Call for Abortion Stories

From an email I got today:

Are you a woman who has had an abortion?

You are not alone and your story is important.

We are editing a book about abortion and we want to hear your story.

BEYOND CHOICE: VOICES OF REAL WOMEN is not a political treatise and we do not have an agenda. We simply want the voices of real women who have had abortions to be heard. Beyond Choice will be published by a major U.S. publisher and will focus on the experience of abortion: what leads women to consider abortion, what it’s like to have one, and how it factors into real, lived lives. We are women united by only one act: we had an abortion. Beyond Choice will include voices of women who vote republican and democrat, women who are young and old, rich and poor, women who are married and single, gay and straight, women who are religious and secular, and women who condemn and are not ashamed of their experiences. You do not have to be a gifted writer to share your story. Send a 2-15 page essay told in your own words, along with your name or a fake name (if you’d prefer to remain anonymous) and an e-mail address to by November 30, 2005. Everyone who submits an essay will be considered for inclusion in this important book.

It looks like it’ll be a good project. I’ll post more info if I get any.

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10 comments for “Call for Abortion Stories

  1. anne
    October 3, 2005 at 12:31 pm

    This is something I would be interested in writing about, though I never have, as it’s not a topic that I like to dwell on. I guess I’m just interested in the person – is there *truly* no agenda? What I have to say – and I would guess many others as well – is extremely personal. I don’t want to find myself quoted in a camp I would never stake my tent in, so to speak.

    I believe in choice.


  2. October 3, 2005 at 12:56 pm

    Yeah Jill, do you know anything more about whose heading this project? I’m interested in writing too, but am wary of sending my work off my work to a person or organization I know virtually nothing about.

  3. October 3, 2005 at 4:02 pm

    Thanks for the replies. My wonderful friend Maya saw your responses and took it upon herself to email the women who are putting this together. Here is their response:

    We are two women who are frustrated that the public debate about abortion is controlled by the media and politicians. We are committed to reclaiming the discussion back into the hands of real women who have experienced abortion. Debbie Findling works in the field of philanthropy at a foundation that supports reproductive health and rights non-profit organizations and had an abortion in June of this year at 18 weeks pregnant. Simone Schweber is an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. We want to assure all potential contributors that legally and morally no submissions can be or will be included in the book without the express written permission of the author. This is to say that all contributors will not only see whatever edits we make (and have a chance to weigh in about them), but will be sent page proofs as well. We’re not interested in ‘changing anyone’s story,’ though we may very well make suggestions vis a vis word choice, l! ength issues, etc. (We are both very good editors.).

  4. another lynne
    October 3, 2005 at 4:19 pm

    One more request, can we have a link to anything else they’ve written? Before I put my story on paper, and before I pass this request along to other women I’d like to see their style. Based on what I’ve seen so far, I think this has the potential to be a very valuable project for one simple reason. This issue has become so media-charged that even tho we all know we weren’t alone, there really isn’t anyone to talk to about it anymore. Any guilt or remorse or regret is seen as a woman becoming anti-choice. Any lack of these feelings is viewed as evidence of being immoral. (Just mho, of course)

  5. October 3, 2005 at 4:57 pm

    This look like a valuable project. So often abortion is STILL a taboo subject.

  6. mythago
    October 3, 2005 at 6:48 pm

    I don’t notice anything in their follow-up e-mail about paying the authors for their work. And if they’re academics or respected researchers, why are they using a hotmail account?

    I’m not saying it’s a spoof, but WTF?

  7. October 3, 2005 at 7:26 pm

    Debbie Findling is the Deputy Director of the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund, which in 2004 gave a total of $550,000 to Planned Parenthood, the National Abortion Federation, the National Network of Abortion Funds, Choice USA, plus another $1.2 milllion in funds to other “Population” causes. Simone Schweber, as Maya indicated, is an assistant professor, with an apparent expertise in Jewish studies and the Holocaust. Findling and Schweber were both participants at this symposium on the Holocaust in 2002.

    They’re likely using a Hotmail account because they’re in different cities and thus don’t share an office. They can’t use Schweber’s e-mail because it’s probably not an official project of her university.

  8. October 4, 2005 at 11:05 am

    Are these women familiar with Our Truths at all?

  9. October 4, 2005 at 3:15 pm

    They can’t use Schweber’s e-mail because it’s probably not an official project of her university.

    They could still use it, so long as they didn’t say it was an official project. I see Schweber isn’t in Women’s Studies there (some really good people are), but that may not mean much. I can’t find her name on the WMST-L List but that may not mean anything either.

    I’d suggest emailing Schwever at her university address (also to be honest I wouldn’t write anything till I knew they had a publisher, not for financial reasons — book contributors often get very little money — simply to have some feeling it’s worth doing the work.

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