1 in 3 Women Will Have an Abortion & Why Their Stories Matter
Statistically, close to one in three women will have had an abortion in their lifetime.
This means that controversial or not it’s certainly happening. And as long as it’s happening, it needs to be done safely.
The 1 in 3 Campaign is an organization that’s aiming to open up the conversation on abortions in an effort to cut down on the stigma surrounding them, and it’s doing so by giving people a platform to let their voice be heard…even if it’s anonymous. The organization believes that the necessary support can come about for legal and safe abortion care through “a culture of compassion, empathy, and support,” which they aim to cultivate by sharing those stories in paperback and e-book form.
Abortion has been around for all of the time and it’s never stopped because someone said no. Those hanger in an alley stories abortion stories are real life, lack of option has never stopped people from figuring out how to do what they want to do.
It’s safe to say that most women don’t particularly want to get abortions, but that the option is sometimes the better choice for them.That decision is a huge one and most people probably treat it with the gravity it requires. But because it is a serious decision it can feel frightening or downright dangerous, which makes people feel like they can’t openly discuss it. When it’s not being discussed there’s less of a chance for people to stand up for their rights if they’re suddenly facing a change that might take them away. If a stigma is too high, people don’t always want to be the one to speak out.
Sometimes the reasons behind it are not as simple as not wanting a child. Sometimes women are impregnated after being raped. Sometimes babies are diagnosed with devastating abnormalities within the womb. Not that those situations make the decision easier, it might even make it harder. But people need to be able to talk about it. They need to be able to understand when it can be a good choice, and also when it isn’t. Some people are thrilled about the option they had to get abortions. Other people regret them. All stories are important.
In recent years we have seen an increase in the conversation within celebrity culture, which to the good and bad can be highly influential for the general public. Celebrities that have spoken out about their past abortions include Nicki Minaj, Naya Rivera, Chelsea Handler, Whoopi Goldberg, Jemini Kirke, Vanessa Williams, Donna Karan, and Teen Mom star Kailyn Lowry. All of their stories are different which is why it’s interesting to hear about them. One was amidst an affair, another a rape. Some of those women were just teenagers at the time, while others were adults who chose focus on their career instead of family.
Certainly, some of those people were criticized for their choices, and how easy it would have been for them to keep it a secret. (Imagine how many others are keeping theirs a secret.) But those who choose to discuss do so it in the hopes that someone else might get something out of it, no matter what that something might be. Not having a voice when a conversation is being had is an incredibly frustrating position to be in, which means these women deserve respect for sharing their stories and their opinions.
Other times we see the topic of abortion pop up within the storylines of film and TV shows, which might be addressed or overtly or not at all. Dirty Dancing is one film that is absolutely about the topic of abortion, although we mostly associate the film with summer romance and of course dancing. The plot of the film is that Baby learns to dance in an effort to cover for Penny…who’s bedridden from an abortion gone wrong. The way the abortion is discussed and handled is an accurate representation of the 1960’s, but it also makes you think about how far we’ve come since then. It’s the secretive nature of the abortion that sends Penny to a questionable source.
What can we do to end the shame and ill information?
We can start by talk, talk, talk, talking about it.
Watch videos, and read stories where people share their stories, if you a) want to see multiple perspectives and b) want to really understand what goes into the thought processes around this choice.