Sharing Abortion Stories Isn’t Just About Changing PolicyApril 20, 2015
As part of the Center for Reproductive Rights’ Draw the Line campaign, Girls actress Jemima Kirke released a short video about her experience getting an abortion at Planned Parenthood while in college. “Because I couldn’t tell my mother that I was pregnant, I had to pay for it out of pocket,” says Kirke. She describes having to empty her bank account and borrow money just to afford the abortion, and how she couldn’t afford anesthesia because it was an additional cost. She discusses feeling isolated, but relieved that she had access to care with fewer barriers than many other women in the United States, though those barriers affected her experience nonetheless. “We think we are able to do whatever we want, but then there are these little hoops we have to jump through to get them,” says Kirke.
In response to the video, Daily Beast writer Emily Shire argues that while sharing stories like Kirke’s is important, abortion stories won’t do any good for, say, “an undocumented immigrant in the Rio Grande Valley who may have to travel hundreds of miles—never mind the cost itself—to have an abortion.” Because Kirke didn’t experience many of the geographic, legal, racial, and class barriers that many experience in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley, Shire took issue with “the tenor of debate [her story] perpetuated.”