The current issue of New York Magazine features a stark white cover with the simple words “My Abortion” emblazoned across its center. This spark for discussion comes at a time when new abortion legislation is being passed constantly–leaving women with fewer and fewer options for safely and successfully ending an unwanted pregnancy. In an attempt to expose the human side of such a clinical issue, New York Magazine brings you 26 stories of abortion.
In these tales, you will learn about a girl who was offered a bulletproof vest for the walk from her car to the clinic. You will learn about a woman who walked into a clinic, only to find it was an anti-abortion center where she was forced to listen to medical propaganda. You will learn about a girl who walked into the waiting room, only to find it filled with her classmates, and realized she wasn’t so alone after all.
On the other hand, there are women who can barely recall the process out of a fuzzy memory; little more than “it was over in fifteen minutes.” There are women who had revelations following the pregnancy–who changed the course of their lives by ending relationships, going back to school, or changing careers.
Indeed there are the circumstances you would expect: abusive relationships, pre-existing financial strain, or women too young to be ready for motherhood. But these 26 stories, as a whole, paint a portrait of abortion that is much more real than people often willing to discuss. “Very few people talk openly about the experience,” says the magazine. “The reality of the abortion, and the emotions that accompany it, [are] a silent witness in our political discourse.”
This fact is undeniable: the emotional and psychological status of the woman herself is rarely discussed, if even mentioned. The reality of a woman’s experience is sterilized in the face of ever-changing and ever-restricting legislation. In a way, these 26 stories help restore the humanity to a very human issue.
Image via New York Magazine