Is it OK to wear an "I had an abortion" T-shirt?
Abortion isn't easy to talk about. I don't think anyone, whether you support it or not, has an easy time saying something like "I had an abortion". My mom had one and maintains that it was the right decision at the time, but that doesn't mean that it was the easiest topic of conversation at the dinner table growing up. In fact, I didn't know until I was an adult myself. It's just not something that women want to bring up, whether they did it for the right reasons or not. And no matter how much I very much believe in Pro-Choice, I don't know that I would have a easy time discussing it either. The stigma associated with the word abortion is exactly why students at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington started selling "I had an abortion" T-shirts, only to face controversy and protesters.
Read more ¿Qué más? My mom had an abortion and I still love her.
The UNCW Women's Studies Department and the university's LGBTQIA (that's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, Intersex and Asexual) Resource Office held a panel selling the "I had an abortion" shirts for $15. But students outside of the panel room protested, wearing what they say are equally shocking t-shirts that said things like "I euthanized my grandpa."
But there's a difference between having an abortion and euthanizing your relative, isn't there? I guess the student protesters would say that there isn't. Jimmy Eastman, spokesman for the student protest, told WWAY News Channel in Wilmington:
It's still a very controversial issue. It's not about the abortion or pro-choice. It's about ending a human life and that's the real issue here. That's what we're trying to get at.
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It's a really difficult thing, I think, to stand up for yourself and admit that you had an abortion. Ultimately I don't know if I could do the same, though I do think that both student groups were in the right: it's a matter of free speech and personal politics. I don't blame the student group that came up with the "I had an abortion" tees for selling them because they wanted to diffuse the word. In fact, I think it's similar to when Eve Ensler wrote her seminal play The Vagina Monologues in 1996 to get women to face up to the word "vagina". It's brave and I admire that, at least in spirit, because I'm still not sure I could wear that t-shirt. But I'd bow down to anyone that could.
What do you think of the controversial "I had an abortion" t-shirts sold on this college campus?
Image via WWAY3