“The message of abortion in our time is that we as a society must change our patriarchal ways. As women learn to separate pregnancy and childbearing from our womanhood and personhood, we learn that we can choose the place of pregnancy in our lives.”
– Linda Weber
During the early to mid-19th century, the Underground Railroad was a secret network of routes and safe houses peppered throughout the eastern United States.
With the aid of abolitionists, African and African-American slaves used this Underground Railroad to escape into free states and Canada.
After the emancipation of slaves in 1863, there was no longer a need for this Underground Railroad.
However, while external laws eradicated slavery, the internal cause of slavery (racism) remained.
Because little has been done since that time to address the inner workings of racism within one’s mind and heart, we’re still facing crises of race inequality on many levels.
Deep-seated stigmas don’t disappear simply because a law is passed.
The same is true for abortion.
While abortion became a woman’s constitutional right here in the U.S. beginning in 1973 (it’s still illegal in many parts of the world), little progress has been made in healing the prejudices about abortion (both conscious and unconscious) in individual hearts and minds.
In fact, the stigma about abortion has only grown worse since its legalization.
Like the Underground Railroad used for slaves seeking freedom over 150 years ago, we women have also had an Underground Railroad for abortion.
We speak of it in hushed tones. Our knowledge and resources about it–a staple in women’s culture prior to the Patriarchy– have gone underground.
Our sovereignty and once thriving women’s culture was diminished through forced silence and separation.
In the Patriarchal societies that have dominated the world over the past 2,000 or so years (and that we’re now seeing the tail-end of), women have been viewed as property.
Our primary function has been to provide sex and children, and external authorities have largely controlled our fertility and reproductive lives.
Abortion is a direct threat to this societal structure as it places a woman’s reproductive destiny in her own hands. She gets to decide– based upon the context of her relationships and environment at the time of her pregnancy– when and if she wishes to become a mother.
In order for us to fully self-author our lives as 21st century women, we need to both own the power that we now have and address the ways the patriarchy still lives within us through outdated stigmas about abortion, birth, cycles, aging, intimate relationships, sex, our worth, our bodies….and our womanhood at large.
IT’S TIME TO BRING OUR UNDERGROUND RAILROAD FULLY ABOVE GROUND.
IT’S TIME TO RE-AUTHOR OUR WOMANHOOD. TOGETHER.
Today’s podcast guest leads us into a rich and deeply needed conversation about this. In the fourth and final episode (for now) of the # I Had an Abortion podcast series, I interview Linda Weber.
A woman in our community led me to Linda after I published my abortion story in July. And I’m so glad she did.
Linda Weber is a true wise woman. She’s been a psychotherapist, spiritual counselor for women, and active feminist since 1970. She was also one of the country’s first abortion counselors and helped to start a non-profit abortion & women’s health clinic in Boulder, Colorado in 1973 (where I sought skilled counsel after my own abortion last year).
She also leads Women’s Wilderness Quests in Colorado every summer and is the author of the gem of a book, Life Choices: The Teachings of Abortion. It tackles a very complex subject with such lucidity, accessibility, and sophistication that I firmly believe it needs to be required reading material in high school. Or at least by teen girls when they become sexually active.
# I HAD AN ABORTION: EPISODE 4
LINDA WEBER ON THE PATRIARCHY, ABORTION & SELF-AUTHORING OUR WOMANHOOD
In this rich conversation, Linda and I explore:
- How women are the gatekeepers to new life and what we can do to embrace and honor this power.
- The fascinating– and long– history of abortion (in the world and the U.S.)
- Why Linda believes the distinction between the terms “elective abortion” and “therapeutic abortion” (used in the case of genetic abnormalities) are unnecessary.
- Ways abortion is at-odds with a woman’s learned tendency to constantly self-sacrifice
- The next steps she prescribes for women to heal en masse from the stigma of abortion
Subscribe: iTunes or SoundCloud
I feel this is the most important podcast episode I’ve ever shared.
Have a listen, and let’s step it up in our work together busting stigmas and re-authoring womanhood...for ourselves and the generations to come.
Also: Welcome, welcome to all the women who joined Redemption Circle during our early registration window. If you haven’t yet joined us but still wish to, our first class is two weeks from today. I personally cannot wait!!