Telling this story isn’t easy, but she does it often, in spite of the negative reaction she sometimes gets. “I know about the importance of being a black woman in society and saying, ‘yes I’ve had an abortion,’” she told me. “And yes that’s ok, yes I have a family, and yes I made the best decision for myself and my family.”
Mostiller is one of over 100 women and advocates sharing their experiences with abortion today as part of the 1 in 3 Campaign. Named for the share of women that will have an abortion in their lifetime, their movement encourages people to tell their stories as a way, they say, to fight the stigma that comes with the procedure. So far, 550 women have posted their stories to the project’s website.
The eight-hour online Speakout, with presenters as diverse as the stories on display, is just the most recent example of women coming out of the abortion closet. Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards told her unapologetic story last month in Elle. Wendy Davis, the Texas state senator derided as ++ “Abortion Barbie” by the far right, revealed two terminated pregnancies in her memoir. Earlier this year, Emily Letts recorded her own abortion and posted it online to show other women that, in her words, “there is such a thing as a positive abortion story.”
Lizz Winstead, co-creator of the Daily Show and women’s rights advocate, was the first to share her story for the 1 in 3 Campaign event. She got pregnant in high school—after the first time she had sex. Winstead was lured into a Christian crisis pregnancy center, where a woman in a white lab coat (who was clearly not a doctor) gave her two options for dealing with her pregnancy: “mommy or murder.” “I felt so alone. I felt worthless and invisible,” Winstead said.
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