'I Had an Abortion' T-Shirts Are Brave Conversation Starters

'I had an abortion' tees UNCWT-shirts declaring the simple sentence "I had an abortion" have been for sale online for a while now. Author, filmmaker, and third-wave feminist activist Jennifer Baumgardner began designing them eight years ago, in an effort to encourage women to speak about their experiences with terminating a pregnancy. But recently, Baumgardner visited the University of North Carolina Wilmington to participate in a panel discussion about abortion, sign copies of her new book, and oh yeah, maybe sell a few t-shirts in the process.

Surprise, surprise. The sale of the tees stirred up major controversy on campus. Some students rallied with their own tees that declared "I haven't killed a baby." Oh boy. Unfortunately, it seems like these protesters missed the very point of Baumgardner's t-shirts.

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As far as I know, Roe v. Wade is still the law of the entire land, meaning abortion is still safe and legal. And yet, for a woman to admit that she's had an abortion is still an incredibly taboo thing. Surely, that makes it even more difficult to get genuine dialogue about the topic going. All these tees are trying to do is make it less difficult for women who have had an abortion speak up about doing something that was right for them. The tees -- and actually, a documentary film Baumgartner made with the same title -- aim to destigmatize abortion.

Because whether anti-abortionists like it or not, 1.3 million abortions occur in the U.S. every year. But the topic is still so taboo that we can't talk about it. Well, plenty of women feel it's their right to talk about it. And wear these tees they shall. Seems to me Baumgardner and anyone who "dare" wear her tees in an effort to speak her peace could only be described as brilliant and brave. 

What do you think of the "I Had an Abortion" tees?


Image via WECT.com

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