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.
Very normal ad on Pandora.
So, yes, let’s take the figure of the feminist killjoy seriously. Does the feminist kill other people’s joy by pointing out moments of sexism? Or does she expose the bad feelings that get hidden, displaced, or negated under public signs of joy? Does bad feeling enter the room when somebody expresses anger about things, or could anger be the moment when the bad feelings that circulate through objects get brought to the surface in a certain way? The feminist subject “in the room” hence “brings others down” not only by talking about unhappy topics such as sexism but by exposing how happiness is sustained by erasing the signs of not getting along. Feminists do kill joy in a certain sense: they disturb the very fantasy that happiness can be found in certain places. To kill a fantasy can still kill a feeling. It is not just that feminists might not be happily affected by what is supposed to cause happiness, but our failure to be happy is read as sabotaging the happiness of others.
We can consider the relationship between the negativity of the figure of the feminist killjoy and how certain bodies are “encountered” as being negative. Marilyn Frye argues that oppression involves the requirement that you show signs of being happy with the situation in which you find yourself. As she puts it, “it is often a requirement upon oppressed people that we smile and be cheerful. If we comply, we signify our docility and our acquiescence in our situation.” To be oppressed requires that you show signs of happiness, as signs of being or having been adjusted. For Frye “anything but the sunniest countenance exposes us to being perceived as mean, bitter, angry or dangerous”.