Jul 18, 2019by tracey Comments

The twenty-four-hour news cycle has become tsunami of catastrophes.  It gets us riled up,  keeps us awake at night, has us glued to the news.  It propels us to sign petitions and PayPal money to causes.  We find ourselves forgetting what happened the day before and moving on to the next one.

This week alone, we have Jeffrey Epstein, who gets sidelined (as he should) by the border crisis – which we need to fix.  And just when we’re focused on that, we get 45 telling elected female Congresswomen to go back to their countries – which all happen to be States.  Then they all get on TV and take up the evening defending themselves.  Just when you forget about that and try and watch some mindless TV, across the screen you see the banner that the cops who killed Eric Garner will not be prosecuted.  So now we are in for a spell of Racism, the crisis that deplorably never goes away.

What is my point?  We have the daily “look over here’ disasters, some really real disasters, some fake news, some only worthy of a few hours of time issues, and then we have some of the giant disasters that seem to just sit and idle or get worse.

Gun Violence opioid addiction, poverty, racism, and abortion/women’s rights to choose being the ones that immediately come to mind.

Abortion got it’s fifteen minutes of attention in the late spring. Back when it was announced how many states were either banning abortion or enforcing such draconian rules that it would be virtually impossible to get one unless you found out you were pregnant right away. Which, if you haven’t been pregnant, is not always that easy to do.  Trust me.

And in some states, like Missouri, they literally have one abortion clinic open.  One clinic in a state of over six million people.

I know this all came out. But it got sidelined by Trump and his tariffs Trump taking Ivanka and Jared to the G20 Summit. Trump and Jeffrey Epstein. Sarah Sanders leaving. A few shootings.  World Pride and however he disgraced himself during that.  A plane crash, and tourists randomly dying in the Dominican Republic.  And before you know it, the abortion conversation has disappeared from the public dialogue.

Back in May, actress Busy Philips asked people to post their own abortion stories in an effort to #metoo this deeply troubling change in our laws.  Some people came out with their stories.  This trended on Twitter, but not for long. And not as long as one might have hoped.  You go on now and it’s quite an anemic hashtag.

As soon as I heard about it, I immediately went to Instagram and talked openly about my abortions, yes, plural. And I promised myself I would do it here at some point.

The idea behind #youknowme is that there is not one type of woman who gets an abortion, it’s not limited by race, socio-economic position, education or even age.

The idea is #youknowme.  You look at women from all walks of life, women you know yet you may not know they have had abortions.

One in four women has had one.

I have had three.  There, do you think less of me?  If so, it doesn’t matter.  That’s your issue, not mine.

I had each one for very different reasons, at different ages. And if faced with the same situations today, I would make the same choice.  Every woman or couple, depending on how your story plays out, makes the decision that is right for them.

Roe v. Wade was voted into law in 1973.  I was fifteen years old.  Old enough to get pregnant.

I grew up knowing that should I ever need an abortion, I could get one.

Eleven years would pass between Roe v. Wade and my first abortion.

I had a boyfriend I was likely in love with.  But he was a mercurial character.  He was a famous European theatre director who told me from the beginning he was a gypsy, that he would never marry, never have kids and was a total free spirit.  He also lived with another woman while he was in love with me.  He was also somewhere in Leeds when I found out I was seven weeks pregnant.

Now, in many states a week too late to get an abortion.  To add further complications, I did not have his phone number.  This was pre-cells and he checked in when he checked in.  And if you look at it with clarity, if the only way you can find the father of your fetus to tell him you’re pregnant, is to call the NY apartment he shares with his other girlfriend, this is probably not the ideal relationship to bring a child into.  So, I made the arrangements and had it done on my own.  My body. My life.  My choice and my money.  When he finally checked in about four weeks after the fact, I told him, and his response was, “You are the fourth woman to do this to me.”  I said, “you might want to spend some time pondering that.”

Putting a face, bio and story to these abortions, not only personalizes them, but shows that people you like, people you respect, people you might even listen to, have had them.

My other abortion was a necessity as early reports came back that there could be a genetic defect.  I was engaged to the man I would marry and eventually have a healthy child with; but that pregnancy was not one either one of us wanted to see through to the end.

The last one – I had literally just had a baby and I was in a huge job and had all I knew I could handle. I could afford it.  I could have raised it.  But I knew it would just put too much pressure on me, my marriage and I wanted to be the best mother possible to the daughter I had literally just had.

So there #youknowme

I don’t regret any of those abortions.  You know what I regret?  I regret not freezing my eggs.  I really do.  People didn’t do it when I was having babies and had good healthy eggs. They weren’t doing it for future possible use.

Had I frozen some eggs I would have maybe had a surrogate carry a baby for me in my fifties.  That is my only regret that I didn’t have that option.  So, I tell all young girls I know – including my own -Freeze Your Eggs.

And if you are one of the one in four, do share your stories. There is no shame attached.  And we have to fight for our rights, or they will disappear.  So, get mad at this one. Sign petitions, PayPal money to Planned Parenthood, march, scream, do what you have to.

It took us until 1973 to make is safe for women to make their own choices and have safe, affordable abortions available to them.  Do not let this be a blip on the screen of our history. Please.








North Dakota