If You're Gonna #AskYourMother About Abortion, Make Sure You Want to Hear the Answer

 

lena dunhamWith the current controversy over Congressional Republicans attempting to defund Planned Parenthood, many fear that increased abortion restrictions are on the horizon. That's why Lena Dunham and Girls producer Jenni Konner spoke with two septuagenarians about their pre–Roe vs. Wade experiences -- and Dunham and Konner want you to do the same.

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In a preview from their upcoming digital newsletter Lenny Letter, Konner and Dunham talk about how important it is for people to remember what life was really like before the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion (which is coming up on its 15-year anniversary in a couple of weeks), especially now that some (mostly Southern) states are starting to place restrictions on the practice. In a particularly powerful excerpt, Konner’s 72-year-old mother Ronnie Konner opened up about her pre-Roe abortion, which required her to travel across the Mexican border by herself and pay a complete stranger $300: 

The abortion experience wasn’t bad in itself, but the ride down was a nightmare. On the trip with me were a cheerleader and her boyfriend. She cried for the 300 miles to Ensenada. And there was another girl that never said a word, who was also with her boyfriend. We had to have the sunglasses in our left hands so we could find this young Mexican guy who would show us the way to the doctor’s. 

Harrowing, and as Dunham and Konner write, hearings stories like this one remind us "where we’ve come from and why we can’t go back there." But the #AskYourMother campaign, while well-intentioned, does pose a couple of problems. For one thing, many of us in our 20s and 30s have moms who were too young when Roe vs. Wade passed to have any relevant experiences to share (I'm almost 40 and my mom is still too young). So maybe this should really be ... #AskYourGrandma?

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Although there are potential problems with that idea, too -- namely that there are still a whole lot of grandmas out there who aren't particularly pro-choice. Actually, the same goes for moms. Indeed, asking your mother or your grandma about abortion could easily lead to a huge political/moral/religious argument. Maybe the best hashtag of all here would be #ReadSomeStoriesAboutPreRoeVsWadeAbortions.

Because I agree that this is an important discussion -- I'm just not sure it's one everybody wants to have with his or her mom.

 

Image via XactpiX/Splash

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