Last night I dreamt I was walking through the halls of a University. I’m not sure I even went there. I overheard three girls behind me talking about “some pill” that could induce an abortion. They called it some dream name I don’t quite remember. One of the girls in the group disagreed and thought it was just a myth. I whipped around to face this group of strangers and said, “Actually, it’s true.” They all looked at me like, what does she know? So, I continued to talk.
I continued to impart every ounce of knowledge I could spew out before they would no longer listen. I told them how no matter what you end up deciding to do with an unplanned pregnancy, it is a difficult situation to be in for every woman. The same girl who disagreed with the idea of a medical abortion, then told me, “it would never happen to me. I would never be in that situation.” I proceeded to list off the endless ways; she absolutely could be “that girl.” The girl who thinks, this could never happen to me. I’m not like them. I wanted to help her see and feel and empathize with all the women who may have thought it would also never happen to them, to be pregnant with an unwanted pregnancy.
Now the dream gets a little fuzzy...
Last thing I remember is screaming out through my tears, pleading almost, for them to understand how inaccessible an abortion is for many women. How expensive it can be. How health insurance does not always cover abortion. How Medicaid often does not cover abortion. As they walked through the heavy locking doors to their gymnasium, they all looked back at me. I could see in their eyes, a touch of pity, for trying desperately to reach through to them; a touch of sympathy, for my unyielding passion about abortion acceptance and accessibility; and just maybe, a touch of understanding.
When I awoke, I still felt the desperate urge to relay how important it is to keep abortion available and affordable, free from stigma, violence and shame. I wanted those girls to feel as dedicated to the struggle for abortion’s acceptance into the medical field, as a simple, safe procedure that should be afforded to any woman who chooses to terminate an unwanted pregnancy.
I used to dream a lot about abortion. When you are working in the field (at a clinic, a fund, a non-profit organization, as a counselor, a provider, etc.) abortion permeates every atom of your being. At least, it did for me.
After 5-6 years of working “in the field,” I have become distanced from this way of life. As if I have been pushed into the periphery. I chose to study sexuality and reproductive health in graduate school, in hopes that I would have a wider forum to talk about abortion. This is rarely the case. It is no longer part of my everyday language. Days can go by where I don’t even say the word-Abortion. This is a big shift for me, from saying it around 100 times a days-to patients, their friends and families, clinics, provider, MY friends and family.
My dream reminded me, that although I feel separated sometimes from the everyday discussion of abortion, I am just as passionate, energized and determined to fight for abortion acceptance in all realms of life. I continue to educate people whenever I can about the intersecting social/political/economical issues that abortion effects. I will continue to join like-minded people in discussions, fundraisers, blogs, and marches to keep abortion at the forefront.