Amanda Palmer is an American singer, songwriter, musician, author, and performance artist. She published this story on Twitter
this is a hard thread to write.
i am on a plane bound for chicago, then i fly to st. paul, where i will sit in giant theaters & tell several thousand people (spoiler, sorry) each night about my abortions.
i’ve had three.
one when i was 17. and two in my thirties, after i got married.
in none of these cases was i raped. in one case, the fetus wasn’t viable. in the other two: i chose.
i wasn’t ready.
in each case (in massachusetts, edinburgh and NYC) i had access to a safe, legal abortion.
i was helped. there was a clinic somewhere in the neighborhood. i didn’t have to travel, i didn’t have to lie, i didn’t have to order black-market abortion pills from the internet or tangle with a metaphoric (or real) coat hanger. i could choose in peace.
i talk about all this in my stage show not because it’s fun, but because...because i can. i’m doing it partly because i’m ready to get rid of the dark stories that have festered inside me for too long & also because i owe a favor to my former self.
when i was 17, there was no google. i walked through the experience of having an abortion in the dark, carrying an inappropriate secret. it just wasnt supposed to be said aloud. ever.
by the time i was in my 30s, there was google.
google algorithms led me mostly to horror. i was old enough to realize that google was a strange....destination for help.
there wasn’t an abortion handbook. there wasn’t a website to hold my hand & explain the emotions - not that i could find, at least. it was really lonely.
there also weren’t any easily-findable songs or music videos to match my experience and make me feel less alone in my complicated stew of hormones and choice and pain. (that’s why i made “voicemail for jill” and the accompanying video...here:)
i’ve chosen to have one child. he’s three, and he’s wonderful.
i’ve had one miscarriage. (didn’t choose that one, nope).
every one of these experiences, these disorienting and oddly empowering womb-moments, has emboldened me to speak plainly and shamelessly....
...to speak openly about what happens - in our hearts & in our communities - when we are shamed and herded into a dark corner regarding our reproductive decisions. about how much overall damage is done when they snatch away the sovereignty we deserve to have over our own bodies.
i’ll tell you something....i didn’t wanna tour the globe on this record and recount these stories every night. i didn’t want to get thrown into the “oh so it’s a feminist show it won’t be any fun and it’s not for me “ box.
i don’t want to be “the abortion lady”, y’all.
things are getting very, very, very bad right now.
global fascism and religious extremism are on the rise. we know our history. the FIRST THING THEY GO AFTER is a person’s right to control their own body and destiny.
control the wombs and you control the political agenda.
state by state, access to safe abortion is quietly - but truly - going bye-bye. this bill (linked at top of thread) was just signed by the governor of ohio.
if this becomes a law, many folks will have to travel out of state to access safe abortion, because by the time they realize they are pregnant and go through the process of scheduling/procuring an abortion - it’s crossed the timeline. it’s a trap.
laws like this disproportionately effect poorer folks, women of color, and LGBTQ folks. it will screw folks who cannot afford to travel, leaving them no choice other than to carry out a pregnancy - and have a child - they cannot afford.
it’s stupid. it’s sexist. it’s racist.
we need to act. we must.
if you want to learn more about what you can do, i highly recommend you tune into the feeds of @NARAL and @PPact (planned parenthood action) they are also on twitter and instagram. follow and pay attention. act. sign. call. march.
i’ve also invited planned parenthood/ @PPFA to set up an info table at every show i am doing in north america - visit them in the lobby if you’re coming to this tour (along with @HeadCountOrg, who will register you to vote).
ask what you can do to help.
go read this planned parenthood bulletin about protecting title X and take action. in a nutshell, the trump/pence team has issued a “gag order” preventing health care providers from telling folks their options about access to abortion. it’s appalling.
but most importantly: our stories, told boldly, are the most powerful weapon we wield against this madness.
if you can....share your story. now is the time to speak. if you’ve spoken before, speak again.
speak for the ones who can’t.
we must speak.
if we can...we must. 🙏🏼
i also wanna share with y’all this story in the @nytimes...which directly inspired me to take thumbs to phone on this flight. “Why should I have to rip my heart out in order to make a political point?”...exactly nailed. thank you for writing this, @nona.
while i have you, here are the rest of the north american tour dates. boston, NYC, SF, LA, atlanta, nashville, kansas city, denver, st. louis, seattle, vancouver, portland. then to europe & the UK. and importantly, northern ireland. (oz/NZ...2020, mates).
to all of the people coming to this thread to shame me, insult me, and call me a killer...hi. i’m happy to talk with you. i don’t feel shame about these decisions i made. none. it’s taken me a long time to understand how much shame i carried. and i’m not afraid of you anymore. 🙏🏼