Thank you for sharing your story, Shannon Ashley. I just published something I wrote when I was in journalism school and then felt too scared of rejection to submit anywhere. The Word doc sat around since 2006, and when I saw your headline, I decided to dig it out, dust it off, give it some updated stats, and put it on Medium. It’s so important to tell these stories! I know when I wrote that article, I had never read detailed personal stories before.

I was lucky to be raised by someone pro-choice (my mom actually marched for abortion in DC pre-Roe v. Wade), but I think that, like you’re saying, I was so committed to being pro-choice that I blocked out the details that didn’t fit with my stance, like how difficult parts of the experience can be for some people. It challenged me as a writer to take in all the details, the ones that fit my narrative and the ones that didn’t, and to write something as objective as possible.

I waited to read your story until I published mine so I wouldn’t get it in my head, haha, so it’s really interesting to me how some of the details and feelings of the experiences are similar. Like, each person’s story has similarities but of course is still unique.

Anyway, in the story I wrote, of the three women who I interviewed about their abortions, 2 were fine with using their real names and one wanted anonymity. The one who wanted to remain anonymous was the one raised very religious.

Here you are, telling your story, putting it to your name. And I think that’s an amazing testament to how strong you are and how far you’ve come from the understanding your mom gave you. ❤ !!!!!

This is one of my favorite stories you’ve written!

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Empathy for the win! Published in Gen, Human Parts, Heated, Tenderly —Feminism, Sexuality, Veganism, Anti-Racism, Parenting. She/They darcyreeder.substack.com

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