It's Blog for Choice Day for any of you who didn't know. Happy B-Day Roe v. Wade. PWCL and Roe are the same age!
so here's my Blog for Choice Day post. I hope you'll post one too.
A friend of mine told me once that she wanted a t-shirt that said, I've had an abortion. Wanna talk about it? I found the T-shirt in this image by doing a simple search. I like it. I love the idea that one January 22nd in the future, women who have had abortions will feel safe enough to wear this T-shirt in honor of the choices (some hard, some not so hard) that a lot of us have had to make.
If you read this blog or know me, you know that I have a daughter. You might know that she is probably the main reason I put my heart, soul and a huge amount of my time into spreading the word about PWCL and talking about ending interpersonal violence. She's also the reason I would wear a T-shirt like this today if I were brave enough. Honestly, I don't really know if I am. Sure, I could wear it in the office but to the store? to my doctor's office? to my daughter's daycare?
Abortion, like domestic and sexual violence, is an issue that people don't want to talk about. It seems even if individuals are willing to talk about it, it is rare to find a person who isn't instilled with some kind of cultural judgment which can then be turned back on the woman sharing her story either maliciously or subconsciously. Ultimately, this leaves women who have had abortions (and likewise, people who are experiencing violence) with very few resources for being heard, respected and empowered to heal.
Enter stage right - a hotline. I heard about this hot line Exhale on NPR this morning. They provide after-abortion support and counseling to anyone who calls, regardless of when they had an abortion. What struck me was how the spokesperson for the organization kept reiterating something that our own Volunteer Advocate Kendra said turning her speech at Safety in Numbers last year.
What both this woman from Exhale and Kendra had to say was fairly simple but so powerful. They both said that the most important thing that they could do was listen without judgment and that for someone who has gone through an abortion (or, in PWCL's case, has survived interpersonal violence) simply speaking out loud what has happened is a tremendous sign of strength.
On Blog for Choice Day, I applaud everyone who has the strength to speak the truth of their experience. I am speaking mine here, by wearing this virtual T-shirt. We are all very brave.