an abortion in August 2010.
I made the most difficult decision of my life.
I do not regret it.
I am not ashamed.
I will never be able to adequately describe the relief I felt when the procedure was done.
I know half a dozen women who have, under different circumstances, also made this difficult decision.
I bet that you know women who have had abortions…they just may not have told you, because of the stigma and because many people will try to shame them.
We need to stop with the judgement. We need to be able to talk about this.
Here’s my story (caution: I use the word “vomit” a lot).
Here’s the full text of the article from The Huffington Post, in case the link (above) ceases to work at some point.
Abortion Is a Medical Procedure
Posted: 11/02/2012 11:52 am
Lately, the conversation surrounding abortion has been extreme; very rape focused, very life of the mother focused.
It’s probably because so many of the politicians who have been bringing abortion into the public forum have some cave-dwelling, anti-science beliefs that belong nowhere in a discussion about reproductive health, and who don’t believe abortion should be legal even in those cases.
The opposite of what sane people believe.
The opposite of what I believe.
I also believe abortion should be legal in every other case.
Like in the case of “The future of the mother,” or “The age of the mother,” or “The financial situation of the mother.” In other words, in the case of the life of the mother. Whatever life she chooses to have that doesn’t involve being pregnant at that moment.
Oh, that one will bring on the haters.
And the know-it-alls.
And the no-nothings.
And everyone else who wants their abortion experience or perception of an abortion experience to define all abortion experiences.
I have had an abortion.
And guess what? Your abortion experience wasn’t mine.
I experienced relief.
Relief that I, an irresponsible teenager was able to terminate a pregnancy and was not forced to define my future by my irresponsible choice of not using birth control the first time I had sex with a boyfriend who turned out to be restraining order material.
Thank God for abortion.
Safe, Legal and necessary.
Because 1 in 3 U.S. women will have an abortion by the time they are 45.
It is necessary. Necessary because everyday, throughout human history, women and men have walked the earth in various carbon-based life forms having sex because it has always been universally perceived as awesome.
Remember the “Age of Abstinence?” Exactly.
We have sex for fun, mostly for fun, in fact. And I am gonna go out on a limb and say it’s another universal truth that it’s the most fun you can have no matter if you are a 1-percenter or a 99-percenter.
Let’s be honest, you can never have too much sex or too many malted milk balls.
Ok, maybe that’s just my universal truth.
Sometimes we have sex responsibly, sometimes we don’t. Sometimes our birth control fails. Sometimes we have it with someone we are deeply in love with, and sometimes we have it with people we never want to see again.
I have even heard sometimes people have sex for procreation. And get this, some people, like me, NEVER WANT KIDS AND LOVE SEX.
Start the troll engines. Here come the comments.
In fact, let me predict some phrases you will come up with.
“Did you have your abortion because you were raped or because you were irresponsible?”
“You are a whore.”
“Who would fuck you, you old hag?”
Or if you are feeling generous, you may try the less harsh, “Who would fuck you, you hag?’
So feel free to use any one of these and post away.I have heard them all. At least once today on Twitter.
Bottom line is this: I am not ashamed I had an abortion, nor will I fall on a societal shame sword because I had one.
I also will not judge anyone else’s experience.
I had a medical procedure. That was my experience.
Was it without an emotional component? Hell no.
If you wanna know about all the bullshit judgment that surrounded it, you you can read all about it in my book. But the abortion itself?
Nope, that was relief.
Relief that I was not forced to do something I was in no way, shape or form ready, willing or able to do that would change my entire life forever.
I screwed up and got pregnant as a teenager. I looked at all my options, realized that a kid having a kid would be the worst idea EVER, and instead of becoming an irresponsible teen mom, I decided to have an abortion.
Have you ever asked yourself, “If Motherhood is the hardest job in the world, why would you force it upon a wholly unprepared 16-year-old?”
Probably not. But I asked myself that.
I did the responsible thing after I was careless.
So maybe, you should say, “Thanks.”
But that is just my experience, others who choose abortion do it for their own reasons. It can be a very difficult choice. I respect their process and their pain, and for many women, it is indeed, the most difficult decision they will ever make.
We have all heard heartbreaking stories. They are real and are not to be dismissed.
But here is another uncomfortable fact that we never seem to want to talk about. Sometimes a woman, during an amazing sexual experience, (the kind we ALL wish we were having instead of reading this), for one reason or another, winds up pregnant. No rape; just an unplanned pregnancy that happened because two people were having a great time and she accidentally got pregnant.
Of course, those are the sluts like me: Unmarried women who are stigmatized because we choose to have enjoyable, non-procreative sex, a concept that is hideous and freakish and out of the mainstream. And to ice the slut cake, if our birth control fails, we may choose to have an abortion.
Actually, I am surprised they haven’t started spelling it, abwhoreshun.
Yes, women like me are called whores and worse, when, if an accident happens and we choose abortion, we don’t offer the proper amount of remorse and contrition.
It’s got to stop, seriously.
It is no one’s business what reason a woman chooses to have an abortion, no woman should be defined by having one, or have her character called into question because she has had one, and under no circumstances should she ever be asked why she had one.
And for the love of Pete, she should not have to wear a shame suit of armor because it wasn’t an ugly hideous circumstance that led to her abortion.
The fact I even have to write this sickens me.
But I have to, because over and over I keep hearing people put morality clauses on why someone has an abortion. Throwing around words like careless, irresponsible, promiscuous blah blah STFblah.
I have had people say, “Well what are we supposed to do about all these women who keep getting pregnant over and over and having abortions?”
It’s none of my business.
“Making her have a kid doesn’t seem practical!!”
See 1 and 2
The fact that question even occurs to people, says that even 40 years after Roe V. Wade was made the law of the land, we still live in a country that believes, “There are abortions that are acceptable and abortions that are not.”
Abortions should be acceptable because they are a legal, safe and necessary medical procedure.
Face it — either you have had one, or you know someone who has had one because, as I have said once already in this piece, 1/3 U.S. women will have one before they reach age 45. And every woman who chooses to have one has an acceptable reason for having one. It is whatever she deems it to be.
And to all the people who claim we shouldn’t talk about abortion, or even say the word abortion because you claim it will be used against us by those aforementioned haters:
That is true only if we let them.
We must stop letting them control the language around this issue. They are trying to control everything else and I say no more.
I am taking back the word abortion.
I am for abortion remaining safe and legal.
Please share this if you think abortion should remain safe, legal and never shameful, then go to A is For, and join the thousands of women who are wearing the Scarlet A in solidarity with all who support affordable access to reproductive health care. And that includes abortion.
Lizz Winstead is a comedian, repro rights activist and co-founder of A is For. She combines her humor and activism at http://www.ladypartsjustice.com If you want to hear her really tackle the war on women, you can see her live Monday, November 5 at the Gramercy Theatre in NYC.