This quote is from the Harper’s Magazine archive.  We Do Abortions Here: A Nurse’s Story, is a powerful piece that goes nursebeyond the well worn positions that are still being dragged about today.  I recommend a full reading, go to Harper’s Archive to read it.

“Women have abortions because they are too old, and too young, too poor, and too rich, too stupid and too smart.  I see women who berate themselves with violent emotions for their first and only abortion, and others who return three times, five times, hauling two or three children, who cannot remember to take a pill or where they put the diaphragm.  We talk glibly about choice.  But the choice for what?  I see all the broken promises in lives lived like a series of impromptu obstacles.  There are the sweet, light promises of live and intimacy, the glittering promise of education and progress, the warm promise of safe families, long years of innocence and community.  And there is the promise of freedom: freedom from failure, from faithlessness.  Freedom from biology.  The early feminist defense of abortion asked many questions, but the one I remember is this:  Is biology destiny?  And the answer is yes, sometimes it is.  Women who have the fewest choices of all exercise their right to abortion the most.” 

A small slice of what the emancipation of women looks like can be found here.  There is a distinct lack of ’empowerment’ and empty consumerist gestures in the second wave – just women liberating the space for women to make the tough calls in their lives as they see fit.  It is not happy-fun-times, not empowerful, but rather it is the cold embrace of the bitter-sweet choices in life that, till recently, only half of the population was deemed worthy enough to experience.

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