New York City, New York
By Allison Joyce
I had been trying to think how to tell the story of abortion in photos for a while. Over the past few years the U.S. has seen new laws limiting abortions enacted and politicians speaking out for and against abortion.
Unless it’s on a political level, it’s still taboo in our society to discuss abortion. I was surprised when I started talking openly with my friends and colleagues about abortion how many of them had had one themselves. I hadn’t known that 40 percent of American women will have an abortion during their lifetimes. While it’s a personal and private experience, there are 45 million women in America who share in it, and it shouldn’t be a shameful secret. The silence creates a stigma that prevents a meaningful discussion and understanding in the national debate and dialogue.
These women are your mothers, sisters, friends, wives, neighbors, grandmothers, colleagues and daughters. These are real people, not an abstract issue.
The reality is that it’s not always a dramatic story. The women I met came from every age and economic spectrum. Some were in marriages, some were single, some were in relationships and stayed in relationships after the abortion. Some were on birth control and some were not. But their stories all shared one thing in common, none of them made their decisions lightly and none of them regretted their decisions.
Women do not enjoy having abortions, they do not use it as birth control. All of them felt that they were not ready to be mothers and that if they were to have a child, it would not have a
happy life and they wouldn’t have been able to provide them with the love or opportunities they felt a child deserved.