The first-known abortion activists, where women who stood up to tell their abortion stories publicly. They told stories of when terminating pregnancies was illegal. The radical feminist group Redstockings gathered in a church basement in New York in 1969 to talk about their experiences. Three years later, on the eve of Roe v. Wade, 53 prominent women, including Billie Jean King and Nora Ephron, declared in the debut issue of Ms. Magazine that they, too, had had abortions.
Today it is very different. Unlike the earlier era of speak-outs, abortion is now legal. But access to it remains under assault in many parts of the country, and, decades later, the procedure is still often shrouded in silence.
The group Advocates for Youth is hosting a 1 in 3 campaign. This is part of a broader campaign to change the conversation about abortion. According to the Guttmacher Institute, about one in three women will have an abortion in her lifetime.
Sharing your story can generate a sense of empathy. And it strengthens support for making sure quality abortion care is available in the community.
This is a critical time for speaking out to protect women’s reproductive rights. Even as many states have passed an unprecedented number of restrictions to block women’s path to the procedure, there is something of a renaissance in abortion storytelling. Even politicians have told their abortion stories publicly last year on the campaign trail. Recently a clinic counselor filmed her abortion and shared it on YouTube.
Now is the time to speak up and show your support. If we don’t speak up and speak out, we miss the chance to be a stronger and healthier community. Together, we can break the silence and the stigma. We are stronger when we support each other and respect that this is a sensitive personal decision to make.