Politics, Moderate



No, abortion is not joyful or whimsical. For mothers in peril, it can actually be life-saving.

Esther J. Cepeda on

CHICAGO -- Being a woman frequently means not having much of a voice. Using it to protest or advance policy can mean bearing one's soul, detailing one's most intimate moments or divulging the most terrifying, violent or shameful events of life.

Often for nothing.

Just ask Christine Blasey Ford. She stood up to protest the nomination of a man who allegedly acted without honor to be one of the arbiters of justice in the nation's highest court. Where did it get her?

For that matter, before Blasey Ford was threatened, doxed and subsequently driven from her home and into hiding, there were countless women who bared their souls as part of the #MeToo movement. Their hope was to bring about lasting change by describing how powerful men who abuse their influence, access and authority impact women's lives.

No dice. Sure, there are some foundations doing the work of attempting systemic change against sexual harassment (and a few grass-roots organizations helping working-class women who face daily abuses). But not that much has changed since Harvey Weinstein and other prominent men in positions of power were held to account for their own alleged sexual misconduct.

But what will become of the less-famous women who have taken to social media, op-ed pages call-in radio shows and neighborhood coffee shops to share their saddest traumas?


In recent weeks, a raft of state legislatures have passed bills that effectively ban abortion after a pregnancy reaches six weeks. And, cheering from the sidelines, some on the right are attempting to paint women who undergo the procedure as careless, joyful or sadistic. Pushing back against this tide, many women have been compelled to stand up and admit publicly to the horrible assault, tragic birth defect, failure of a birth control method or simple accident that led them to need an abortion.

Heartbreakingly, it seems like the flood of painful stories about abortions that ended what could have been life-ruining pregnancies will have no end.

Here's mine: I've never had an abortion.

In fact, the one time I was offered an abortion, I turned it down.


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