watercolor sigh with "To Be Continued..."

New Abortion Stories

The important work of authentic stories.

I wish I were writing an uplifting review of the year. Sure, there were many bright spots, but the truth is, America and the world became more dangerous for many people. The culture of contempt has remained firmly in place. Dehumanizing and denigrating others is so commonplace that it does not seem unusual, especially if it leads to personal and political gain.

For me, the defining moment of 2022 will always be when Roe V Wade was overturned. As far as I am concerned, even in the blue states, the ability to control one’s very own body is no longer a right; it’s a privilege that can be taken away at the whim of a government that favors white cis male dominance.

If you are fortunate enough to live in a blue state, you may be insulated from the devastating effects. This is an illusion. The far-right has its sights on reproductive rights across the United States. Their offensive tactics include travel restrictions, interstate criminal prosecution, civil lawsuits, and national restrictions on abortion and contraception. One of the best resources for staying informed is  Abortion, Every Day by Jessica Valenti where she blends news, policy, and real-life examples in a daily post.

Shame and denigration have been used for decades to shut down the voices of people who have had abortions. In a culture where contempt is applauded, people who have had abortions are labeled as murderers, promiscuous, depraved, cold, unloving, selfish, and lacking the ability to nurture and love children. The opponents of reproductive freedom glorify a false narrative of abortion being a modern phenomenon.

These are all lies.

Abortion is not a new procedure, it’s just safer now. Choosing when to have a family can be the most loving choice. And the people who have abortions? They are people like you and me.

https://www.guttmacher.org/infographic/2016/us-abortion-patients

At Tangled Locks Journal, we decided to take back the narrative by publishing #AbortionStories. We are an online literary journal with a commitment to bringing visibility to stories, poetry, and essays that are complex and speak truths. When we craft fairytales of our lives to comply with oppressive expectations, we give up power. Telling our truth takes back that power and sets a foundation for more people to add their voices.

The decision to add a prochoice feature was not taken lightly but we consider it essential to break through propaganda. As an editor, I chose to tell my own story as well. Most of the stories are first-person accounts. Many of the stories are creatively and poetically written, and others are raw and immediate. Some are matter-of-fact, and others wondered what could have been.

This December, we are proud to publish two more.

  • They Don’t Make Bereavement Cards for This moves you back and forth through the before and after of an abortion. It is a beautifully written piece that captures the complexity of her decision and feelings.
  • My Mother’s Abortion by Lev Raphael breaks through so many of the myths of abortion. The decision of when to start a family was essential for his mother, a holocaust survivor.  Publishing his mother’s story at a time when high-profile people in the United States are embracing and amplifying antisemitism was also important to me. Lev generously shared photos of his mother as a young woman for this piece.

As we wrap up 2022, I think I may have found one of my bright spots. I am so grateful for the thirty-five writers who shared their experiences and insights in 2022. They crack through the lies with their truths.  Here are their Abortion Stories on Tangled Locks Journal

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