March 1, 2010

Live-Tweeting An Abortion

Last week the web went up in flames when a woman, by the name of Angie Jackson, began live-tweeting her medical abortion.

Jackson discovered she was pregnant the week prior, following the failure of her method of birth control. A single mom with a little boy, Jackson claims that she was was told that her pregnancy could cause a threat to her life and decided to abort the using the abortifacient mifepristone.

The Frisky did an interview with Jackson about the abortion:

The Frisky: What compelled you to tweet about your abortion? Why even “demystify” it for people? A lot of people consider an abortion something that should be private.

Angie Jackson: I guess I was so terrified going into this that it was going to be horribly painful, that I was going to hemorrhage. And I don’t want to be flippant that those things don’t happen [but] what I was trying to say to people who find themselves in this position is that I was relieved to find out that I had this non-surgical option [the abortion pill] and that I was early enough [in my pregnancy] to get it. I was so relieved to see how simple it’s been. The actual process has been like a menstrual period. It’s not foreign or scary.

The Frisky: You were on birth control — an IUD, correct? What happened to it?

Angie Jackson: It can fall out during heavy flow periods, which going by the dates and everything, my last period was about two-and-a-half weeks before I got pregnant, so in that period of time, I was thinking I was using protection but probably not. By the time I got the ultrasound, the IUD was not in there anymore.

The Frisky: So, you’re very blunt in the YouTube video, saying that you’re not ashamed about having an abortion. You just flat-out say, “I’m not ashamed.” Where does that come from?

Angie Jackson: I think any time that we are silent about things or secret about things, it is unhealthy. I say this as a sexual abuse survivor. When I stopped keeping secrets [about the sexual abuse] and starting telling somebody, life got better. I have kept that throughout my life And I’m an autobiographical blogger. I am very open with the internet about how I am. I am very open about who I am with parenting and mental illness … For me, this wasn’t very different. This was about me talking about who I am openly. For me, talking about things is just how I approach all the taboos of life. I think that secrecy is unhealthy. We don’t get help when we don’t talk about things. For women who do need counseling or support or love or understanding after an abortion, if they have to stay quiet out of shame, then they won’t get that help. I think talking about things really can make a huge difference.

I feel that I was reasonably responsible. This is a possible responsible answer to this problem. In my case, I do feel like this is the best decision. I talked it over with my son and my boyfriend, who are the only people besides me who get a vote. It’s still my choice, but I’m going to talk it over with the people that I love — not that my son understands it much. But I don’t see why I should be ashamed that I’m saving my life. I don’t think that I’m being a killer; I don’t feel like I killed a person. And I’m sure if I did, I would feel guilt. And that’s why [anti-abortion activists] try so hard to convince you that it is.

Here is some of the feedback she has received:

Tracie at Jezebel offered the following comments:

And while I think that what she’s doing is radically progressive and service-y (she describes in her tweets what a medical abortion feels like), I sort of wish that she didn’t feel the need to have to qualify or rationalize her decision by explaining that the pregnancy could have been detrimental to her health—although I appreciate and understand her full disclosure and honesty—because the bottom line is that it doesn’t matter why she made this choice. It only matters that she’s allowed to make this choice.

What do you think? Is this a public service or over the top?

AV Flox

Your humble editrix-in-command.

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  • http://buttontapper.com Laura Roberts

    It’s a bit over the top, but I appreciate the public service, to be honest. Last I heard, that abortion drug WAS quite dangerous and could be risky enough to cause death in certain cases. So I’m glad she wasn’t in danger due to the drug itself.

    Why it’s such a big deal that a woman tweets about her abortion, or her miscarriage (a la Penelope Trunk), is what I don’t get. People will tweet about their bowel movements, as we all know from the feces-obsessed episode of This Week in Twitter, and that’s *far* more TMI, in my opinion. Is this just another case of societal misogyny, or what?

  • Anaiis

    It’s easy to be a critic and say, “I would have done this differently,” the thing is — the key thing — is that someone had the balls to do it at all. I believe in telling our stories. So I am in accord with you. It is a service.

  • Jenny

    There’s over 6 billion people in the world taking up natural resources and destroying our planet in the process so you can have your way of life. And you’re complaining about abortion? Be lucky you’re not from a country like China where you are rendered sterile after having maybe one or two children, that you even have a choice at all. If women choose to not have children, let it be. Are you going to raise it? No, but our tax dollars will. For the Bible Thumpers, even the Old Test thinks it’s not human/ has a soul until it’s born. So why are you even complaining?

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