I believe that sexual love in its most passionate sense is as basic to happiness as food is to life and that living and sleeping with a mate one does not love in this sense violates fundamental human impulses. Which is to say that since passion is by definition spontaneous—we can behave in ways that inhibit or nurture it, but finally we feel it or we don’t—a marital agreement based on legal, economic, or moral coercion is oppressive. But the whole point of marriage is to be a binding social alliance, and it cannot fulfill that function unless mates are forced or intimidated to stay together. The modern celebration of romantic love muddled the issue: now we want marriage to serve two basically incompatible purposes, to be at once a love relationship and a contract. We exalt love as the highest motive for marriage, but tell couples that of course passion fades into “mature” conjugal affection. We want our mates to be faithful out of love, yet define monogamy as an obligation whose breach justifies moral outrage and legal revenge. We agree that spouses who don’t love each other should not have to stay together, even for the sake of the children; yet we uphold a system that makes women economic prisoners and condone restrictive adversary divorce laws. We argue that that without the legal and moral pressure of marriage lovers won’t make the effort required to live intimately with someone else; but by equating emotional commitment with the will to live up to a contract, we implicitly define passion as unserious, peripheral to real life.
Ellen Willis, “The Family: Love It or Leave It”
Emily Letts, a patient advocate at Cherry Hill Women’s Center, is the winner of the Abortion Stigma Busting Video contest! Emily let us into the operating room during her first-trimester abortion and told us what it was like before and after making her decision.
Sponsored by the Abortion Care Network and the 1 in 3 Campaign, the contest was launched to push back against the shame and silence that keeps patients from getting the care and support they need.
(Note: This is not a graphic video - the portion in the operating room focuses solely on her face and hands.)
Wow, this is truly incredible. Thank you, Emily to making and sharing this.
While I was pregnant with both of my children, I can’t even guess as to how many birthing videos I watched on youtube, and I can’t even begin to calculate just how big on an impact it was for my births to have been able to watch other woman do what I was getting ready to do.
I remember being comforted that birth wasn’t all screaming and horror like it is on TV. I remember watching women giving birth as gracefully as making love and wanting that sort of experience now that I knew I could have that sort of experience; that I didn’t have to be scared.
I’ve never heard of to seen any other abortion videos like this, but I would imagine that if I were to fall pregnant again at this time or at another time in my life when more children still isn’t practical, these videos would be a great comfort to me to know that I could do this with grace.
Yes! I have a page of written stories, but wish there were more videos, too. Abortion is shrouded in fear and mystery, and it’s not fair to patients who don’t know what to expect.
[deleted by Bébinn because stories are beautiful and haters are boring]
I had just the same kind of beautiful, caring experience because of people like her.
I was relieved after.
I don’t feel guilty.
I own it. It’s mine.
This is the most important thing.
One of my amazing coworkers! So proud of Emily and happy I can finally share this video.
Look at my amazing co-worker!
The thing I’m most proud of after my first semester of grad school is this drunk selfie I took in my professor’s bathroom.