This week, the New York Magazine published the personal accounts of 26 women who have had abortions. The article points out that abortion is "part of our everyday experience" even though it might not always be discussed openly...
"Abortion is something we tend to be more comfortable discussing as an abstraction; the feelings it provokes are too complicated to face in all their particularities. Which is perhaps why, even in doggedly liberal parts of the country, very few people talk openly about the experience, leaving the reality of abortion, and the emotions that accompany it, a silent witness in our political discourse."
Here in the UK, a third of women have an abortion. Half of young women who become pregnant will choose to have an abortion, yet the stigma around abortion can mean that the subject is not discussed. As a result, many young people will receive no education about abortion, from parents or from their school, and misinformation and stigma are able to flourish in this absence of real people's experiences and informed discussion.
We're therefore excited to announce our own small project dedicated to improving conversations about abortion! We've received a small grant from the Abortion Conversation Project in the U.S that will allow our Youth Advisors to create blog-posts sharing personal stories about pregnancy decision making and abortion. And here's where you come in. We'd like people of all ages and genders to send us their stories relating to reproductive choice. Our Youth Advisors have created a short survey form which allows people to share their story anonymously, or not, depending on what they feel comfortable with. These stories (which might be just simple statements, or longer narratives) will be made into visual, engaging blog-posts to be shared with other young people via the Youth For Choice tumblr.
Please help us talk about abortion, in an honest and open way. Share your story here.
For more on the impact of misinformation and stigma on young women seeking abortion see this report on young people and repeat abortion in London.