My Abortion #167: Melanie

This month, we are showcasing some selections from our first six months of stories. This story previously appeared here in ROAR. 

The Tennessee Stories Project (TSP) is an effort to reduce abortion stigma by creating a space for Tennesseans to share their personal experiences about abortion. Too often, conversations about abortion are dominated by the voices of those who seek to shame and intimidate. The goal of TSP is to promote a culture of compassion in Tennessee and to strip away the stigma associated with abortion by lifting up the voices of those who have had abortions.

This is Melanie’s story.

“…I was at a rally on Market Square with my 4-month-old son, and there was a table where people were writing about why they were against the amendment. I looked down at my son and wrote something like: I get to be a mom now because I had an abortion.

It was like something kind of opened up then. There’s a weird privilege that exists being a married, white, mother. I already had some privilege as a white person but because of the way I look, the way I live, and the life I’ve always had, there have been a lot of doors that have not been open to me. I didn’t even know it. I was just used to people not wanting to cash my check,or asking for a second form of ID, or pulling their kids away in the grocery store. Then I got married and had a baby, and all of a sudden I realized things were getting easier for me. I have a higher value in our culture in the South now because I’m a married white woman with a child.”

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