Some of us don’t feel safe, mentally or physically, sharing our stories, because they are not the extreme. We are not the women who needed a medical procedure to save our lives, or whose bodies were violated by strangers or loved ones. Our decisions, therefore, seem less ethically justifiable in today’s society. Yet we chose what we did for our own reasons, which sound trite and selfish to many, but which speak volumes in our heads every time the debate comes up in conversation or the news. The law has been interpreted to protect us. We shouldn’t feel so alone.
Why am I anonymous?
The women in Jennifer Baumgardner’s book are so brave and confident. I’m not quite there yet. I do tell some people about my abortion, if it’s relevant to a conversation I’m having. But because of the stigma that still exists, I haven’t yet told my family and I’m not sure if or how I’m going to do so — and I know that I don’t want to “tell them” in a newspaper that thousands of people read each week. So why tell my story at all, especially to run alongside this other, about a book that encourages openness and attempts to challenge the very stigma to which I’m falling prey? Because I believe that any narrative, even a nameless one, helps take away some of the mystery and shame associated with abortion. Because I want to remind people how the public political debate can sometimes have very personal ramifications. And because I’m committed to fighting this battle, even if it’s from the sidelines.
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