Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Telling Stories: You're Not Alone
It's that time of year again around the world: The Vagina Monologues will probably soon be coming to a city near you. I've been thinking about the Vagina Monologues a lot and though I'm a huge fan, I do think it's very strange they don't talk about abortion when they talk about vaginas. I wish they did!
VDay is coming up too - I think this week. It's all about raising awareness of the violence against women and how it's important to give voice to such things. Even during difficult, terrible times, women can still obtain power. And I'm grateful that as Abortioneers, we get to help women regain some power when faced with an unwanted pregnancy.
For us, one of the most important aspects of giving women power is access to options and choices. Sometimes, this could be as simple as telling the undocumented client who came to us for abortion services - who had been brutally beaten and nearly killed by her strict Catholic husband when he found her birth control pills - that she could regain some control over her fertility (and freedom - hopefully - at least sometimes - from being used as a human punching bag) by using Depo, an injectible birth control that her husband won’t be able to find in her dresser drawer. As you probably know, when a woman is pregnant, the risk of domestic violence increases dramatically. In fact, the time when a woman is most likely to be murdered in domestic violence is when she is pregnant. This client cried when she learned that her husband wouldn’t find any more pills and she could at least prevent a pregnancy; because as you can imagine, this woman had no power to negotiate when her body could be used for sex, under what conditions, nor did she have the power to negotiate condom use, let alone be able to discuss birth control. She was grateful. And though she had endured painful circumstances, and though controlling her fertility doesn’t mean she’ll never be abused again, she gained some power over her own body. Her own life.
I recognize she didn't go home and have a voice against her abusive husband; but for the hours she was within our clinic, she had a strong, powerful voice of bravery. I'm proud that she had a haven, a place to go to where we recognized her strength. Somewhere she could safely tell her own story. Perhaps it saved her life.
Find a V-Day event near you.