Why These Woman Are Opening Up About Their Abortions

Photo: Courtesy of Advocates for Youth.
Participants, from left to right: Renee Bracey, Sherman Jazz Shedder, Maryon Rocha.
On Tuesday, over 100 people are set to share their personal stories about abortion as part of the 1 in 3 campaign to end the stigma and shame surrounding abortion. Though this is the third year the 1 in 3 campaign will host its Speakout event, this year, it's taking on a political tone — thanks to the Trump administration's actions restricting abortion rights in America.
This year, the campaign will also take place on Lobby Day on the Capitol Hill steps to bring a personal voice to the often-politicised topic of abortion.
Robin Lucas, a 27-year-old Speakout participant who says she's been an active pro-choice advocate for years in Washington, D.C., tells Refinery29 that she had her own abortion two years ago.
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"I was 25, employed, insured, living with my significant other, and arguably adult enough if I had wanted to step into motherhood," Lucas says. "I absolutely did not."
Lucas says that living in D.C., she was privileged enough to have access to the care she needed — but that didn't mean the experience was any easier.
"What I don't share often is, despite my strength and comfort in making my choice, I still cried," she says. "I distance myself from those moments, because I feel the movement needs me to publicly be rational and intelligent when I share. But I need to share those inner moments. I cried when I told someone 'I'm pregnant' for the first time, and it wasn't happy. I cried alone, incredibly and finally drunk enough to take a pregnancy test, and held my belly while sobbing 'I'm sorry' over and over."
Lucas is sharing her experience, she says, because "our greater family needs to know that we're allowed to be leaders, bosses in this incredible justice community, and still share our deepest moments."
"I can know all of the abortion statistics and pro-choice information there is, but having the space in my choice to feel it is priceless," she says.
Maryon Rosha, another Speakout participant, says that when she sought an abortion at 26, living in Arizona meant that she had to jump through several hoops.
"In order to have an abortion I had to have an ultrasound, go through in-person counselling, a wait time after counselling and pay a total of £400 between the cost of the ultrasound and the pills,' she says.
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Now 30, Rosha says she wanted to speak out about her experience to open up about the realities about abortion — especially in places where abortion is still stigmatised.
"This campaign to me is a means to make the topic of abortion less taboo and inform the general public about the realities of an abortion," she says. "A way to make members of congress aware of how regulation impacts average people like myself and maybe make them think twice before they vote based on feelings or beliefs instead of facts."
"I was motivated to open up four years ago before I even had my abortion because I found out how common abortions are, and realised how allowing it to be so taboo keeps us ignorant," she adds.
Both Lucas and Rosha will be sharing their stories during this year's Speakout event, which will take place on Tuesday at 4 p.m. GMT. You'll be able to watch via livestream on the 1 in 3 website, where you can also read more written stories.
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