My name is Joy.
I live in Maine.
I've never met an exclamation mark I didn't like.
Sometimes I host impromptu dance-offs in the middle of the street.
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A woman who is so convinced she would be a bad parent that she is prepared to take a pill and bleed for four days, or else find herself with her legs in stirrups, has made a very serious decision about what is both good for her and society. And yet because abortion is shameful, women stay silent over their grateful need for legal access to it, and we continue, despite that 40 million, to think of abortion as some fringe activity, done by “others” – never ourselves. Our daughters. Our mothers, wives and sisters. Our bosses. Our politicians.
When those American states voted to curtail access to legal abortion, I wanted every woman in those buildings who’d had an abortion to stand up and say, simply, “I have had an abortion.” Not just the politicians – the PAs and cleaners, the electricians and press officers.
And then go – outside the buildings of legislature, and into the streets, every woman, one in three – on strike that day, in a symbolic withdrawal from the running of the country. Spanish women should have done just the same. Both countries would have ground to a halt.
And the symbolism would have been apt – for when women are denied safe access to abortion, their lives grind to a halt. Societies grind to a halt. Forty million a year suggests nothing less. What do anti-abortionists think, exactly, that the world would do with those extra 40 million children a year – born to unwilling mothers? For whose benefit, exactly, would we be assembling this unhappy battalion?
Read the entire piece (really, do it, it’s the best thing I’ve read in a long time) here.