The moment we read the stick, some of us buckled on the bathroom floor….Undecided, we waited too long. Decisive, we were instantly clear about what to do. We were happy about it until we weren’t. (from “First Response,” published in the short story collection Know the Mother, by Desiree Cooper)
I first heard Desiree Cooper perform her stunning short story titled “First Response” when we both participated in a national live storytelling event called Listen to Your Mother in Detroit. “First Response” is a fictional account, but it speaks to truth about the shame and stigma of abortion. The news that she was going to produce a short film titled “The Choice,” based on her story, excited me.
In order to have an intelligent and informed discussion about abortion, it’s necessary to consider the women who are forced to make such a hard decision. They are real, and they deserve our compassion.
Women who are faced with this choice may have been taking birth control; some methods have a failure rate as high as 28%. They may not be emotionally, physically, or financially able to care for a child. Adoption is not always possible. The circumstances some of these women face include poverty, violence, inequality, inadequate medical care and little to no social services. They understand everything about the choice they must make, and they certainly don’t take the decision lightly.
About the film:
One in four American women will have an abortion over a lifetime. That’s double the number of women who will be diagnosed with breast cancer in a lifetime (one in eight). Yet, this staple of women’s reproductive health care remains shrouded in taboo and stigma. Because it has been so politicized, it is possible that Roe v. Wade will be eroded or overturned in this term of the Supreme Court.
I have created “The Choice” as a way to break through the stigma and broaden the conversation around abortion. In this work of fiction, each line tells is a different woman’s story. Coupled with the profiles of diverse women, it shows the complicated feelings and circumstances that surround abortion from the point of view of women who have had them.
Once you see “The Choice,” you’ll never think about abortion the same way again.
You can learn more about the film “The Choice” here.
Anti-abortion activists are not really pro-life. Click to read Why a Pro-Life World has a Lot of Dead Women in It.
Evangelical minister Rob Schenck now sees abortion as a moral and ethical issue that should be resolved by an individual and his or her conscience, rather than by legislation. “This is not a question for politicians,” he says. “When your end goal is a political one, you will, without exception, exploit the pain and the suffering and the agony of those who face the issue in their daily reality, in their real life.” Click to read Once Militantly Anti-Abortion Evangelical Minister Now Lives with Regret.
About Desiree Cooper:
Desiree Cooper is a former attorney, Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist and Detroit community activist whose fiction dives unflinchingly into the intersection of racism and sexism. Using the compressed medium of flash fiction, she explores intimate spaces to reveal what it means to be human. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in Callaloo, Detroit Noir, Best African American Fiction 2010 and Tidal Basin Review, and other online and print publications. Her awards include 2018 Best Small Fictions; 2017 Midland Authors Award Winner in Adult Fiction; 2017 Michigan Notable Book; 2016 Midwest Book Award Finalist; Poets and Writers 5 Over 50; 2016 Foreword Indies Book of the Year Award Finalist. Her most recent book is Know the Mother.
Linda K. Sienkiewicz is the author of the award-winning novel In the Context of Love, a story about one woman’s need to tell her truth without shame.
2017 New Apple Book Awards Official Selection
2016 Sarton Women’s Fiction Finalist
2016 Eric Hoffer Book Award Finalist
2016 Readers’ Favorite Finalist
2016 USA Book News Best Book Finalist
“…at once a love story, a cautionary tale, and an inspirational journey.” ~ Bonnie Jo Campbell, author of National Book Award Finalist, American Salvage, and critically acclaimed Once Upon a River,and Mothers, Tell Your Daughters