Roar will publish a first-person story about abortion, “My Abortion: A Daily Story,” every day for at least 365 days. Today’s story is excerpted from an interview of Jack Evans with Rae Paoletta of Revelist. Jack talks about having an abortion as a gender non-binary person while in college. Their abortion was in 2006 in Minnesota.
“I know it was the right thing for me, for so many reasons. If I had not been able to legally get an abortion, I can only imagine what I would have done, but it’s safe to say it would have been extreme.
I can honestly say my abortion saved my life.
Also, I was just over halfway through college, and having a child (had I been able to bring the baby to term and cope with the prospect enough to stay alive) would have demolished my academic career. I know some are able to manage it, but knowing myself and my mental health at the time? No way. I already suffered from severe depression and anxiety, partially stemming from my trans status, and that was affecting my schooling as well. In a very real way, it was the fetus or both of us.
I don’t talk about it much, though. There’s so much social stigma surrounding abortion even for ciswomen, and being trans I don’t like to bring attention to my female sex organs any more than absolutely necessary anyway.
…Between dysphoria, mental health, and shame, assigned-female-at-birth people need to be able to talk about these things in reference to themselves — without feeling like they will experience backlash, stigma, or more discrimination than they already face. If the conversation includes us, we might feel welcome to speak, and welcome to seek help we need.
Even just re-framing the discussion so that it’s about “people with uteruses” instead of “women” would be incredibly helpful. It’s much easier for me, for example, to say “yes, I have a uterus” rather than being lumped in with women….”