Yup. This is a play about abortion.

oneinthreeThis week’s blog is a guest post from Rachel Cooke, associate director of communications at Advocates for Youth. Advocates for Youth’s 1 in 3 Campaign is part of the Capital Fringe festival this year with Out of Silence: Abortion Stories from the 1 in 3 Campaign. The DC Abortion Fund is glad to support their effort, and we hope we’ll see you at the show.

There is no doubt that the arts play an important role in how people understand their world and the issues that affect those around them. In particular, theater has often been used to bring humanity back to complicated issues, to remind us that beyond the drama and conflict, there are personal lives at stake.  Whether it is Angels in America, Kiss of the Spiderwoman, or A Raisin in the Sun, theater peels back the layers, it gives us a new vocabulary, and plants a seed for change. We’re big fans of the arts at the 1 in 3 Campaign; some of you might have seen our valentines, pop-up stickers or abortion provider thank-you images over the years.

The 1 in 3 Campaign, a project of Advocates for Youth, is a grassroots movement to de-stigmatize the experience of people who have had abortions and empower those who believe in safe and legal access to abortion care to take a stand. In the past four years we have been honored with over 800 written or video stories of abortion and in those stories we have found community. Built on the success of prior social change movements, we’re putting real-life stories back where they need to be: at the center of a new national dialogue about abortion, one steeped in empathy and demonstrative of the importance abortion care has played in the lives of so many across generations.

Sharing our stories is an important tool in strengthening support for abortion care nationwide, but how do you get more people to hear these stories? The play’s the thing!

Based on a number of the real stories submitted to the campaign, and written by a veritable who’s who of DC female playwrights , we commissioned Out of Silence to stage, to elevate real stories of experiences with abortion. The short vignettes in the play are funny, heartbreaking, inspiring and messy but always thought-provoking and honest. We are so excited for the show to be part of the Capital Fringe Festival this July.

Even though each vignette tells a unique story, what is most remarkable is how the need for safe, accessible and affordable abortion care is a common thread that runs throughout the play. We at Advocates believe that reproductive justice is inextricably linked to economic justice. Too many women, especially young women, are struggling to access the care they need and have a right to. We stand with our friends and allies like DC Abortion Fund who work to make reproductive justice a reality for all.

Post by Rachel Cooke, image courtesy 1 in 3 Campaign.