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About an Abortion
“You’re a really good friend, and you threw a really good abortion.” – Marnie Michaels, Girls, S1E2
In 2011 I graduated from college, got my first post-college job, and threw an abortion for a friend. I had a lot of privilege: my own car, so I could drive her. My own bank account and my own paycheck, so I could lend her the money to pay for the procedure (and a secure financial position so that if she hadn’t absolutely insisted on paying me back, I would have been able to cover it without hardship). A safe home where she could recover afterward. A trusted adult in my life who had an abortion, so she had the comfort of knowing that the emotional support from someone who’s been there was available if she needed it.
There were a handful of protestors outside. I made fun of them as we pulled into the parking lot. I walked her inside, up to the front desk, and signed the papers confirming that I would be driving her home. I sat with her in the waiting room and cracked jokes in a whisper about school, work, our families, our lives to distract her and keep her spirits up. When she was called to the back I assured her I’d be there, waiting – she would never be alone. When she emerged, exhausted and a little loopy, I walked her to my car and drove her to my parents’ house and tucked her in to my bed. That night I drove her home. Today, she’s thriving: same great partner all these years who treats her well and makes her happy, a job she loves, a recently-purchased house. It’s impossible to say what her life would be like if she hadn’t had an abortion. It doesn’t matter. She wanted to have an abortion, so she did. As it should be.
In 2013 I watched another friend be destroyed when her child’s birthday came and went and the adoption agency failed to send the annual update – again. I watched her pace, watched her call and email and call again, witnessed the way the tension and rage and fear transformed the way she moved through life in subtle ways for days on end until the letter and the pictures arrived and she was assured that this child – with whom she had had no contact for over a decade save for those annual updates (that were usually late) – was safe and cared for. She told me how she’d think about the child, look for them in crowds, how she’d feel when she thought she saw them, but then it wasn’t. People who view adoption as a viable alternative to abortion because they believe the outcome is equivalent are basing their view on a false premise.
Today the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and set the United States back 50 years at least. Everyone with a uterus – not just as a collective, easily-dismissed concept, but as individuals with thoughts and goals and beating hearts and contributions to make to a society that does not give a shit about us – had our rights to medical privacy and bodily autonomy stripped away. I have been ashamed of this country for a very long time, ashamed of “leaders” who offer “thoughts and prayers” and actively block legislation while children and teachers are gunned down in schools. Today, I’m more than ashamed. I’m disgusted, horrified, and enraged.
I still have a lot of privilege. I have money, and a car, and a passport. I can leave this pathetic excuse of a country to free my body of an unwanted parasite. Many other people are not so fortunate, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t attempt to take matters into their own hands as they did before Roe v. Wade. In choosing to legalize forced birth, the Supreme Court has the blood of those individuals on their hands. May every waste of oxygen who voted in favor of this atrocity be haunted for the rest of their useless lives by the ghosts of the people they condemned to die so needlessly and horrifically.
[Photo credit: Aiden Frazier via Unsplash]