“I Had an Abortion”

When Planned Parenthood began selling t-shirts bearing the slogan “I had an abortion,”    conservative journalists and bloggers were quick to publish their reactions. But missing, as usual, were the voices of women who have actually had abortions, both before and after Roe, which is exactly what the “I Had an Abortion Project” seeks to remedy The t-shirts were sold in conjunction with a documentary film of the same name by Jennifer Baumgardner, co-author of Grassroots: A Field Guide to Feminist Activism (reviewed in this issue), and Gillian Aldrich, a field producer for “Bowling for Columbine.” A photographer, Tara Todras-Whitehill, did portrait shots of the women wearing the “I had an abortion” shirts. (Film info and t-shirts are available from soapboxinc.com). Blunt and powerful, the women in the film talk about their experiences, from the 1940s to last year. The truth is not always easy to hear—one woman even states that she feels she killed her child—but at last women’s own stories are driving the discussion, and not simply the rhetoric of male politicians.