Why We Need More Abortion Stories

To be honest, I had never really thought about abortion other than… yeah duh i’m pro-choice. I had also never had a fear of pregnancy. And because I was in a very happy relationship with my IUD, I kinda (wrongly) assumed that it wasn’t something I would have to worry about. Until… it was.

The first thing you’ll hear when you log in to Approacha podcast about abortion in Canada, is a recreated conversation I had with the doctor I first saw to understand how can i get an abortion?

The doctor replied to my question with a string of his own. He asked me what my relationship was, how much money I made, and why I didn’t want children. Instead of asking the doctor how much money he madeI just answered all his questions in an effort to be a “good patient” and hope to get an answer to my original question how can i get an abortion?

A circumstantial complication was the fact that I was flying from Toronto to Vancouver the next day for Christmas to spend the holidays with my family. I was going there for a month. Because of this — and after making sure my partner and I were making enough money to take care of a child — the doctor advised me to go to a walk-in clinic once I arrived in Colombia. -British.

I was pretty sure that wasn’t the best he could do for me. And even if he told me what choice he thought I should make, I don’t think it was an encounter with conscientious objection – the legal loophole doctors can use to refuse to provide care that is oppose their moral beliefs. I think this doctor was making an economic decision. He was only paid for this visit to the office. My abortion was going to take place in British Columbia. He couldn’t charge for that. And so, like many Canadians seeking an abortion, I was alone.

My mother helped me find where to have an abortion. She called the clinics that serve Vancouver and figured out which one could see me before Christmas. The first appointment was in ten days, which if you’ve ever experienced fatigue, nausea and vomiting in the first trimester, seems like an eternity. But these 4 clinics that serve Vancouver’s Lower Mainland provide reproductive health care to a population of almost 3 million people. I was lucky that they could lock me up there.

In the days leading up to my clinic appointment, I first learned about abortions from my mother. That was nearly 50 years ago, in the 1970s, before abortion was decriminalized in 1988, the year I was born. The first was illegal. For the second, she had to threaten to kill herself to get three male doctors to approve the procedure. The glaring differences between his and mine, barely a generation apart, surprised me. Undeniably, I am the beneficiary of enormous progress. But there is still a lot to do.

I think back to my pre-abortion self that never gave much thought to my reproductive rights. But why would she? Usually we don’t hear about abortion unless it is attacked. I’ve been researching reproductive rights for the past two years for this podcast, and I feel like abortion only entered our public discourse a few weeks ago when it was been confirmed that the United States Supreme Court has a seriously screwed up nostalgia for the 18th century. .

You rarely hear about abortion because it’s a super common reproductive event that happens 73 million times a year around the world, and that 1 in 3 people with a uterus will experience it in their lifetime. I would like to see more coverage of abortion that includes people’s stories so that there is more attention to the social context of reproductive decisions than to opposing them. Even rarer are the happy stories of people’s relief and confidence in their choice. Like me.

That’s why, when I decided to create a podcast about abortion in Canada, I sought out experts and activists who are advancing reproductive justice and choice. Throughout the eight episodes of the first season of Approach, you’ll hear from some of the top national human rights organizations, a political science professor, the co-chair of the National Aboriginal Council of Midwives, an OB-GYN abortion provider, and even my mother. We cover a range of topics such as the state of health care provider education, the rationale for proactive abortion rights, the resurgence of Indigenous midwifery, and the connection between access to reproductive health services and economic growth, security and well-being. .

Talking about abortion only in relation to its opposition reinforces a conflict that has already been resolved in Canada. We have no laws restricting abortion and the majority of Canadians support reproductive rights. And the lack of abortion stories perpetuates the stigma that cloaks abortion in silence and secrecy and allows people who normally doesn’t think about it to do just that. Because people make reproductive decisions for reasons we can all identify with. Everything from affordable housing, child and elder care, to education and career trajectories, to our relationships, life experience and health.

Reproductive freedom is the foundation of a healthy society and is intrinsic to our equality, our autonomy and the most important decisions we make in life. Reproductive rights benefit us all and are our collective responsibility. So no more abortion stories, please.

Rachel Cairns is a Toronto-based actress and writer who cut her teeth as a creator directing short films and web series that screened at international festivals, won nominations and awards, and received millions of views. many times on YouTube.

She is also the creator and host of Aborsh, a new podcast about abortion and reproductive freedom in Canada, incorporating stories with interviews, research and cultural commentary. Listen to the first episode on June 13.

This essay has been selected as part of Shedoesthecity’s New Voices Fund, established to help continue to provide opportunities for talented emerging writers with fewer than 20 bylines. More info here.

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