In posting here, mostly because– well, to be absolutely honest I am co-authoring a blog elsewhere. I don’t quite want to give this one up, though. I’m just less motivated to post when I don’t have to try to keep my numbers up with someone else’s.
So I’m taking a brief break from here until I can get back to the basics of this blog– cooking, roller derby, and sex. Or something like those.
Of course, I’ll need to clean my kitchen for the first, and, well, get laid for the last. But I’ll post soon on derby, since that’s the only one of the three that I’m doing these days. See you soon.
Actually, I guess there is one story I’d like to relate, that’s been pestering me for a while now.
I have a new job since last I posted– one of the reasons I’ve been remiss. It’s a proper nine-to-five, so I don’t have every other week to just fuck around on the internet.
I make no secret of the fact that I work for an abortion provider– I am proud of all the work I do, which includes basic medical services as well as abortion services. I help treat women from all economic backgrounds, races, ages, even genders. That’s right, we had a man come in a few days ago for his annual Pap smear. But that’s not my story.
A few nights ago, I was at derby practice. One of the girls was recently hired as a Pilates instructor, and invited us all to her first few classes, which were being offered free. I told her I couldn’t make it on Thursday, as I leave work late that day. Mind you, it is no secret where I work. She said that there was also a 1pm class on Saturday I could attend.
“Oh, I can’t make it, I have abortions all morning.”
I said this casually, not going for the twisted-humor laugh I occasionally pull out. And immediately some of the girls started looking at each other, and one of the leaders said, “Yeah, you could have just said you have to work. You didn’t have to put it like that, it makes me uncomfortable.”
That’s right, I could have just said I had to work– but that’s not what came to mind. The simple fact is that I am busy well into the early afternoon every Saturday with abortions. That is not a dirty word. That is a basic outpatient procedure which is, in all honesty, safer than carrying a pregnancy to full term. And in a group of liberated, empowered women, I thought I’d be safe saying that. The woman who voiced her objection is even a lesbian– maybe she’s uncomfortable because she doesn’t think she’ll ever have to worry about it.
But the fact is, according to the Guttmacher Institute’s research at least 50% of American women (even lesbians!) “will experience an unintended pregnancy by age 45, and, at current rates, about one-third will have had an abortion.”
That’s right. Every third woman you see on the street, statistically, has had or will have an abortion. And the only thing that makes it a shame is your perception of it.
Women who have abortions do so for a number of reasons, and if any one of them is valid, they all are. I counsel women every day from every walk of life who need our services aborting a pregnancy that they cannot envision keeping. And they are clearly not alone in numbers.
But they are alone because of the stigma of abortion.
I know, definitely, that at least one woman on my team has had an abortion– a close friend of the “uncomfortable” woman. She knows it too. And statistics say that even if she doesn’t feel concerned (though we do have lesbians come in for abortions, either through rape, one-time “mistakes”, or even wanted pregnancies that they find they cannot complete), one of the women sitting on either side of her has or will use abortion services.
And I couldn’t help but look around the group of women and wonder which among them sat there in silence while the others spoke about their “discomfort” with my simply mentioning my work. Just imagine being them, in this group of strong women where we’re encouraged to be ourselves and be tough and most of all to be connected with one another.
How isolating must that feel?
That’s why I got into this job. Because I do not want women to feel alone, no matter their backgrounds, no matter their reasons. Finding out you’re pregnant changes your life, and everyone deserves support, no matter what choice you make.
On that note, I’ll make sure to post something fun and funny about sex later. Or maybe grad school. Good to see you again.