Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Uncommon Ground

I’m grumpy and feeling sick of all this “common ground” talk. Obama says our nation can find “common ground” on the issue of abortion; but tonight, I’m so-over reading pro-choice/pro-voice/pro-life/pro-whatever-you-want-to-call-yourself people writing about the ground we all walk on, how everything can be hunky dory, kumbayah, let’s all hold hands and all that other bullshit. Are we seriously having this conversation less than a month after Dr. Tiller was assassinated?

Common ground? My ass! Am I the only person who didn’t see any “peaceful, non-violent” pro-lifers at a Tiller vigil? I mean, I know I wasn’t granted super-powers during the first week of June that would enable me to send my hologram image to all the vigils across the country and internationally; but somehow, I really doubt there were many – if any – “pro-lifers” in the audience, weeping for Tiller. Until providers are safe; until clinic entrances are free of harassment and pests; until women can speak openly about their abortion experiences (if they so choose) without being shamed; until we Abortioneers can say where we work without being worried of the repercussions; there is no common ground. “Common ground” sounds all too nice and fluffy for me when tonight, I’m praying to the great, almighty Abortion Goddess Protector that our security guard will actually show up for work tomorrow morning. I don’t really want to find any common ground with that taunting, cruel, distasteful protester who blocks my side of the car with his large body and pounding voice, intimidating me into not going into the clinic. (I work there and I get scared!)

Common ground? I’m annoyed that John Stewart, when talking to Mr. Huckabee in a recent interview, said that a lot of Americans feel they have to choose sides on abortion and those sides look like: “frenzied and maniacal or callous and indifferent.” Though I love RH Reality Check, I’m further annoyed that a blogger basically backed up John Stewart and said Americans feel this pressure to choose sides like: “Do I side with those who understand that abortion can be emotional, but who want to limit its availability, or do I side with those who try to make it more available but refuse to acknowledge its emotional impact?” http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/commonground/2009/06/29/getting-emotionally-involved

Seriously?! I don’t know any Abortioneer who “refuse to acknowledge its [abortion's] emotional impact.” I realize I don’t hang out with loads of Pro-Choice Advocates on Capitol Hill; maybe some of them are a bit out-of-touch with the reality, the stories of individual women. Maybe policy makers come off “callous” (but I really don’t think so. I suspect it’s more of a sexist remark about strong women). What I do know is that Abortioneers do nothing but acknowledge the emotional impact of abortion on a woman every_single_day. We work at clinics. We make appointments. We counsel. We escort. We draw blood. We are on-call 24/7 and answer, “yes, you can take your ibuprofen” at 3:30am. We hold hands while an abortion takes place. We call Medicaid offices and fight for coverage. We call funds to try and raise money so an abortion can be paid for where the government fails. We cry. We dream about clinic. About abortions. We cradle infants in our arms, or give wee ones crayons in the staff lounge while their mother has an abortion. We listen. We support her no-matter-what. We acknowledge HER. Her feelings. Her heart. Her experience. We recognize and know she carries her own unique story. She is unlike the last woman we counseled, the last woman we provided funding for. We stand by her regardless of whether she chooses an abortion or not. We bend ourselves to fit her. We become contortionists; become anything she needs, right then, right there. Right now. For her: we will defend her abortion; we will defend her becoming a mother; we will defend her trusting there is a family better suited for her fetus; we will feel angry with/for her when she is angry at her unique situation, her unique life; we will bend to her needs. And we’ll give her love. Dignity. Respect. Most importantly, we trust her.

Maybe some of these researchers, academics, and political advocates, etc. come across to the public – and maybe even our own “movement” – in a slightly negative way. Maybe some of “us” in this vast and varied pro-choice/pro-voice/pro-whatever forget that it’s all about the woman. Not the women: the woman. The individual.

But enter ye into a clinic, enter ye into Abortionland and you will find our Abortioneers swifty drawing a line in the sand. That line becomes a deeply rooted continuous circle around the woman. With honor and gratitude, we proudly stand in that circle with her. And don’t you dare come near her. Don’t you dare step on our ground, muddy it up, make us all feel dirty. Our ground is sacred.


  1. perfect.

    i'm not interested in sitting down for tea with antis, nor am i interested in agreeing to disagree. i've never been interested in finding common ground over my race, my spirituality, my politics, my behaviors, none of it. these things belong to me, they are MINE and thoroughly inaccessible to others. i don't sacrifice that for which i've worked so long and hard, and that is my SELF!

  2. Thank you for this. Sometimes it can feel very lonely here, standing up for women and their unique needs and experiences.

  3. Common ground!? Non-emotional!?

    More like: I challenge an *[anti] Feminist for [hating] Life* to a crying duel. We'll collect the tears with a vacuum aspirator and PS. we'll win because we actually know how to use one.

  4. I work at an abortion fund and this made me tear up.

  5. ahahaha Daughter Of Wands oh gosh! Oh I love sharing this blog with you all :)

    Thank you, About A Girl, for writing this. I 100% agree. And I was kind of annoyed at that superficial "gentleman's disagreement" between Stewart and Huckabee, too. (However I know that Mister Banana Grabber really liked that interview, clearly we are not an abortiony monolith!)


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