A protester holds a sign while marching in the "Slut Walk" in New York, Saturday, October 1, 2011. (Photo: David Shankbone / Flickr)I had an abortion four years ago. I just recently decided to start talking about it.
I didn't stay silent out of guilt; the abortion was very much the right decision. I didn't talk about my abortion because one doesn't talk about one's abortion. It just isn't done. You don't casually drop it during a playdate. Women tell their birth stories in graphic detail, but abortion? It's just not part of polite conversation.
And yet - I'm now "that woman." Yup. I did it. And I'm going to keep doing it.
Will my in-laws disown me? My friends? Will I lose potential clients by writing this under my own name? Will I get hate mail? Maybe. I know, too, that I am speaking out from a position of relative privilege: as a white ciswoman with a college degree and a self-employed career, my abortion doesn't fit me neatly into right-wing stereotypes. Nor am I in danger of being fired, beaten or murdered for having or for talking about an abortion - the stark reality for millions of women. I have considerable freedom to speak out. And I plan to use it.