Christian Hansen Photo: Rich Wexler

Christian Hansen Photo: Rich Wexler

Being an Ally and a Friend

My mother would give birth control advice and make referrals to doctors willing to perform abortions pre-Roe v. Wade.

Christian Hansen  Photo: Rich Wexler
Christian Hansen Photo: Rich Wexler
by Christian Hansen –

Being clear and transparent and honest helps.

I have paid for abortions.

I have helped pay for abortions.

I have raised money for abortions for people I don’t know.

I have driven friends to abortion clinics and sat and waited for them to have abortions and then driven them home.

I have brought food and tea and spent time with people who were recovering from abortions.

I have listened to people cry while telling their abortion stories.

I have listened to people tell of their botched abortions.

I have listened to people talk about having to travel to other countries to get an abortion.

I have marched, sung songs, and created human shields to protect people from anti-choice protesters outside of abortion clinics.

I have engaged anti-choice protesters in conversations. I have listened to their stories, I have asked them questions about their lives, and I listened to their trials and triumphs.

I have heard their pain and sometimes they have asked me questions about why I was there. And sometimes they have not just listened, but maybe heard something. And a few times after talking and sharing and listening, I would not see them again at the protests.

My mom, a retired nurse, would get dressed in her uniform every Wednesday evening for many years,  and go and sit in the farthest emergency room bay at the hospital where her father was the administrator. She would give birth control advice and make referrals to doctors willing to perform abortions pre-Roe v. Wade.

She would always tuck me and my sister into bed and assure us if she wasn’t at home when we woke up, someone would be there to get us ready for school and on our way.

I learned from a young age that sometimes it is very necessary to take risks and plan for consequences. And that to take action was necessary to make it through hard times. And that the state was all too often not the best collaborator in making a better world.

Relying on the state to solve things is ridiculous! Delegating authority to an entity that is controlled and patrolled by forces whose job it is to limit engagement is horrific.

I not only believe in the right to choose to have an abortion, I believe that it takes effort and vulnerability and openness to make sure a small minority of people don’t keep us from being as fully human as we can.

Whether to have or not to have an abortion is a personal choice.

People having access to needed medical care is a collective process.

Abortion is healthcare. Abortion is healthcare.

 

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