Monday, September 29, 2008

Aborting Your Judgements

Each year in the United States 1.3 million abortions occur. That’s about one in three American women who will have an abortion by the time they reach the age 45. In New York abortions represent nearly 13% of all abortions in the United States.

That’s a whole lot of women, but who are they? What are their stories?

We don’t know. We have no idea who these women are or what led them to make one of the most important decisions of their lives. Of course abortion is a private and intimate matter but it is a right that we have, at least for now, and something we must protect. Unfortunately, with all the silence and secrecy that surrounds this pivotal life choice, abortion remains a mystery to many.

In “Abortion & Life” Jennifer Baumgardner sets out to demystify abortion as she documents the stories of multiple generations of women and their abortion stories. The women in the book are photographed wearing “I Had an Abortion” t-shirts, a campaign Baumgardner began to “challenge the taboo that cloaks abortion in silence.” The cover depicts a pregnant Baumgardner and a woman wearing one of the t-shirts standing by her side touching her belly. It is this dichotomy that we need to embrace – the notion that women who’ve had abortions can understand one another and the decisions they have chosen for their lives. I’ve never had an abortion, but I wouldn’t judge another woman for choosing to do so. We are lucky we are able to choose and we must stand up for our right to have an abortion now more than ever.