College students in Texas and Montana are staging “Out of Silence,” a play meant to destigmatize abortion. The play includes a series of vignettes meant to illustrate how and why women decide to end their pregnancies.
Throughout these efforts, students say, labels like “pro-choice” and “pro-life” took a backseat to story-sharing—perhaps offering insight about ways that young activists, far from being apathetic or disinterested, are engaging their peers about issues of reproductive rights and justice.
Perhaps the same thing can take place with abortion rights as has happened with the Vagina Monologues: that, at the least, Out of Silence can act as a jumping-off point for activism that may push even further than abortion storytelling itself in the future.
Thursday’s live-streamed “one in three” speak-out made me realize that even as a staunch reproductive rights advocate, a clinic escort, and a feminist, I still have to battle my own internalized abortion stigma.
On Thursday, November 20, the first ever live-streamed abortion speak-out will feature a diverse group of 100 women who will discuss their personal experiences with abortion and abortion care.
Let’s go behind the statistics—behind the political rhetoric—to talk about the real impact of restrictions on abortion and bans on coverage.
Hearing an uncensored abortion story articulated by an individual who has terminated a pregnancy provides an emotional boon that is impossible to achieve with statistics. The pro-choice movement needs that emotion.
Tuesday marked the final day of Advocates for Youth’s week of action for its 1 in 3 Campaign, which seeks to end the stigma around abortion by encouraging women to share their personal abortion stories.
A campaign launched by Advocates for Youth
seeks to end the stigma surrounding abortion by organizing student activists around the country to speak out about abortion experiences.
By sharing their stories, young people are creating spaces where we as a society can think about issues in terms of people’s realities and not political debates. Stories dispel myths, break down stereotypes, humanize issues, and invoke empathy and urgency, inspiring people who heard them to take action.