When I was a kid growing up in the ’60s, women traded abortion stories in hushed voices. “She threw herself down the stairs.” A friend of mine told me she’d locked herself in the bathroom and used a homemade lye douche to abort. When she woke up in the hospital, she learned she was no longer pregnant but she would never be able to conceive again.
As for me, I got “lucky”: I miscarried in the dorm bathroom, surrounded by college girlfriends who stayed with me in shifts, holding my hand, reading to me or playing music to distract me from the pain.
A lot has changed since then: Abortion is legal, but abortion rights are still severely restricted across the U.S. and around the world. Because of this, I’m developing ideas for a documentary and a play about abortion. My hope is that if we can stop talking about abortion in hushed voices, we can help the world acknowledge that motherhood should always be a choice.
I’ve told you my story, now can you tell me yours? Let’s get this conversation started.
Photo of Florence Rice courtesy Tara Todras-Whitehill.