This year, on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, NARAL poses the important question: What will you do to help elect pro-choice candidates in 2012?
In addition to making financial donations whenever I can afford them and volunteering to do phone banking locally (a big sacrifice f0r someone who loathes talking on the telephone), the most important thing I am doing is talking and writing about my own positive abortion experience.
I've always been a supporter of reproductive freedom, and after I had an abortion in 2010, I knew that I could use my experience to help support women who are considering the termination of a pregnancy as well as to educate others who don't realize exactly how important it is for women to have control over their own wombs.
I strongly believe that the culture of shame and silence surrounding abortion must end. My experience was incredibly positive and life-affirming; aborting gave me the ability to get out of an unhappy relationship, care for the two children I chose to birth, and most importantly, retain my sanity and autonomy. When a woman finds herself pregnant with a fetus she doesn't want, abortion is not only a choice, but a good choice. There is nothing wrong with lauding our right to a safe, legal termination when we need one!
Above all, by telling my story, I can help the people in my life put a face on abortion. It's not just something unknown women do. Some have estimated that almost 40% of American women have had an abortion. The problem is that many of us don't talk about our experiences and so people as a whole assume the procedure to be much more rare than it is. Putting a face on it means that people - voters - will realize that the real women who are their mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts, cousins, and friends have made the valid choice to terminate a pregnancy.
I realize that I have been - and probably always will be - criticized for talking about my abortion in such a cheerful manner. That's fine - if you don't support reproductive freedom, your opinion means less than nothing to me. Shuffle off on your merry, misogynist way, and leave the rest of us to ensure that women have access to the services they need to control their own bodies and as such, their own destinies.