January 18, 2012

“I Had an Abortion” Screening with n+1 at Bluestockings

Dear New York Readers,

Please join us at Bluestockings bookstore tomorrow, Wednesday the 18th, to celebrate the n+1 radical feminist research team’s collaboration with Soapbox, Inc. to revive their notoriously provocative—and powerful—“I Had An Abortion” campaign. Created in 2004 to encourage women (and men) to “come out” about their procedures, the “I Had an Abortion” campaign includes a line of infamous T-shirts (you can guess what they say) and a film documenting women’s abortion stories. After years of being sold out, the T-shirts will return tomorrow night at Bluestockings after a screening of the film.

Never have we needed this revival more; women have only continued to disappear from the debate surrounding abortion since 2004. Last year, state legislators enacted a record-breaking number of provisions restricting women’s access to abortion; now, in five states, abortion is illegal after twenty weeks of pregnancy. A new Texas law requires women seeking abortions to undergo a vaginal sonogram, look at the image produced by this medically unnecessary procedure, hear a recording of “fetal heartbeat,” and listen to a doctor’s description of what it is that she is seeing.

Texas Governor Rick Perry has heralded this bill as a “victory for all who stand in defense of life.” He, like every Republican candidate for president, favors a near-universal ban on abortion, and officially supports “personhood” measures—such as a Constitutional amendment granting fertilized eggs the legal status of living people. Such legislation denies all women their most basic Constitutional rights: their citizenship is contingent on their reproductive freedom. As soon as women are forced to become pregnant, any claims to bodily autonomy, to self-determination, to the freedom to exercise both the mandates of conscience and the liberty guaranteed to them as Americans, would cease to be valid.

In this new era of anti-abortion legislation, the state makes laws in order to make use our bodies without our consent. Roughly 40 percent of American women have had abortions, and most of us don’t regret it. The time has come to speak up: abortion is not by definition a tragedy, women are not victims, our bodies do not belong to the government, and a real defense of life is one that defends our right to live it.

Fed up with increasingly hateful rhetoric and the misleading abstractions that had ever-more-severe consequences for women, n+1 research and Soapbox, Inc. agree: now, more than ever, words need to be restored their proper meaning. The truth needs telling.

Bluestockings, 1/18/2012

Screening of “I Had an Abortion” begins at 7 PM. Reception to follow.

172 Allen Street. Get Directions.