Trust Women Week: Deb’s Story

EDITOR’S NOTE: Trust Women Week overlaps with the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade and reasserts our firm commitment to reclaiming the future of reproductive decision-making in 2012. Throughout the week, Amplify will be honoring women’s experiences and voices by featuring a different story from The 1 in 3 Campaign January 21-27.

WATCH: 1in3Campaign.org: Deb from Advocates for Youth.

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT

DEB: So my story is probably pretty similar to many other women’s stories. I was 35 years old. The year was 1995. I had been married for two and a half years and I had a six month old.

I was the primary bread-winner in our family. I had a good job and had been working. I had taken some maternity leave and was back at work. My husband had a new job. He was a financial planner and had just started. There were some problems in our marriage, when I looked back. But when it really came to be an issue was one day in August of ’95, my husband went to work and he never came home. And the days passed and he didn’t come back. And I called around and I couldn’t find him. The weeks passed, and every day I went to work and every day I came home and took care of my six month old infant.

Eventually, I got a phone call form a friend who said that they had heard from someone else that my husband was in Atlantic City and he had borrowed someone’s car and had pretty much totaled it. And they suggested that I go to the bank and check my bank account, which I proceeded to do, and realized that my husband had basically wiped us out.

It was about three days later that I realized I was pregnant.

I just knew that there was no way that I could have a second child and continue to work and support my son. I didn’t know what was going to happen with my marriage and I didn’t have any money left. So I found a clinic in my area – it was very good and well-reputable – and I decided that it was the best thing for me to do for my son and I… Was to have the abortion and terminate the pregnancy and really be there to focus on raising my son and figuring out what to do in my marriage. I really believe to this day that it was the most responsible action that I could take – and I was forever grateful that there was a clinic that was safe and affordable and that abortion was legal and that I could access it at the time.

There is such a stigma to abortion and to being able to talk about our experiences. I think people – women in particular – have been shamed about those choices. And yet so many of us have those experiences. It’s really important – and I should say really freeing – to finally talk about our experiences. Having shared this story now a couple of times, I feel relief about letting other people know what happened to me, and I’ve heard other people tell me that it’s happened to them. And we need to talk about it. We need to have a conversation about abortion that’s personal. One in three of us have had abortions, according to the statistics, and we really do need to talk about that.

The 1 in 3 Campaign is a grassroots movement to start a new conversation about abortion — telling our stories, on our own terms. Together, we can end the stigma women face each and every day and assure access to basic health care. As we tell our stories and support our family and friends as they come forward with theirs, we begin build a culture of compassion, empathy, and support. No one should be made to feel ashamed or alone. It’s time for us to come out in support of each other and in support of access to legal and safe abortion care in our communities.

Share the 1 in 3 Campaign videos — or your own story — with three other people. And click here to find out how you can bring the campaign to your campus or your community.

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screenshot of ship from Vessel

Watch the new doc on one doctor’s quest to offer safe abortion where it’s illegal

The new documentary Vessel tells the story of Women on Waves, founded by Dutch doctor Rebecca Gomperts who sailed the world in an “abortion ship,” offering off-shore medical abortions in the international waters surrounding countries where abortion is outlawed. Her project eventually morphed into Women on Web, which does great, life-saving work by sending abortion pills by mail to people lacking legal access. The film has opened in NYC, and is now available for streaming on iTunes.

Also, be sure to check out this interview with director/producer Diana Whitten on the Community site. As she notes, the story, unfortunately, holds particular relevance in the US today. “Due to recent legislative attacks on reproductive healthcare, the situation for U.S. women in many ...

The new documentary Vessel tells the story of Women on Waves, founded by Dutch doctor Rebecca Gomperts who sailed the world in an “abortion ship,” offering off-shore medical abortions in the international waters surrounding countries where abortion is ...

black woman protestor with "keep abortion legal" sign

On having an abortion as a Black woman

Over at Ebony, Tasha Fierce writes about her experience getting an abortion last month as a Black woman. 

Last month, I had an abortion.

I’ve been a strident advocate for a woman’s right to choose since I was a pre-teen, and it’s still difficult for me to say those words. So many assumptions about my life can be made on the basis of that admission, and the shame is real. For White women in American society, the shame of having an abortion is mainly centered on their individual behavior. For Black women, our behavior reflects on Black folks as a whole, specifically other Black women—so the scope of the shame is much wider. An unintended pregnancy can call your responsibility into ...

Over at Ebony, Tasha Fierce writes about her experience getting an abortion last month as a Black woman. 

Last month, I had an abortion.

I’ve been a strident advocate for a woman’s right to choose since I was ...