The Power Of and Problem With Sharing Stories About Abortion

Should women raise awareness by talking about their choices?

Anna Burgess Yang

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silhouette of a woman shamed into silence, black and white, pop art
Image created via Midjourney

Since the Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe v. Wade, there has been an outpouring of women sharing their abortion stories.

I’m a frequent flyer on LinkedIn and have seen heartfelt, vulnerable, gut-wrenching, and decisive stories. Women give context: they say, “This was the situation, and this was the choice I made.” The common thread between these stories is that these women had options. Whether they were raped, faced medical complications, or simply weren’t ready, they ended their stories with, “I had a choice in what happens to my life and my body.”

A few days after the Dobbs ruling was handed down, Planned Parenthood sent me a text message:

One of the biggest ways we show up and stand out is by sharing our story.

And I get it — advocates for bodily autonomy and the right to choose are trying to destigmatize abortion. Many women don’t share stories because they fear backlash.

Myself included.

I’ve made reproductive choices in my life that I haven’t openly shared, including with my own family. I feared judgment. People that I trust? They know my story. I knew that I would be safe…

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Anna Burgess Yang

Productivity geek + solopreneur. Niche freelance writer. #5amwritersclub frequent flyer. • https://start.annabyang.com/