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Birthday Candles
 
At 59, I've made a wish on my unknown daughters' birthday candle every August 9th, the day a fourteen year old lived through giving birth to a baby and having her taken away into the unknown, because abortion wasn't available to me.
I make a wish when I blow out the candle that she is happy, that she loves and is loved, and that abortion will always be available to her and her daughters so that she will never have to endure the heartbreak I did or live with its scars.
Lara


Peace
Would I want to raise this child alone? Would I want her father in my life? Was I ready to be a mother, truly ready?

I lived with these questions and listened to my heart until I knew the answer, which was no.

The Mother in us is sacred. She protects; she chooses responsibly what is best. Love and wisdom are her strength and foundation.

I cradled my womb and parted in love with the life that might have been. The milk would drain from my breasts. Not this time, Amore.

My strong sister came with me to the abortion and when I came home, friends stopped by and sat on my bed with me. I held Lucia, my goddaughter, knowing one day my time would be right.

A little sadness came. After a while, it was quietly replaced with peace.  Maria        

 

The Greatest Dancer I've Ever Seen

Bleeding to death. Systemic infection and organ collapse. Organ perforation. Sepsis. These were our intimate fears every time we had sex, before abortion was legal. While we dealt with lovers too selfish to be bothered with birth control "If you really love me"..hoping our diaphragm or his withdrawal would save us from death, mutilation. Our eyes wide with terror as we made love.

She danced with Jose Limon. I have seen all the great dancers of the modern age, from Graham to Nureyev, Cunningham to Makarova, Jose to Barishnikov, and can say without qualification that she was the greatest dancer I've ever seen. A force of nature more powerful and beautiful than I have words to write. Breathtaking, life-giving, transcendent.

Her friends also know that she was kind, funny, smart as a whip, brave.

Why don't you know her name? Why wasn't her passing a national tragedy? Because a short while after her magnificent career began, she died on her bathroom floor with a coat hanger through her uterus.

Because abortion was illegal.

Now men all over the world are trying to force women back onto dirty butchers tables and cold bathroom floors, to die again in another holocaust against women and their right to control their bodies. 

A dark anger wakens in me.

Ariella


Raise Your Hand

(or: Tired Of Hearing Abortion Justified. Fuck Your Propaganda) 

Raise your hand if  your abortion was a practical, sensible decision that you were comfortable and happy with.

Mine was.  

Raise your hand if your abortion was a relief. 

Mine was.

Raise your hand if you're an adult capable of making private decisions about your own body and you're outraged by governments and groups  interfering with your freedom and dignity.

I am.

Raise your hand if you recognize the same propaganda the Nazi's used in justifying women's oppression by saying they were honoring their purity as mothers of the race while limiting their position in society to breeding in every pious word the GOP utters about abortion, and conservatives all over the world.

I do.

Raise your hand if you've stopped watched television shows because when the characters get pregnant they unfailingly stop everything and have a baby, even if it makes them miserable, ruins their life or is completely out of character.

I have.

Raise your hand if you are revolted by people who attempt to force women to justify abortion, or force us to have invasive unnecessary medical procedures (sonograms, etc.) and pretend "it's for our sake" when we know it's about fearing women's power and keeping us "in our place".

I am.

My abortion was a mitzvah. I was so grateful that a simple procedure existed that could prevent what would have been an awful situation. I still am.

If politicians think women shouldn't have abortions to control conception, why aren't they trying to outlaw vasectomy for men? Does anyone believe this isn't about women's freedom?

I don't.

Bearnedette Harris,  writing from Ireland



"My story is about my abortion.


I became pregnant in the 1950's when abortion was illegal. I was very clear I did not want to marry the father nor did I want to have a child then. This forced me to undergo an illegal abortion. Illegal because our government designated that women should be punished for having sex.

I went to a dark apartment, not a clean hospital. Alone. The doctor was petrified that we would be caught and he would be imprisoned, so he did no give me any anesthetic in order that I could walk out like a casual guest.

He scraped my uterus out and I could not scream at the agony. Then he made me get up right away and leave. Without painkillers or antibiotics. I held my back straight as a rod while I walked out the door, down the stairs, onto the sidewalk. I too did not want it known that I had been a renegade and elected not to bear a child.

By the time I got home I was running a fever and the agony had escalated. I knew a psychiatrist with an MD who brought me some medicine - she may have saved my life.

The next day I went to work and didn't speak of it to anyone.

I was not an activist, but I fought for women's right to abortion. I never wanted my daughter to go through what I did.

She has had three abortions. I went with her and hugged her and made sure she knew all about the procedure before it took place. Her doctors were supportive. Her friends were protective and supportive and wise.

This is the world as it should be. The world I had my abortion in penalizes women for sex, independence, choice. I see its ugly vestiges all around, and in the emergence of several new restrictive laws banning later stage abortions and the Texas war on women's bodies, it is clear that this dark time could return if conservatives have their way. We must not stop seeking an enlightened and secure environment for our daughters."
Susan Wiserman



"I read Susan's story and I cried with grief and recognition. I went through this, too. So did my little sister, and her doctor abandoned her when something went wrong. She is one of the thousands of kind, smart, gifted women whose life was snuffed out by a brutal, misogynist system. I AM a feminist, and I will fight to the death for every woman to have access to safe abortions."
Willie Faison


"My mother told me the three cruelest things her generation suffered were waiting until marriage for sex, ignorance about birth control and family planning, and lack of access to abortion. I never knew my aunt Lorraine because she died from a botched illegal abortion. We must not take for granted what we've gained or be complacent about those who work to take away our rights."
Risa Sayles

I just watched "teen movie" Juno. Do people really think teenage women are that stupid and shallow that they won't get an abortion because the receptionist annoys them by chewing gum? That we believe our babies will be adopted by a rich fairy-tale couple instead of going into the shitty system? 
I had an abortion because I didn't want to drop out of school, and watching friends have their lives capsized by babies they don't really want or know how to take care of, I'm grateful I had a mom who helped me, could get the money together, and live in a state where women have the right to control child bearing. 
We're not fairy princesses, and our kids aren't dolls. They crap and cry and love and need. These horseshit fantasies they try and feed us have to STOP."
Penelope Harrison

" When The State Controls Sex, It Controls Everything" - Wilhelm Reich

 "I was so happy to get an abortion. It was the weight of the world off my shoulders. I'm sure there are some women who have mixed feelings but damn, for so many of us it's the biggest relief in the world! Period. No drama, no regrets, or any of all that crap you see on T.V.

I get it. It really, really scares some men that women have the power to decide whether to bear a child or not. Because it means we're not dewy, clinging creatures who melt blissfully at the very thought of being pregnant. We're not the Idealized Mother. The child we might choose not to bear might be theirs, and how dare we have the right to do say no. Why, the hypothetical baby could have been them!

The reality is that women have lived with the non-romantic, practical side of raising children forever and have come of age about the stupid myths about glorified motherhood. We've lived with forced bearing in dire poverty. We've lived with truncated opportunities because we didn't have control of our own bodies. And now we absolutely demand privacy and respect for this personal decision. Nothing else will do."
Mariah St. Lawrence

 

LINK: BIRTH CONTROL 

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