We know that abortion rights are under fire from many sides. Strategies involve harassing people entering clinics that provide these services, threatening not only those who work in the clinics but also their families, and even going to their homes and the schools their children attend. Planned Parenthood for example, has been under relentless attack. And of course some of these zealots have gone on to actually commit murder in pursuit of their goal.
Under the guise of ‘protecting women’s health’, opponents have adopted the practice of getting state lawmakers to introduce extremely onerous and expensive and sometimes impossible conditions on facilities that provide abortions that are completely out of proportion to the risks involved and thus forcing them to shut down. This enables opponents to pretend that they are concerned about women’s health when they are actually endangering women’s lives by limiting access to safe health care services. Ohio is one of those states that have introduced restrictive practices that have resulted in the closing of clinics.
There is currently a case Whole Women’s Health v. Cole that tests these restrictions before the US Supreme Court that is scheduled for oral arguments on March 2. Reva Siegel and Linda Greenhouse discuss what is at issue in the case. As they state, a lot is riding on it.
The stakes are high as the Court reviews a new generation of abortion restrictions that do not simply communicate the state’s preference for childbirth but instead threaten wholesale destruction of the clinic infrastructure that enables women to exercise their constitutional right. Sanctioning laws of this kind threatens to make hollow the right Casey reaffirmed – all the more acutely so for the growing number of women living in jurisdictions hostile to abortion.
Another tactic is trying to shame women who seek and have abortions. Programs such as My Abortion, My Life are trying to counter it by promoting public awareness campaigns that challenge the silence and stigma around abortion. That is what the program Breaking Our Silence seeks to do. People read the real life stories of women who have had abortions and their reasons, and why they are unapologetic about having done so.
On Monday, January 25, 2016, the Cleveland organization Preterm will be hosting its second annual Breaking Our Silence program. The event will take place at the Beachland Ballroom, 15711 Waterloo Road, Cleveland, OH 44110 from 6:00-8:00 pm. It is free and open to the public. I have been invited to read one of the stories and will be doing so.
My Abortion, My Life and Preterm Cleveland Ohio present the 2nd annual Breaking Our Silence story-sharing event on Monday, January 25 at the Beachland Ballroom! Join us for an evening of real women’s abortion stories read by local community members.
Hear women’s reasons, experiences, values, faith, struggles, triumphs, beliefs, and emotions. Sometimes funny, sometimes heartbreaking, but always thought provoking. And always real. Breaking the mold of what a “normal” abortion looks like.
This coming week will see similar programs around the country.