Why Film an Abortion?

Emily Letts is a woman who decided to film herself getting an abortion. I think what she did is amazing. The dominant image of an abortion in North America is of something emotionally upsetting and physically painful.

It is important that this image is challenged and the truth of abortion is shown. Many women have written and talked about their own experiences about abortion, but a video is a first.

I think a video is an especially good way to debunk abortion myths. By seeing a video you can see exactly what happens without any bias’ being placed on the experience.

For people who are thinking about getting an abortion this is very helpful. By seeing the procedure themselves before hand they may feel more reassured in their choice, and feel less nervous about the procedure.

Here is the video:
http://youtu.be/Y4xiVUeecNQ

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How Not to Talk to Someone Who had an Abortion

It isn’t always easy to talk to someone who has had an abortion, but it is important to realise that your opinions need to be left at the door. The conversation should be about the person who has had the abortion and how they feel. Some people are happy and others are sad; people face a wide range of emotions when they get an abortion and you need to be there for them no matter what emotion they are going through.

Since it isn’t easy to find the right words I thought I would share an article by Kassi Underwood published on the website Exhale a pro-voice abortion support center created by and for women.  The article gives advice on eight things you should not say to someone who has just had an abortion. Not only does it tell you what not to say but it explains why you should not say it and what you should say instead. Hopefully this article and Exhale’s website will help you talk to someone who has had an abortion.

Here is the list of eight things not to say to someone who has had an abortion:

(To see the full article go here.)

1. But weren’t you unstable before the abortion?

We’re smart people. We are fully aware of the lives we’ve led. If our state of mind beforehand seems relevant, then we will discuss it in our own time. We came to you because we would like to talk about how we feel right now.

What to say: I’m glad you came to talk to me about this.

2. That was years ago, dollface. Isn’t it time to move on?

We know exactly how much time has elapsed. If we could have moved on already, we would have. Some people see their abortion as the loss of their identity, or their child, or their chance. While it is important to make no assumptions about why someone is having feelings around their abortion, you can tell us you know how normal we are for feeling the way we do. We are completely acceptable as-is.

What to say: I know this happened years ago, and it’s okay if you’re still really, really sad.

3. All this sadness makes you sound like you’re against abortion.

Our emotions may have nothing to do with our opinion about abortion. I know women who have marched on Washington for their right to choose while privately regretting their own decisions. I know women who believe very deeply that abortion is wrong while feeling that abortion was the right decision for them. Our personal stories do not always reflect our political beliefs. When we come to you, please do not match our emotions to a political narrative.

What to say: There’s no right or wrong way to feel.

4. You weren’t ready for a baby.

This tells us that we are inferior, irresponsible, and immature, which is simply not true. We made the most mature, responsible decisions we could at the time. Some of us feel proud of the independence we gained from all the footwork this decision required. If we tell you we didn’t have access to the resources we needed, feel with us. Remember a time when you didn’t have what you needed. Acknowledge that we are worthy of having everything we need. All of us.

What to say: Sounds like you know what’s best for you.

5. Well, I support your right to choose.

This one sounds like support, but it ends the conversation. It may be a positive assessment, but it’s a judgment nonetheless. What we need is space to connect with you. If we would like to know your political views, please trust us to ask you. If we don’t ask, then perhaps we don’t need to know.

What to say: Take your time — I’m listening.

6. I don’t support what you did, but I’m here to support you.

It can be difficult to feel unconditionally loved and supported by someone who condemns what you did. You don’t have to support what we did, but when you are supporting us, please leave your opinions and expectations at the door. Then come in, listen to what we are saying, and try to put yourself in our shoes.

What to say: I’m here to support you.

7. No — it was actually a baby/child/fetus/embryo/zygote/clump of cells.

Many of us have done the research. We know the terminology. Sometimes it takes nerve to use the word we like best. Please don’t correct us. Instead, use our terminology when you talk to us.

What to say: You’re allowed to call it a fetus or a baby — it was yours and you can call it whatever you want.

8. But are you really happy now?

Some of us really are very happy right after the procedure for reasons so vast and diverse that I could write about them for pages. Even if we’re not happy right afterward, many of us become happy in our own time. If we tell you that we’re happy, we may have done a lot of work to reach this extraordinary place. Please celebrate with us. Do a little dance. Hip-bump. Yay.

What to say: I’m glad you feel relieved and rejuvenated.

Yes, Abortion is part of Reproductive Rights

New Jersey Republican Christopher Smith seems to think that he can trip up Hillary Clinton by asking if “reproductive health” “reproductive services” or “reproductive rights” includes abortion. Her response is perfect:

Not only does she go in the opposite direction of many anti-choice people by first saying that she respects his opinion and how he advocates for it passionately (I have never heard an anti-choice person say the same thing to a pro-choice person). Hillary also very clearly explains that she thinks access to family planning, reproductive rights and abortion are necessary for women and for women’s healthcare.

She is right. Women need access to family planning and abortions because, as shown in the stories of her own personal experience, abortions are going to happen if they are legal or not. There is no reason a woman should have to fight for her life after a botched abortion because reproductive healthcare should be available to all women no matter what country they live in. This is not a single issue, reproductive rights and access to reproductive healthcare is a problem in every country in the world, and this needs to change.

We need more women, and men, like Hillary out there fighting for the reproductive rights of everyone.

The Pro-Voice Project: A Documentary

The Pro-Voice Project: A Documentary is “a film about the human stories and shades of gray hidden in our black and white abortion debate”. I believe this is an important project. It is a way to get out of the politics and controversy of abortion debates and just tell it as it is, without any interference. It is important for women to tell their stories. Story telling has always been an important way of healing and communication in women’s issues and movements throughout history. One of the best ways you can learn about something and truly understand it is when you hear true personal stories.

These women are very brave; not everyone would want to talk about abortion, especially not in a documentary. I think they are doing an amazing thing by creating this film. This film will be very helpful, and teach a lot of people the real facts about women who get an abortion.

But, the film is not done being made. Although parts of the it have been filmed already, there is still more that needs to be done. They plain on going to Texas and New Jersey and will need funding to get there. The funding will be used to afford filming, among other things. Making movies isn’t cheap and this is an important movie that needs to be made.

If you would like to help please check out there Kickstarter page. There is also a lot more information and a great video about the film on the page, if you just want more information on it.

I really hope they reach there goal and the film can be made:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/rebekahf/the-pro-voice-project-a-documentary

11 Year Old Rape Victim Forced to Carry Child

An 11 year old girl in Chile known as Belén is being forced to go through with her pregnancy. Belén has been raped and abused by her mothers boyfriend since she was 9. Her mother claims that when the relationship started it was consensual. I don’t know about you but I do not believe that a child can consent to a sexual relationship with an adult, especially an adult who is in a position of power over them. Luckily Belén’s grandmother did not see the relationship as consensual and reported it.

The boyfriend admitted to the authorities that he abused Belén yet she is still not allowed to have an abortion. In the past Chile allowed abortions for medical reasons but when dictator Augusto Pinochet took power of Chile he banned all abortions. Although Chile is no longer a dictatorship it is still controlled by conservatives and the Catholic Church.

Many, including myself. believe that Belén should be allowed an abortion because of her age, the fact that she was raped, she is the victim of incest, the pregnancy is a serious health risk, and the health of the fetus is at risk. These are reasons that even anti-choice people would agree with. How anyone can expect an 11 year old to be able to physically and mentally handle a pregnancy and birth is baffling to me. Even if the pregnancy hadn’t occurred in such a horrendous way she is still too young. Her body is not ready to carry a child. She will suffer great health risks if she does not have this abortion.

This story is shockingly similar to that of a woman in El Salvador

Wendy Davis -Live From Texas

Today Texas State Senator Wendy Davis is currently on a filibuster to try and stop a bill that would be detrimental to women’s health and women’s rights in Texas. I am currently listening to Davis on the live feed talk about her own pregnancy and abortion. It is heart breaking listening to her talk about this experience and how it will be even harder for women to make these decisions if this bill was passed. She is an amazing person for fighting against this bill and telling her own personal stories. I really hope she makes it the whole 13 hours.
I hope you can make some time to watch Davis. She is articulate even after 10 hours. She has become my hero, she stands for all women not just women in Texas. When reproductive rights of any woman are being limited we all suffer. Presidents can be set, other states follow Texas, then other countries with similar legal systems (ie Canada, England..) then it continues to move. When one persons rights are limited so are others. It is always important to fight for our rights no matter what. Wendy Davis is an amazing woman.

Move Forward

This is a video from a youtube channel called ReproductiveRight100 that is dedicated to reproductive rights in the United States. This video is trying to hold President Obama accountable to his words. President Obama said he believes in reproductive rights but with the amount of laws being created in the USA to roll back reproductive rights it can be hard to see how Obama is standing up for women’s rights.