Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Speaking of feminist underground railroads...

...A and I have this plan where if McCain wins, I will help her run a feminist underground railroad out of her apartment.  You know - contraception, emergency contraception, maybe some informational brochures and sex ed.

Actually, there already is a feminist underground railroad:

New York City is one of the few places women can go for late-term abortions.  Reasons for needing a late-term abortion range from lack of money or relationship issues to being unaware of the pregnancy or even, simply, deciding what to do.  Regardless of the need:
“I had to tell myself, ‘Every abortion is the choice of the woman having the abortion. This is about somebody else’s body. It’s not President Bush’s body, but it’s not mine, either,’ ” she says. “Being pro-choice is a morality that takes you morally out of the picture.” (article)
In NYC, there is a group called the Haven Coalition that provides free homestays to women who have to come to the city for an abortion.  It brings together two very different groups:
Most Haven hosts are white, Jewish, well schooled, and political. Some are empty-nesters with beds to spare and memories of the sixties and seventies women’s movement; many are young idealists with matchbox apartments and roommates who don’t mind an extra body crashing in the living room. 
Meanwhile, most of the women helped by Haven are black and Latina, with GEDs or less, low literacy skills, and not much civic moxie.
The article really is a nice read.  It is personal but not sappy, and political without being overbearing or preachy.  And very, very real - as if to highlight that this is real life and not a movie, at the point in the story when the main character - Adeena - "should" open up to her guardian angel host, and pour out her story, on the eve of her abortion, having just watched a movie about a young black woman who has an abortion - "she asks for lights out.  I set the alarm, fluff the quilt, and tuck her in."  

It leaves me feeling quiet, calm, and hopeful.

No comments: