Women Are Telling Their Abortion Stories Directly To SCOTUS

Photo: Jim Watson/Getty Images.
As the date for the Supreme Court case that will consider abortion rights in the United States draws near, women aren't just waiting for the courts to decide their rights. On Tuesday, the 1 in 3 Campaign, part of Advocates for Youth, is holding a speak-out on YouTube to enable women to share their stories and what it means to have the right to choose. The 1 in 3 Campaign springs from the statistic that 1 in 3 women will have an abortion in their lifetime. The group wants to deconstruct the stigma surrounding abortion by bringing it out of the shadows — and revealing it as the commonplace experience that it is. Personal accounts collected by the campaign have been presented to the Supreme Court as an amicus brief in the abortion case Whole Women’s Health v. Cole, providing evidence in support of abortion and reproductive rights. While the speak-out features activists, politicians, and medical professionals, the most important piece of the puzzle comes from the women who will be most affected. The organization has invited viewers to contribute by tweeting, texting, or chiming in via Skype. Many women have already shared their experiences. Some stories are sad, but many more are joyful. Amelia Bonow, who started the social media movement Shout Your Abortion, described early on why she hadn't yet shared her story publicly — because she felt her tale seemed too easy. “Women feel like they must explain certain aspects of why they got pregnant, or offer a extremely complicated narrative about why they made the choice they did. So I never wanted to buffer my story [with justifications or explanations]," she said. “Any reason is valid, and those reasons are no one’s but yours to make.” The speak-out, which continues until 6 p.m. on Tuesday, is being broadcast live on YouTube and appears on Twitter.

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