Please share your conversion story.

I’m overwhelmed by the positive responses and support coming out of my “I used to be a pro-life Republican” essay. I’m enthused by the great discussions in the comments. And I am hearing from many people who say they had similar experiences to my own.

If you were once anti-choice but are now pro-choice, please write about that experience and share it. With HR3, we are facing unprecedented, government-sanctioned misogyny built, brick by brick, on false narratives, political posturing and outright intolerance and hate. They can do this because they are great at telling stories. False ones and sensationalized ones, but compelling ones.

Send me your accounts. Send them to other bloggers. Start a blog. Start a LiveJournal. Write a Facebook note. Talk about why you are pro-choice. Talk about why and how reproductive freedom has helped you. We cannot afford to stay silent right now, not when those who would take basic human rights away from women are yelling louder than ever.

About andrea grimes

Andrea is a journalist living in Austin, TX. She has a master's degree in anthropology and did her thesis work on gender and stand-up comedy. Seriously. Also, she has a bunch of cats. Three of them. Is three a bunch? Discuss.
This entry was posted in abortion, feminism, health care. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Please share your conversion story.

  1. Karen says:

    My mother was always pro-choice, which is pretty amazing since I was born in 1963, and very few women old enough to be my mom thought that way, especially in Commerce, Texas. Anyway, when I was in high school a friend of mine got pregnant and had an abortion. I remember overhearing a bunch of guys bragging about how they’d slept with her and then calling her a huge slut. That same year I heard Gloria Steinem speak at East Texas State, and I’ve been a feminist ever since.

  2. Kristen says:

    Your story is a very similar to mine, and I think some people I know would be surprised and interested to read it. I’m in the midst of writing a facebook note, and I think it will have to be split into one on slut-shaming and one on being pro-choice, because I simply cannot write well enough to make the two ideas dovetail as nicely as you did!

  3. andi says:

    Whether you believe in abortion or do not, I think it is only fair to be educated as to what it is and to what all options are. I see in some comments that a fetus does not feel pain. There is ample information that contradicts that such as: http://www.abortionfacts.com/online_books/love_them_both/why_cant_we_love_them_both_14.asp
    Also, it is clearly understandable that many women who find themselves with an unwanted pregnancy also realize that they are not capable financially or emotionally to raise a child. To believe that the choice is either to have an abortion or to raise the child in poverty is such a limited view.
    There are many, many loving people who are waiting to adopt because they are physically unable to have children. The life a baby does not have to be terminated. The life of the child does not have to horrible. The child can be raised by loving parents who are ready to provide.
    Just curious why adoption is not mentioned more. I personally know several couples who have adopted and love their children. They are SO grateful for the birth mothers who looked outside themselves and considered how their unplanned situation could turn out helping others without having an abortion.
    Yes, pain may be involved with labor and delivery, but there are painkillers for those who want it. To say that abortion does not involve physical or emotional pain would also be false.
    For women who preach about choice, why is the choice of adoption so neglected. I would love your thoughts on this.

    • Sarah B. says:

      I think adoption was mentioned in the thread below, mostly as a “why not do it?” on the one side, and “which is more painful for the woman, abortion or adoption?” on the other.

      Also, these peer-reviewed studies influence my opinion.

      http://www.cafemom.com/group/4974/forums/read/11431193/Adoption_Trauma_30_yrs_of_research_on_damage_to_mothers

      “I personally know several couples who have adopted and love their children. They are SO grateful for the birth mothers who looked outside themselves and considered how their unplanned situation could turn out helping others without having an abortion.”

      I personally think it should be more about what the individual pregnant individual chooses, than about making other people happy.

  4. EarleyDaysYet says:

    My parents were missionaries, with a non-denominational group, and I too sat on my bed at age 16, writing angry poetry denouncing those who had had abortions. But. Then I saw the native women carrying their 11th child; I saw girls in my class being sent back to their “home” countries because they had “gotten pregnant” (as if they had achieved this alone); I saw girls at Uni, weeping because they were paralysed with indecision over the choice they had to make; I saw a girl miserable with pain while she gave birth to a child she never wanted; I saw a grandmother stoic and determined, leading her granddaughter to a clinic to abort a child conceived in rape.

    I’m pro-choice AND pro-life. I wish there were better choices, but I can’t see how anyone with a shred of decency could *judge* someone for making that choice.

    Also, men: STFU. This has nothing to do with you.

  5. I grew up in a Catholic family in Ohio; we didn’t really talk about abortion much, but I knew that we were pro-life. I also knew that premarital sex was wrong, yet I started having it, for complicated reasons, with my first boyfriend when I was seventeen. I eventually started using birth control pills, which I got at the local Planned Parenthood, a thought which terrified me at first, but the people there were nice enough to change my badly-informed views of that organization. So that made me pro-sex and pro-birth control. Then the previously-entirely-consensual sex turned into rape one time, which led me to eventually breaking up with this guy and starting another relationship–you see, I thought my first boyfriend would be the person I’d marry, so having premarital sex wasn’t really that bad, and I wasn’t a slut if I only had it with one guy. But then I had sex with my second boyfriend–which led me to thinking okay, maybe he’s the one I’ll marry. (He isn’t.) I still wasn’t pro-choice at this point though.
    College started in the fall, and I took a women’s history class taught by an awesome second-wave feminist professor, and one of our textbooks was a collection of primary accounts of different women’s experiences in American history, and I remember my professor talking about how shattering an unwanted pregnancy could be to women’s lives. And so this brought be around to “all right, I’m pro-choice, but I could never have an abortion.”
    Then the right-to-life group on my campus put up a bunch of really vile signs about abortion that spring, one of which was “you made a choice when you chose to have sex,” which I found incredibly disrespectful as a rape survivor; plus there was one comparing abortion to the actions of Hitler, which I found offensive since my boyfriend was Jewish. And I was involved in the group who organized a debate about this, but came to realize that the people on the other side were notinterested in respectful debating at all.
    That summer, a bill was introduced in Ohio which would mandate that women seeking abortions needed the permission of the father of the fetus in order to obtain an abortion. And this was what made me see that this affected me, because finally I could imagine a situation in which I would have sought an abortion: if my first boyfriend/rapist had gotten me pregnant, and I didn’t find out until after we had broken up but before I started having sex with my second boyfriend. The Rapist was very into the idea that we were “meant” for each other, and if I had needed to notify him that I wanted an abortion, there’s no way he’d’ve said yes. He’d’ve demanded that I keep the baby and we move in together, yada yada yada. Luckily, that bill was defeated. But it made me realize that there is no perfect woman, no perfect situation, that abortion needs to be available for those who need it.
    …and now I work at a clinic. Amazing, eh?

  6. Zahevti says:

    What a great post. I came across this blog only now, several years after changing my own position on abortion access. Despite a history of involvement in the traditional anti-abortion movement, the political and personal realities that affect women became clearer.

    Based on the expressed purpose of various organizations, their writings, and private comments overheard, it seems that “pro-life” is about encouraging certain births and promoting only a particular way of life. There are a few individuals that take a different view, but these are overshadowed by the broader agenda.

    My religion is against abortion but permits it for a woman’s life and health. Placing a woman’s life, health, and bodily integrity within the meaning of “pro-life” is unacceptable to a movement primarily motivated by other, more narrow religious worldviews.

    The focus on outlawing abortion to the exclusion of individual, religious, and medical considerations led me to favor a public policy that ensures the right of each woman and family to decide. Keep up the good fight, y’all.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s