Last week something pretty amazing happened.
For six hours, the 1 in 3 Campaign hosted an abortion speak-out which was broadcast on their website. For those who don’t know, the 1 in 3 Campaign is an organization dedicated to breaking down the stigma and shame surrounding a person’s right to have an abortion. The speak-out drew many people who shared their abortion stories via Skype, Twitter, Facebook, phone calls, and text.
Amelia Bonow, one of the proponents of the #ShoutYourAbortion movement on Twitter, helped host the event. Campus activists from across the nation, abortion providers, and women’s rights activists helped contribute to the event.
So what exactly was the point of this? Why is this even important?
Well, to put it simply, abortion rights are under attack. During the speak-out, the hosts repeatedly called out the Supreme Court and encouraged its members to hear the stories being shared. By June of this year, the Supreme Court will release a decision that could close several clinics in Texas by upholding an anti-choice abortion bill. The requirements of the law would end up putting the health of many women at risk.
TRAP laws, or Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers, impose unnecessary requirements on abortion facilities and providers in an effort to make abortion difficult to access. Requiring abortion providers to have attending privileges at a nearby hospital or converting abortion clinics into hospital-like facilities are a couple of the expensive and unnecessary additions. Due to the difficulty of acquiring such expensive additions and the inability to meet the standards, many abortion clinics will be shut down. These laws are not put in place to help women. They are placed in an effort to deny women access to a constitutional right.
Even if abortion clinics were closed, abortion would not stop. It would just be illegal and unsafe. The pre-Roe horrors of coat hangers, back alley abortionists, and life-threatening infections would become the norm. Texas is already seeing an increase in self-induced abortion since the bill was passed.
Sharing these personal experiences is deeply important. Sharing these stories puts a face, a name, a life, a voice to the statistics. It is not just one in three women who have an abortion: it is your grandmother, your best friend, your classmate. These are real women, real people who have elected to make a difficult decision, but one that is necessary and important, and that needs to be protected.