Having a conversation about abortion with loved ones

I’ve found myself in the past couple of months silencing myself from responding to emails I’ve received from family members asking me not to engage them on the topic of abortion. Well, I decided this week that I have only been contributing to the overall problem our country has in discussing (in reality, not discussing) this important topic no matter where one falls on the pro-choice or pro-life movement spectrum.

The pro-choice movement is personally near and dear to me. Maybe some people would discredit my efforts if they knew I had an abortion and would therefore lead them to believe my pro-choice work is because of that one thing. It started long before that and in fact, I was less pro-choice in the past, than I am now. My opinions regarding abortion have all but diminished because of case managing for the DC Abortion Fund for over 2 years. Anyone who had even one conversation with one of the women who calls us every day, couldn’t disagree that there is a need out there for abortion funds, but most of all, for us to engage with one another across the aisle to make access available, but also, how do we work together to reduce the number of women who even consider having an abortion because of an unplanned pregnancy? I’ve had an abortion and I wouldn’t wish that tough decision on anyone. So why not discuss all together in how to make the incidence of abortion 1 out of 100, instead of 1 out of 3 women of reproductive age that is compassionate and supportive to women, men, children and families across the life span? Sex education? Parents willing to talk with their children about sex, birth control, STI’s, abortion? Maybe once we start pushing people’s buttons to talk about these topics, instead of silencing ourselves, we can come up with some new ideas and work together.

I think a big problem in this country is that this is what happens when abortion is brought up – people either silence themselves in saying anything for it or against it, become really radical in their language in response to it, or outright ignore it. This does not help us as a country, and people, in having constructive conversations publicly and privately in how to change policy that would help reduce anyone even ever having to consider an abortion.