Women fight stigma and a culture of silence by sharing their abortion stories
In just the last two years, 26 states have passed 111 restrictions on abortion care. From Texas' sweeping omnibus bill to North Dakota's draconian six-week ban, laws to criminalize the procedure outright or regulate it into nonexistence have not just created barriers to women's access to medical care, they have also heightened the cultural stigma around the procedure.
As one reproductive rights advocate doing clinic support in Texas told me last week, "Not only has it become difficult in terms of access -- distance, regulations and other barriers -- but there is also this despair and hopelessness that women feel when they hear about the new law. They feel that abortion is not something that is welcome in Texas."
This week, New York magazine published stories from 26 women who have had abortions, all at difference stages in their lives and at different times, all for different reasons and under unique personal, financial, familial and cultural circumstances. They aren't all easy or happy stories. Some women experienced tremendous relief after the procedure, others felt regret or uncertainty, but the range of emotions and responses the women express shows just how different the experience is for every woman.