Keep holding on Friend,

While we’ve entered a new year, we’re still persevering! With a new administration in the U.S. and a new horizon for everyone, there is a very important topic we’d like to discuss this month: ABORTION.

The reality of the situation:

This month, we want to acknowledge the abortion debate on both sides, but we do not hide what we are fighting for: affordable access to abortions for all people. Currently, this is where the global statistics stand for access to abortion:
  • 26 countries outlaw abortion entirely
  • 39 countries outlaw abortion, unless it is to save a person’s life
  • 56 countries outlaw abortion, unless the pregnancy is posing a serious risk to a person’s health
  • 19 states in the U.S. severely restrict access to abortions

Without access to safe abortions, we are putting the lives of womb-owners at risk. 

According to the World Health Organization:
  • There are approximately 25 million unsafe abortions each year due to lack of access.
  • Between 4.7% and 13.2% of all maternal deaths can be attributed to unsafe abortions.
  • Approximately 45% of all abortions are unsafe.
  • 7 million women are admitted to hospitals each year in developing countries as a result of unsafe abortions.

Almost every abortion death and disability could be prevented through sexuality education, use of effective contraception, provision of safe, legal induced abortion, and timely care for complications.

                                                                      –Lisa B. Haddad & Nawal M. Mour

A note on anti-abortion campaigns’ racist history:

“Just like slavery, anti-abortion efforts are rooted in white supremacy, the exploitation of Black women, and placing women’s bodies in service to them just like slavery, maximizing wealth and consolidating power motivated the anti-abortion enterprise. Then, just as now, anti-abortion efforts have nothing to do with saving women’s lives or protecting the interests of children.”

                                                                      Michele Goodwin for the ACLU 

Some powerful stories:

“The process of seeking an abortion through the government system was harrowing. Every step seems like a deterrent. They require several counseling sessions with providers who are very quick to make snide remarks to shame and belittle your circumstances and choice.”
                                                                                📍Lusaka, Zambia

“I would love for women who are considering having an abortion to hear that sometimes it’s just a medically mundane process. And it doesn’t always have to be a part of your identity. I always felt guilty that I never considered mine as a significant life event, until I realized I didn’t have to.”
                                                                                📍United States

“Our much-wanted baby was diagnosed with anencephaly, a fatal condition. We had to arrange for a surgical abortion in a different country. We paid for it ourselves: for flights, hotels, the procedure. We brought home our baby’s remains in our hand luggage and buried them ourselves in secrecy.”

“I was just 16 years old. My partner at the time wasn’t the ideal person...I found a doctor in my community. I told him about my situation and he decided to “help” me. It was a risky situation for him, and I didn’t have the large sum of money he asked for. He said he would reduce the price if I had sex with him. Scared, I accepted.”
                                                                                📍Tegucigalpa, Honduras


📰 Abortion in the News:

Honduras lawmakers seek to lock in ban on abortion forever
  • January 21, 2021
  • “Legislators in Honduras are pushing a constitutional reform through Congress that would make it virtually impossible to legalize abortion in the country – now or in the future.”
Biden to reverse global anti-abortion restrictions expanded by Trump
  • January 22, 2021
  • “President Biden is preparing to reverse a Trump administration policy that prohibits U.S. funding for nongovernmental groups that provide or refer patients for abortions.”
Argentina’s abortion law enters force under watchful eyes
  • January 24, 2021
  • Argentina’s senate voted last month to guarantee elective abortions up to 14 weeks. This ruling made Argentina the largest country in South America to legalize abortion. The new law went into force this month and it is being watched carefully from both sides of the aisle. 
Supreme Court wipes out lower court rulings Texas abortion battle
  • January 25, 2021
  • In March of 2020, Texas governor Greg Abbott passed a ruling banning all nonessential medical procedures, citing the need to conserve hospital resources due to the pandemic. When asked, he clarified that this ban included all forms of abortions. Just a few days ago, the U.S. Supreme court overruled that decision.

This Month on Carnal Theory:

Episode 19: “Abortions are Healthcare”

This month, we had the pleasure of chatting with Rachel Holt to break down the many ways people with vaginas have been put down and made afraid of their body by the patriarchy and why abortions are most definitely healthcare. 

Listen to our podcast, Carnal Theory, today to learn more!

Abortion Aftercare:

✨take antibiotics or other medications as prescribed

✨do not insert anything into your vagina for two weeks after your abortion.

✨enjoy lots of turmeric tea, leafy greens and other antiinflammatory foods to help reduce any swelling

✨lots of ginger can help increase your immune system and prevent infection

✨warm compresses and genital massage can ease any pain during medical or after surgical abortion

✨drink lots of water 

✨iron-rich foods like spinach, legumes and quinoa are important, especially for those who experience heavy bleeding.

*Always consult your doctor.*

If you’ve had an abortion and need to talk to someone...

We’ve listed some of the bigger abortion hotlines and support resources. Talking to someone can go a long way in helping you heal and process your experience.
  • The Hope Clinic
    ✍ Text "HCFW" to 797979
    📞 Or call (615) 321.0005
  •  Exhale 
    ✍ Text for support: 617-749-2948
           📅 Weekdays 3 p.m. – 9 p.m.
           📅 Saturday 1 p.m. – 9 p.m.
           📅 Sunday 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.
  • All-Options
    📞 Call 1-888–493-0092
           📅 Monday-Friday, 10 am – 1 am Eastern
           📅 Saturday-Sunday, 10 am – 6 pm Eastern
  • Connect & Breathe
    📞 Call 1-866-647-1764
           📅 Tuesdays-Thursdays, 6pm – 9pm Eastern
           📅 Saturdays, 10am – 2pm Eastern

Let’s end the abortion stigma.

Join us for a discussion about the HBO documentary Abortion: Stories Women Tell directed by Tracy Droz Tragos THIS SUNDAY, JANUARY 31 at 6pm EST.

This is sure to be a meaningful and mindful conversation. We will be focusing on abortion discourse in America. Tickets are free. 

Writing prompt:

Can you remember one of the first times you learned the word “abortion”? What was the context? How was it presented? How do you think those moments shaped or influenced you today.

This voluntary monthly prompt invites you to explore your sexual biography.
Tips on exploring this: Set aside 20 minutes with your phone on silent and relax in a comfortable space with a pen and paper. Go slow. Start with what comes to mind from your first read of the prompt. Continue writing your stream of consciousness. 

Mantra of the month

“I can acknowledge my negative thoughts without letting them control me.”

                                                                          –Amanda Fisher-Katz-Keohane

Researching our sexual biographies:

Have you or anyone you know had an abortion?
Yes              No
Each month we ask a question in support of our leading mission at My Sex Bio. As we grow we plan to help fund and supply research for sex education. The results of these questions may be shared on social media as well as the following month’s newsletter. These results will also help curate relevant content for our readers, like you, moving forward. Responses are voluntary and anonymous.

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In nourishment,
The My Sex Bio Family
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