Cross-posted from Abortion Gang and reprinted with permission from the author.
One in three women will have an abortion by the time she is 45. This is a basic fact of life, whether anti-choice activists like it or not. It has also been shown that the statistics change very minimally whether abortion is illegal or not, about one in three women will have an abortion either way. One in three will walk into a clinic, sometimes past protesters, to get an abortion. No woman wants to experience an unintended and untenable pregnancy, but many do and opt to terminate their pregnancies. It’s a necessity to them for whatever reason.
Our reproductive health care community has made it fairly easy for a women to get the treatment she needs, but there is a flaw in the system; there is only minimal support for women after abortions. Many clinics do require follow-up appointments with counseling sessions within the days or weeks after an abortion, but what about months or even years later? This is where not for profit organizations like Exhale and Connect & Breathe come in. They are both non-judgmental after-abortion talk lines. These talk lines are places where women are able to freely discuss, with trained operators, their experiences with abortion. Exhale has been in existence for a ewhile providing helpful care and support over the phone to women on the West Coast, while Connect & Breathe is fairly new.
Connect & Breathe was created to fill the gap for a talk line, similar to Exhale, but on the East Coast. The vision at Connect & Breath is to create “a world where women are listened to and trusted, where the stigma of abortion is lifted, and women serve as their own moral agents regarding their reproductive health.” Their phone lines officially become operational on January 20th, at 5pm EST. From then on there will be trained operators on the phones, waiting to help, every Tuesday and Thursday from 6pm-9pm and Saturdays from 10am-2pm.
If you are having any emotional difficulties after you have had an abortion, whether it be one that you had yesterday or years ago, I encourage you to seek out support from Exhale if you are on the West Coast, or Connect & Breathe on the East. These are both fabulous organizations, waiting to help women everywhere.