Guest Post: I’m A Man And I Had An Abortion

14 Oct

Guest post by Anonymous in Pennsylvania

Trigger warning: sexual assault

The recent debates about defunding Planned Parenthood have gotten me really riled up. At first I just assumed it is because I know the array of services they provide and how often they are the only point of access for people to obtain reproductive healthcare. I understand that Planned Parenthood often needs to step in to fill in the gaps where people have had woefully inaccurate (or no) sexuality education and find themselves in need of care to become healthier and stay that way. Unlike some people engaging in the discussion, I actually recognize how much would be at stake if Planned Parenthood were to lose its federal funding.

It took me a while to realize that while all of this stuff was contributing to how I felt, a big part of why I was upset was because of the whole abortion issue.

Yeah, you know, that little thing.

It doesn’t matter that federal funding is already not used for abortion services provided by Planned Parenthood, and it doesn’t matter that abortions are just a very small segment of the services provided by Planned Parenthood. Neither of those facts take away from how important access to abortion is. And the truth is that if Planned Parenthood loses its federal funding, it will likely no longer be able to provide any services – including terminating pregnancies.

If you’re on Twitter, you’ve probably seen the hashtag #ShoutYourAbortion, the brainchild of Lindy West and Amelia Bonow. Their campaign stemmed from this notion that those fighting for defunding Planned Parenthood at least partially crafted their speech and arguments around the idea that abortion still needs to be whispered about. People who oppose often portray those who have terminated pregnancies as being always tormented and regretful about the choice that they made. And, of course, some people do feel some level of regret (even if they still believe that abortion was the right choice for them) – but then again, many people feel nothing but relief.

And yet, we never hear those stories, do we? We never hear about the people who are happy about the fact that they had an abortion; we never hear about the people who walk away from terminating a pregnancy without experiencing any remorse or regret. Somehow, those stories are still taboo. #ShoutYourAbortion offered a safe space for individuals to be open about their abortion experiences, allowing them to break that socially-enforced silence.

Not everyone has the same experience with abortion, but so many people still feel the need to remain quiet about it. Watching the #ShoutYourAbortion stories spread across social media and seeing how varied they were helped me to put my own experiences into context. I realized that it might be helpful to other people if I added my own voice to the mix, and shared my own particular story.

I’m a man. And I had an abortion when I was 27.

I’m trans, and I was sexually assaulted by a group of armed men who apparently could see past two years of testosterone treatment and wanted to “prove” that I was “really” a woman. It happened in broad daylight in a park. There were people within earshot, and no one did anything. Among the many other issues that arose out of the assault, I got pregnant.

I never thought I would have to worry about that. After all, I’d been on testosterone for two years and I felt sure that my whole reproductive system had been suppressed by the male hormones. But, hey, apparently that wasn’t the case. It doesn’t really make sense to me even now; by all scientific rights, I should not have been able to conceive. Nonetheless, there I was, a man finding out that he was pregnant.

Getting that abortion probably saved my life.

It’s understandable that transmen can be left out of the conversation around abortion, though I think it’s unfortunate. I know I’m not the only transman to experience an unwanted pregnancy. At the same time, though, I don’t feel like I can go to Twitter and shout my abortion. I don’t want to seem like I’m pulling a what-about-the-men. And yet it’s difficult to see trans people so frequently left out of discussions about reproduction.

I believe in choice. I believe in bodily autonomy. I believe that people should have the right and opportunity to make choices about their bodies that are best for them. I don’t think there’s a litmus test for what qualifies as an “acceptable” abortion. I don’t need someone telling me that my abortion was sort of ok because it was due to a sexual assault, but someone else’s is not. That’s not how choice works.

Those are my beliefs, and certainly we all have the rights to our own. If abortion is not the right or acceptable choice for you, by all means don’t have one. But, to me, it’s really difficult when others want to get all up on my uterus and tell me what I can and can’t do with it, or what kind of person I am based on the choices I make and action steps I choose to take.

I wish we didn’t need a hashtag, no matter how powerful, to help break the silence around abortion. I wish there were less secrecy about it, including among transmen. But here I stand with those beliefs and I still can’t bring myself to shout my abortion on Twitter. Stigma is so pervasive; it’s hard to work through it even when you understand intellectually how it works and how it stands to silence individuals and take away their power.

Trans liberation and reproductive justice movements must go hand in hand. Social justice movements in general need to be intersectional; struggles never just impact one kind of person. Trans individuals and those fighting for reproductive justice–and there are already plenty of people falling under both categories doing the work–probably agree that we’re all working toward the same goal: the ability for each of us to inhabit our own bodies and be supported in doing so. Lack of control over our bodies, sex and reproduction are huge issues for both trans and cisgender people. There’s commonality in the fight for liberation.

My abortion was and continues to be the least traumatic part about my experience with being assaulted. Abortion was 100% the right choice for me and I have never regretted it.

However you can do it, whether it’s shouting on Twitter or not, if you’re willing and safe to do so I hope you can be open about your experience with abortion, whatever that experience was. Silence can truly be deadly. Isolation doesn’t ever help.

My hope is that any individual–regardless of gender identity or expression–would be able to make choices about their own bodies without coercion and judgment, be supported in doing so, and have the freedom and ability to access the resources to get the vital, and sometimes life-saving, care that they need and deserve.


56 Responses to “Guest Post: I’m A Man And I Had An Abortion”

  1. Everyday Voices October 14, 2015 at 2:11 am #

    Reblogged this on Everyday Voices and commented:
    A powerful story. No words to describe the horror and the savior that is Planned Parenthood for some people. People calling to defund Planned Parenthood for the 3% of the abortion services it carries out is an act of direct and gross misogyny.

    • Tucker FitzGerald December 16, 2015 at 6:37 pm #

      Awkward use of misogyny given the context? It certainly feels driven by misogyny. But the author is trying to point out that they aren’t just harming women with their acts

  2. jennaweintraub October 14, 2015 at 3:40 am #

    Thank you so very much for telling us your story anon. Much love.

  3. Dahlia Adler October 14, 2015 at 4:01 am #

    Thank you so much for sharing.

  4. neighsayer October 14, 2015 at 4:43 am #

    Regarding Abortion, Let’s Regulate the Real Problem – Unwanted Insemination
    Abortion is, of course, a gender issue, something the Religious Right would label as a woman’s sin, and whether abortion is available or not to women is the choice they would have us think is the one before us. Of course that leaves men completely off the hook.

    No-one is going to attempt to legislate whether or not a man leaks a little semen during the act, whether he pulls out fast enough, ahead of his ejaculation, or whether he, she, or both decide in the heat of the moment to simply take the chance. That’s what condoms are for, boys: so she can still finish, even if you beat her to it, without pregnancy becoming the price of her orgasm. It’s a gender issue, because with men generally being bigger and stronger, insemination can be a last second, unilateral decision on the part of the man. Wait, let’s get clear on something:

    I’m pro-choice. I would allow abortion as long as anyone on Earth is starving or dying in wars over limited resources. To my mind, foetal deaths are not as problematic as adult or child deaths. Having said that, it’s still a moral crime, or at least a moral failing, it’s horrible and regrettable, and just as I hate that the Right’s arguments about guns are simply polarizing and abortive, pitting the problem as insoluble, I have to admit, the Left’s stance on abortion is too. It’s not enough to say guns are a right and stop the discussion at that, because innocents are getting shot and it’s not enough to say abortion is a woman’s right and end it there, because innocent foetuses are being terminated.

    Legal abortion does indeed go a long way for solving the problem of unwanted pregnancy for women, but let’s be real: it doesn’t really solve anything for the foetuses. To solve the problem for the foetuses that the Right tells us they worry about and that they say we on the Left do not, the Right would criminalize abortion – which solves it for some foetuses, but not for women, who will still be stuck with the problem of unwanted pregnancies, many of which are caused by irresponsible or uncaring men.

    I tell you here and now, there will never be a total solution for this problem as long as the causal act isn’t addressed – insemination. That is the act that needs to be criminalized. Of course it’s not fair to force a woman to raise a child they had no choice in creating, and just as obviously, is it’s not fair to force a woman to kill her foetus if she can’t or won’t raise it, again, if she had no choice in creating the pregnancy. Sure, maybe she had a choice about getting naked and intimate, but that doesn’t prove she had a choice about where his ejaculation went, because first she doesn’t even know when it’s happening, let alone anything else about it, like whether she could physically control him to avoid it anyway. Insemination is the thing that takes control away from women.

    “Pro-choice” is the stance that says women get to make a bad choice, a forced decision between life and death, but it comes after the more important choice has already been made for her. In a more intelligent world, insemination is the choice-point, and it puts the choice where it belongs, with men. We all need to understand that insemination is dangerous, and we need to stop pretending that insemination is somehow beyond a man’s control, that unconsciously ejaculating is perfectly fine, all within a man’s human rights.

    It’s a horribly tilted world where women are forced into a murderous or self-sacrificing choice because of a stupid, hugely and obviously wrong idea of who is committing the irresponsible act in the first place. Men, it’s you. Your semen is a powerful thing, and with power comes responsibility.

    On a personal note, I was irresponsible with my semen once in my life, one of the first times in there, and I have recently looked back at it and realized the girl must have paid the price, along with her and my foetus. She disappeared and reappeared in our lives, and I managed not to realize what happened for all these years, I was seventeen then and I’m fifty-five here pretty soon. I was young and inexperienced, I finished way too soon, and I did what seemed logical at the time: showed no sign of my orgasm, embarrassment driving my behaviour. That’s how it happens, and that’s where a condom or some honesty and personal responsibility would have made a huge change. Maybe I had some idea what happened, because I’ve been very responsible with my seed ever since.

    That one was on me, and I’m feeling terrible about it. I know from personal experience what causes abortions, and it that case it was me. Of course, in the majority of cases, it’s us, it’s men. Let’s face it: making abortion a ‘women’s issue’ is a scam, when it’s men in control of creating pregnancy at the moment when it happens. It’s a case of sleight of penis – look up here, not down there!

    The truth is in the details, even if those details are sexual and uncomfortable to talk about.

    • Kasey Weird October 14, 2015 at 1:51 pm #

      I (kind of) appreciate your perspective here, but I am simultaneously baffled by the decision to post a 100% trans erasing (men are not just inseminators, sometimes they are the inseminated. That’s actually a stronger argument for why abortion isn’t just a women’s issue than your one.) post in response to a trans person’s story of abortion. Are you that unaware of the cissexism of your post?

      • neighsayer October 14, 2015 at 2:20 pm #

        I am sorry, I saw “Abortion” and went with what I had been thinking . . . you asked for experience, that’s all I had. Surely my comment underlies all abortion scenarios? Maybe not, I didn’t intend any disrespect, though. Do with it what you will, even delete it, it’s your post . . .

      • Kasey Weird October 14, 2015 at 7:06 pm #

        It’s not my post? And I don’t think there’s anything awful about your comment. Just thoughtless, which iu have confirmed is what it is.

    • sellmaeth October 26, 2015 at 11:00 pm #

      “Abortion is, of course, a gender issue”

      No, it is not. It is a sex issue. Haven’t you read that post? No one has to deal with unwanted pregnancy because of her female gender. Transwomen never have to deal with unwanted pregnancy. Transmen, on the other hand, do. As that blog post should have illustrated.

      So please shut up about your opinions on how abortion is a moral crime.

      No uterus, no opinion.

      That said, you do have a point. Men should just stop sticking their dicks into women. (Sorry about the trans erasing, I talk about biology here.)
      Abortion would then no longer be necessary except in cases of medical complications of planned pregnancies. Condoms can break. The be-penised half of the population should just stop whining about how they hate abortions and just ensure none of their sperm gets any into that woeful situation. By, you know, keeping their dicks to themselves.

      Yeah, no vaginal intercourse ever, except if a woman has consented to bear your child – that’ll be hard for you. But it is necessary for your morals to be consistent.

      • Tucker FitzGerald December 16, 2015 at 6:44 pm #

        Uhm.. I’m still confused by the cissexism going on? Why did you name trans erasure in your post and still post it as it was? Trans men and trans women have biology too, right? “People with dicks should just stop sticking their dicks into people’s vaginas.” “No vaginal intercourse ever, except if that person has consented to bear your child.” I get that none of this (trans realities) has crossed most people’s minds. So someone who’s trans aware can actually provide some much needed relief by being inclusive. Why not just take a minute to do it?

      • sellmaeth December 29, 2015 at 5:29 pm #

        I was trying to be nice to the writer of the original post, is all. You want me to write out that I think transgender is a lot of bullshit, okay, I’ll do it. (Sorry, anonymous. I tried.)

        There is no such thing as “cissexism”, because trans is all about gender, not sex.

        I do not believe in gender. We have a perfectly good, short word for “people with dicks”, and that’s “men”. I could use “womb-men” and “dick-men”, but I cannot really see a point -. that’s what the words “woman” and “man” originated as, terms for sex, not gender, and they’re apparently not okay to use nowadays, so any replacement term would also get outdated.

        Why not stop the euphemism treadmill by just, you know, not oppressing women anymore?

      • sellmaeth December 29, 2015 at 5:39 pm #

        I forgot to mention that also, I am not cis, and therefore it is in vain that you accuse me of cissexism. I do not identify with the feminine gender role, which unfortunately was forced upon me by patriarchy because I happen to be born without a dick.
        I do not identify as doormat, that is. I identify as fully human being who wants autonomy over her own body. And I do not want to take testosterone or flatten my breasts just so that the bepenised half of the population acknowledges that I am human.

    • TheMonk January 1, 2016 at 6:28 pm #

      //many of which are caused by irresponsible or uncaring men.// Looks like hasty generalization to me. You need penis & vagina to have sex. It never like penis had sex but vagina didn’t or vice versa. The point you can’t blame men only. Blame both or no one.

      • Bananaduck January 11, 2016 at 10:15 am #

        “You need penis & vagina to have sex”

        *head tilt*

        ORLY? The two possible meanings for that odd statement are both so idiotic that they border on the ridiculous:

        1. You,/one/a person must possess a penis and vagina in oer to have sex.


        2. In order for an activity to be classed as “sex” there needs to be two participants; one with a penis, one with a vagina.

        That’s some erm… pretty mediaeval stuff there, bucko. Maybe you and the TERF upthread should tour together, hit the comedy circuit running with your Cromwell-era, quasi-puritan schtick. There’s potential for some primo “Odd Couple” shenanigans.

      • TheMonk January 11, 2016 at 2:27 pm #

        Sure. Thanks.

  5. Catie October 14, 2015 at 4:43 am #

    Thank you for sharing your story. I’m glad you spoke up. And I wish the best for you.

  6. neighsayer October 14, 2015 at 4:44 am #

    sorry, I tried to post just the link, but I don’t think that’s allowed. It’s a whole post of mine, from just a few days ago. True story.

  7. Poet Dressed In Black October 14, 2015 at 7:47 am #

    Thank you for sharing your story. It needs to be told. So sorry you were assaulted. What a world.
    I get so mad at the anti-abortionists. If they don’t want to get an abortion, fine, but who are they to say no one else can? Grrrr. I don’t think men have any business discussing women’s bodies and body issues. Boy, that irks me.
    Wishing you love and light.

    • Tucker FitzGerald December 16, 2015 at 6:48 pm #

      A couple edits could help your post not be cissexist / erase trans people. “I don’t think people without uteruses have any business discussing people with uteruses bodies and body issues.” It’s tricky linguistic work at first, but it makes the world safer for people I love🙂

      • Poet Dressed In Black January 1, 2016 at 5:18 am #


      • neighsayer January 3, 2016 at 12:44 am #

        no reply button on the comment below, but I’ll thank you for it here and try to say nothing else. Life sucks, and, not equally, I know.

  8. jacobstolte October 14, 2015 at 9:56 am #

    Newsflash: you’re not a good person. You’re a bigot & that’s why you are purposefully misgendering the person who wrote this piece. Stop saying everything that pops into your narrow minded head.

  9. Radica Hura October 14, 2015 at 11:30 am #

    Reblogged this on radicahura and commented:
    Some men have vagina. Get over it.

  10. Lucy October 14, 2015 at 11:37 am #

    He is a man. Ahh how i love people in denial of trans people.

  11. Throwmonopolis October 14, 2015 at 11:48 am #

    I don’t know what kind of insensitive, hateful clod could read this piece and think “I know who was in the right, the group of men who violently assaulted and nearly killed the author. They’re definitely the good guys here. I shall align my beliefs with theirs and take this opportunity to attack the author.” But, you managed that as your takeaway. Great job.

  12. catnip October 14, 2015 at 12:40 pm #

    Newsflash: You are a jackass. You’re an asshole & that’s why you’re ignorant. Stop saying you’re an intelligent person who can magically gatekeep people’s identities.

  13. elliemolotovhamilton October 14, 2015 at 12:41 pm #

    Newsflash: You are not an intelligent person. You’re a jackass & that’s why you’re ignorant. Stop gatekeeping someone else’s identity.

  14. Project Enigma October 14, 2015 at 1:23 pm #

    Don’t cissplain the original author’s gender. Trans people exist.

  15. Kasey Weird October 14, 2015 at 1:52 pm #

    Oh lol. Kindly go fuck yourself

  16. neighsayer October 14, 2015 at 4:43 pm #

    Sorry, folks, I didn’t mean to dis anybody or any POV. All I saw was “abortion” and “share your experience.” As a white suburban married with kids male, I see plenty of stuff wrong in the world and I know it’s my demo that’s running things. The point of my comment/post was to say that we are ruining things for EVERYBODY, even our straight white selves, let alone what we do to everybody else and especially gay, trans, and every other possible iteration of human being. Isn’t it the same chauvinist swine hating on LGBT people as causing all the unwanted pregnancies?

    I’m pretty sure I’m on your side – but I guess bringing the straight world into your post is a form of assault. I’ll be more careful in the future, sorry again.

    • Amanda (@Amaniacal) October 15, 2015 at 7:26 pm #

      As a reader I sincerely appreciated reading your POV neighsayer…. it’s just unfortunate that you couldn’t link your article in the comments, and that your long comment was interpreted as cissplaining…
      I just want you to know that there IS a cisgendered woman reading your story and appreciating your input as a man who is actually taking accountability for his role in the insemination process (and it’s actually a perspective I’ve never read before, especially when you break it down to the man’s role with where he literally ejaculates! I thought that was really neat to read and to see a man actually holding himself accountable for that)
      I also see the other commenter’s POV, that this may not be the best place to be sharing this sentiment, but I do see the relevance to the subject, on how this issue also comes down to lack of accountability on men’s part. I hope you can see where the hostility in these comments is coming from and don’t take it too personally:/ (it is the internet, after all…) there are nowhere near enough men in this world who recognize their responsibility in the insemination process and it’d be a real shame to lose one who’s trying to be open and vocal about it (I think you just gotta… learn timing a little better maybe? idk…)

      • neighsayer October 16, 2015 at 1:54 am #

        wow, you addressed every bit of how I felt there! Thanks a lot, I was hoping for some positivity. That is kind of how I hoped it would be taken, like support, even from some few in the dominant group – but you can`t go there, and I agree, you can`t. Yes, I`m OK with it all, wouldn`t dream of getting my back up or anything. It really isn`t my space for anything like that. Plus, I`ve caught myself in a lie here – I looked back, trying to find where I thought I saw the OP say `share your experience` and I`m not finding it, so, I scrupped and I need to sit down and shut up.

        Thanks. Really.

      • Tucker FitzGerald December 16, 2015 at 6:58 pm #

        Amanda, thanks for identifying as a cisgender woman. It might have been helpful to label Neighsayer as a cisgender man. “Appreciating your input as a cisgender man who is actually taking accountability for his role…” Doing that consistently in your comments would steer around erasing transmen who aren’t included in his call to be more responsible with sperm, or erasing transwomen who may still need to be thoughtful about their sperm. Or non-binary people who might be in either camp🙂 Identity erasure is so deadening and exhausting out in the general public, so if trans-aware cisgender folks can go out of their way to see and acknowledge the presence of the (wonderful trans people around us, it means a lot.

  17. mclicious October 14, 2015 at 10:44 pm #

    Amazing story. Thank you for sharing it. I hope many people read it – not just the ones already on your side, but the ones who need most to read it.

  18. daisywillows October 15, 2015 at 5:07 am #

    BRAVO! I agree with everything you have wrote. Freedom to choose how we conduct our lives and the decisions we make (without blaming our ideas and wants on what society wants to bame as a mental condition or a poor moral compass) is more important now that it ever was. In a a world where governments and media continue to try to brainwash us. Our voice for freedom and working in unity with similar causes is needed. I knew nothing about this struggle until I your post. Thank for enlightening me. I am a female and I had an abortion in 2009. I don’t regret it it. It was my choice and I don’t need to justify it, yet sometimes I still feel the shame to keep quiet about. Screw what others think. Other peoples opinions are just that- not mine but others. By the way I am a mother to a gorgeous 4 year old and don’t use Abortion as a contraceptive tool. I’m appalled at what you have been through. Rape and the definition of it and peoples attitudes need to change. People can b raped by their partners even. It happened to me. Let’s shout out bout our human rights

    • Bananaduck October 19, 2015 at 7:54 am #

      “[I] don’t use Abortion as a contraceptive tool”

      Nobody does that, not one person, ever. It’s another disgusting lie spread by forced-birthers. Think about it – who would (or could) oay hundreds of dollars/pounds/euros for abortions instead of using some form of contraceptive? Even in countries where abortion costs nothing, nobody chooses it over a barrier method, hormonal BC, or LARCs.

      You don’t need to justify your abortion, the OP doesn’t have to justify his. Even if the mythical person who’d rather have numerous abortions, than some form of contraception,p existed – that should be their choice. Nobody wants to have an abortion; its not on anyone’s bucket list, or in anyone’s five year plan any more than a root canal, or ear syringing.

      Abortion, in one form or another, has existed in societies throughout the Common Era, and before. Legal or not, safe or not, there will be a need for elective and therapeuric abortion for as long as people can get pregnant

  19. christinadrh October 15, 2015 at 3:12 pm #

    I want the gov’t out of my health choices, they are not helping with my insurance jumping 40+%! You have an interesting perspective and experience. Abortion will never be 100% one way or the other, the gov’t needs to get it’s nose out of our personal lives. The issue with Planned Parenthood isn’t abortion. It’s selling body parts. Chatting about how to pack a fetus head for shipping and other things we find uncivilized and repugnant.

    • Amanda (@Amaniacal) October 15, 2015 at 7:13 pm #

      The issue with Planned Parenthood is people such as yourself, Christina, who are willfully ignorant of the facts, and who CONTINUE to perpetuate the INTENTIONAL slander and libel placed upon the organization, even when it’s been proven that it’s libel and slander!!
      Which, to me, screams that the issue with you, is indeed abortion.
      Which, to me, screams that the issue is YOU need to get your nose out of our personal lives. YOU do not get to determine what abortions are okay and what abortions don’t pass your morality bar. That’s the whole point of choice, and that’s the whole point of this written piece: that it’s not your business, and that it’s NOT JUST WOMEN affected by defunding Planned Parenthood.
      The government DOES need to get its nose out of our personal lives, which is why attacking the funding Planned Parenthood is receiving is completely counter-productive to your cause (which is, from your perspective, getting the government out of our business). The government taking away funding is a DIRECT meddling with people’s lives, because the people utilizing PP’s services often can’t get these services elsewherre. Meaning the lives of the people who utilize PP’s services AS WELL AS THE FAMILIES IN WHICH ALL OF THESE PEOPLE COME FROM WILL BE AFFECTED BY YOUR IGNORANT SPREADING OF INTENTIONAL LIES.
      Try to practice this human experience called “compassion” instead of “victim-blaming” and maybe you’ll be able to see past the BS FOX news is feeding you (hint: start with those videos you’re so convinced are accurate)

      • christinadrh October 16, 2015 at 11:07 pm #

        Hey Amanda, thanks for the scream. Please don’t assume you know anything about me or my personal experiences. I appreciate you have your point of view. Insulting me is not needed. If you do not want opinions that differ from your world view you need to close your blog to comments.

      • lizeden October 16, 2015 at 11:28 pm #

        There is a difference between opinions and facts. It is not a fact – it is in fact misinformation – that Planned Parenthood sells body parts or packs fetus heads for shipping. Given that you are disseminating that lie as an actual fact, it calls into question your ability to discern fact from propaganda. By extension, if you’re willing to spread one piece of propaganda and call it a fact, it calls into question any other “facts” that you may be disseminating.

    • sandl1878 October 17, 2015 at 4:01 am #

      “t’s selling body parts. Chatting about how to pack a fetus head for shipping and other things we find uncivilized and repugnant.”

      Are there morons still buying into that lie? Apparently. PP does NOT sell body parts. They are only reimbursed for the costs of shipping and storage, as is standard for medical donations. What, you think they can just cast a magic spell and send donated tissue to a research lab instantly? Use your brain.

    • Tucker FitzGerald December 16, 2015 at 7:12 pm #

      Christina, fetal tissue is incredibly valuable in developing life-saving medicine for all of us.Obviously they aren’t “selling” fetal tissue “for profit,” because they’re a non-profit, so all money is used for healthcare advancement, not stockholder earnings. I can’t speak to PP’s specific practices in any way, but as a child my mother was a geneticist (not at PP) and would regularly have to transport and test fetal tissue (whole fetuses in this case) to labs to help people understand why their pregnancies were repeatedly failing. She wasn’t a volunteer, she was a trained professional, and so she was compensated for her time, as were the other people who conducted scientific tests on the fetuses. So I grew up with a mother who was paid to (among other things) transport fetuses. And part of that job was deciding how to best pack the fetus. Money changed hands. It wasn’t some gross sci-fi scenario. It was regular people in a small town who wanted to understand why they couldn’t have babies.

      Also, almost every nation with a similar amount of wealth to the United States pays about half what we pay for medical care, with much better outcomes (life expectancy, surgery survival, mothers surviving pregnancy, etc). The way they do it is have the government handle 100% of the financial part of healthcare. That way the focus can be on patient care and patient needs, not wringing a profit out of medicine. It also gives most people much more freedom, as they are no longer limited to the most basic healthcare that they can afford, but rather can choose the healthcare that they need, regardless of cost.

      Remember, free-market capitalism only gives freedom to those with capital… namely the wealthy. Socialism gives more equal weight to all citizens of a nation. And despite the scary propaganda from the wealthy in America, it actually leads to better, more affordable medical outcomes.

  20. lizeden October 16, 2015 at 7:35 pm #

    Thank you for sharing your story – it’s incredibly moving, and I think it is an important piece of the greater spectrum of abortion stories. Also, it’s outrageous to know that a group of assholes could get away with doing such a disgusting thing to another person. I know it’s practically par for the course in some parts of the world, but still. Disgusting. Horrible. Unacceptable. So wrong.

    I’m not on twitter much, and I completely missed the #ShoutYourAbortion tag. After reading your abortion story, I decided to share my own, which I posted on my blog. It’s much more…average, I guess would be a word. Definitely wasn’t as traumatic. But it was strange and maybe the easiest difficult thing I’ve ever gone through (if that makes sense) and I am very grateful I was able to have one.

  21. Bananaduck October 19, 2015 at 8:01 am #

    Thank you for sharing your story. I’m so sorry that you were violated in such a horrific fashion, and horrified that nobody came to your aid.

    I hope people read your story, and that your powerful message can open peoples’ eyes to the reality of life on the front lines of the war on reproductive choice.

  22. sellmaeth October 26, 2015 at 10:49 pm #

    ” At the same time, though, I don’t feel like I can go to Twitter and shout my abortion. I don’t want to seem like I’m pulling a what-about-the-men. ”

    Oh dear. Don’t worry about that, please!

    Feminism was always about fighting the oppression of women based on our sex. Not because of gender. You were targeted by those rapists because of your biological sex.

    You are able to get pregnant and have an abortion, you get to talk about it. Simple as that. Talking about your experience as a female-bodied person will never be a “what about the men”

    It is so sad that you worry about that while the POPE still feels entitled to an opinion about abortion. The effing pope. Who never ever will have to deal with an unwanted pregnancy, and never had to consider that danger in his life.

    • Valerie Marshall November 21, 2015 at 4:56 am #

      CW: I’m kinda casual about mentioning rape here, but I don’t know how else to put it.

      Nonono, this is far more complicated than you are making it out to be and you are excluding trans women in your view of sex and gender and their relationship to misogyny.

      Trans women are raped more often than trans men, too, and over half of both groups are raped at least once in their lifetime. Even if they don’t have to worry about abortion, neither do cis women on birth control or without a uterus or cis women who are post-menopausal. Just because they can’t carry a fetus doesn’t mean they should be left out of the conversation. And trans men who have a penis can still be raped for the same reason the author had been.

      The author was targeted because he is a trans man. This was probably corrective rape. They were probably thinking something like, “lol u have a vagina i’m going to fuck it, haha you’re a woman!” Yes, the reasons are related to misogyny, but it wasn’t exactly misogyny. It was transphobia and misaimed misogyny. They were looking to emasculate him.

      I’m neutrois (It is a non-binary gender look it up.) and assigned female at birth, and I don’t think a man would just see me as a woman and go “I’m gonna rape her.” They have other motivations like transphobic dehumanization, erasure, deliberate misgendering and humiliation. It is corrective rape, like “You’re a woman and I’ll PROVE it to you!!!1!!111”

      Feminism stands for ALL trans people and cis women.

      • sellmaeth November 25, 2015 at 7:53 pm #

        That’s not my feminism.

        My feminism stands for all female people. You know, people who have, once had, or could be plausibly assumed to have uteruses.

        As such, the author has a say in feminism, and so do you, but people who were born with the ability to rape and impregnate women … don’t. Regardless of how they identify.

        I don’t believe in gender, so from your point of view I’m probably agender.

        Yes, the author was targeted for corrective rape, but so would have been a butch lesbian. It was still misogyny. Rapists cannot see the inside of your head. They cannot see what you identify as. They cannot see whether you don’t perform femininity because you think it’s stupid, or because you identify as male. They cannot see whether you have no breasts because you had cancer or because you identify as male. They cannot see whether you grow facial hair because you have PCOS or because you take testosterone.
        They see a woman who does not submit to patriarchy and rape her. However, the same men might also rape a woman they perceive as performing femininity, just because they want to rape a woman that day. There are many motivations for rapists, but I do not think rapists care what your gender identity is.

  23. jessicaliiu November 11, 2015 at 4:35 am #

    Thoroughly enjoyed this! I honestly never even thought about the lack of conversation on transgender men and abortion, and I appreciate the insight. Thanks so much for sharing!

  24. goodrumo January 10, 2016 at 7:15 am #

    Reblogged this on iheariseeilearn.


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