[guest post by Dana]
Twenty-five year old Emily Letts is an abortion counselor in New Jersey. She discovered she was pregnant and opted to have an abortion. Untold numbers of abortions happen every day in this country, but what makes Emily’s story particularly horrifying is that she decided to have her abortion filmed for a video competition through Abortion Care Network’s Stigma Busting video competition (which she won). The film is not graphic and presents the abortion procedure as far less stressful than having a cavity filled.
I’ll let Emily Letts explain her motives,
I found out I was pregnant in November. I had been working at the clinic for about a year. It was my first pregnancy, and, full disclosure, I hadn’t been using any kind of birth control, which is crazy, I know. I’m a sex educator, and I love talking about birth control. Before this experience, hormonal birth control scared me because of complications I’d heard about from friends — gaining weight, depression, etc. So I tracked my ovulation cycle, and I didn’t have any long-term partners. I thought I was OK. But, you know, things happen. I wound up pregnant.
Once I caught my breath, I knew immediately I was going to have an abortion.
At first I was just going to write a blog. Then my administrator introduced me to a woman on YouTube who goes by Angie AntiTheist. She filmed herself having a medical abortion — after taking the pill RU486 — to show everyone that she was fine, that it’s not scary, it doesn’t hurt, and that she was confident in her decision to do it.
Everyone at the clinic was really supportive of filming it. At first they wanted to sit down and talk about the real consequences of this. There are a lot of politics involved. We knew we could have hundreds of protesters at our door; we could have bomb threats. Working at an abortion clinic, every once in awhile it feels like you’re working in a war zone.
But I said, “Bring it,” and they were on board.
I knew the cameras were in the room during the procedure, but I forgot about them almost immediately. I was focused on staying positive and feeling the love from everyone in the room. I am so lucky that I knew everyone involved, and I was so supported. I remember breathing and humming through it like I was giving birth. I know that sounds weird, but to me, this was as birth-like as it could be. It will always be a special memory for me. I still have my sonogram, and if my apartment were to catch fire, it would be the first thing I’d grab.
This is what we are, this is what we have become: The gift of life reduced to nothing more than a crass opportunity to take an obscene selfie during a birth-like moment – a moment that is anything but “birth-like”.
Emily Letts: So young, so dumb, so clueless, and so unable to understand – yet – that more than one soul died that day in the abortion clinic.
I’ll say it again: This is what we are, this is what we have become.