2.22.2010

the personal is political: angie the anti-theist documenting abortion online

Angie the Anti-Theist talks about why she chose to terminate her pregnancy, and, perhaps more interestingly, why she decided to be public about it: here at The Friendly Atheist.

Here's Angie's own blog. She's documenting her medical (by pill) abortion on Twitter, Facebook and through her blog.

From the Friendly Atheist post:
I’m an atheist, children’s rights activist, and happy momma of a 4-year-old boy who makes my world go round. But this week, I’ve been getting called a “killer” a whole lot.

I found out I was pregnant on February 13th. It turned out the birth control I thought I was using didn’t quite work as planned (my IUD had apparently come out and we weren’t using condoms as regularly as I was pretending to myself we were). You can imagine how romantic our Valentine’s conversation was. (I think what I said was, “Let’s go for a twofer — I’ll get an abortion and you get a vasectomy.”)

. . .

When my son was born, I decided I didn’t want any more kids, in part because I’d learned during my pregnancy that I was a carrier for Cystic Fibrosis, a fatal and painful disease (of which my son was fortunately spared). I don’t regret that decision. My son is happiest when he’s getting one-on-one attention from an adult — he has even manipulated the system at school so that he gets to hang out with his teacher while she eats lunch and the other kids nap! I honestly don’t believe siblings are always a blessing, always friends, or always best for a family.

I know that I can be a damn good mom to the one special needs child I have — he had many health problems when he was younger and he is speech delayed and has a short attention span now — but I don’t know if I could be a good mom to two kids, one or both of whom would have special needs. I know my mom had more children than she could afford or care for, and I don’t want to make the same mistake. For his sake, my boyfriend has never wanted children of his own.

For me, getting an abortion was the best decision.

I went to the Planned Parenthood this past Thursday, on a day set aside (for security reasons) for patients having abortions. I found out that I was only four weeks and one day pregnant, meaning I caught this incredibly early — so early, in fact, that surgical abortion isn’t even an option yet. So I chose to have a medical abortion.

. . .

After I put my son to bed, I began #livetweetingabortion on Twitter. Why on earth would I choose to go through something so personal — and controversial — on Twitter? Have I no shame?

No, I don’t.

I don’t feel ashamed of having an abortion.

I believe in a woman’s right to choose, in general for others and in this case for me. Abortion doesn’t have to be justified and it doesn’t have to fit your neighbor’s or coworker’s opinions of a “good enough reason.”

I think “I don’t want to be pregnant” is one of the best reasons there is for having an abortion (along with “I don’t want to be a parent” and “I’ll probably die”).


Angie's project recalled for me Jennifer Baumgardner's I Had An Abortion campaign, but with even more immediacy. I applaud Angie's decision to be public! Brilliant stuff.

Many thanks to James for sending me this.

6 comments:

M. Yass said...

From the Department of A Stopped Clock is Right Twice a Day, I think Clinton had the right idea when he said that abortion should be safe, legal and rare. If girls and women were routinely given access to and educated about effective birth control options, then there would be a lot less call for abortion.

'Course, that would offend the religious sensibilities of the forced pregnancy crowd and their CRAP party allies in Canada.

It would also give women control over their own bodies and empower women to choose whether, when and how to be pregnant. Can't have that now, can we?

L-girl said...

You're right that abortion could be greatly reduced by routine access to sex ed and birth control (for boys, too, btw).

But abortion will never be rare. It's just too easy to get pregnant by accident, and it's too awful to have a baby if you don't want one.

But I agree with you, Clinton had the right idea on that. (I agree w/ you on the clock, too. :) )

impudent strumpet said...

It's interesting, she says she's doing this to demystify the process because it's not as scary as she thought it was, but for me the demystification has made it even scarier than I thought it was. Not that that changes any major life decisions I might have reason to make.

L-girl said...

What sounded scary to you?

impudent strumpet said...

Nausea, hormonal fluctuations, cramping badly enough to need Vicodin, bleeding badly enough to need Depends to leave the house, and all this over several days, while continuing to live real life, with the possibility that it won't all come out and you'll have to go get it suctioned out. It's way more...primitive, I suppose, than I expected.

So it's a good thing I'm learning this now from watching someone else than learning it for the first time when experiencing it firsthand.

L-girl said...

Gotcha. It's inducing what people call a "miscarriage" (which is a spontaneous abortion), so it can't be clean and easy.

If I were in the range for a medical abortion, I think I'd still choose suction with sedation, despite slightly increased risks. It's faster and simpler in many ways.

But I'm glad that reading about Angie's experience was enlightening for you. I bet a lot of people felt that way on various levels.