“I Had An Abortion and I Feel Fine”

I think this (French) website is a great idea. After all, common discourse, especially in the US, is that women who have had abortions should cower in shame, never speak of it, or only speak of it that the most terrible decision they’ve ever made, and how horrible they felt about it, etc.

Well, these gals turn the thing around by putting posts of abortion experience as a positive experience, one that did not depress them, gave them cancer (HA!) or ruin their lives and relationships. Instead, they take on frontally the idea that women should feel guilty about having abortion:

This translates roughly as:

Man: so, you’re gonna cry, yes or shit? (in French, the emphatic version of “yes or no”)

Woman: or shit. (with the little flowers around the bubble, that’s a nice touch)

The blog itself is titled “the daughters of the 343 sluts”. For those of you who do not know the history of the French pro-choice movement, the 343 were famous French women, who, in the 1970s, during the abortion legalization battle, publicly acknowledged that they had had (illegal then) abortions. The point of this manifesto was not to state that abortion was common and therefore should be legal and safe. Rather, the 343 published their manifesto right after a 15-year old – who had been raped by her stepfather, had gotten pregnant by him, then had had an abortion – got arrested and put on trial for it. The 343, through their manifesto, were saying: “so go ahead, arrest us too and put us on trial, and if you don’t, then it’s a class issue, a social justice issue: the wealthy get what they want, and a lower-class rape victim goes to prison.” The left-wing satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo then nicknamed the manifesto “the manifesto of the 343 sluts”

You can read that 1971 Manifesto here, and scroll down to find the list of signatories, which is a who’s who of the most famous French women of that time: Simone de Beauvoir, Catherine Deneuve, Marguerite Duras, Françoise Fabian, Gisèle Halimi, Ariane Mnou­ch­kine, Jeanne Moreau, Fran­çoise Sagan, Del­phine Sey­rig or Agnès Varda.

Interestingly, all the testimonies I have read over there are so incredibly simple. Unsurprisingly, these women do not fit the stereotype of the baby-killing slut. There is simply no pathos involved. It was the wrong time. It was the right thing to do. They’ll have children when the time is right.

I am happy to sign their manifesto and support them… when they re-open tomorrow morning, time difference oblige! It is important work and it is a damn shame that this medical procedure and human right is still marked by stigma and obstacles for too many women worldwide in the name of the maintenance of patriarchal systems.

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