Ours To Tell

Recipient of Volume 1 Proceeds

I finally pinned down the recipient of proceeds from the first volume of Ours to Tell. Her name is Jennie Linn McCormack and she is suing the state of Idaho for unfairly burdening women and the poor with their restrictive abortion laws. Unfair burdening is unconstitutional under the 14th amendment, which is a fact that Idaho legislators identified even as the “fetal pain law” was being passed in their state.

This comes in addition to the fact that the state of Idaho is currently suing Jennie for unlawfully terminating her own pregnancy at home using drugs she was forced to purchase online because her region has been gutted of meaningful access to reproductive healthcare.

We would like to help pay for Jennie’s legal fees. If you haven’t bought a zine yet, please consider donating to the project.

Here’s a link to a recent Huffington Post article about her.

Take care out there,

Elizabeth

Ours to Tell Volume 1 Now Available!

                  

At long last, the print version of the project is available for ordering. I have set up a paypal account to accept donations, but anyone who emails me at ourstotell@gmail.com can receive a copy regardless of funds.

Furthermore, I’ve decided that all proceeds from the project will go into a rolling scholarship for sexual health services, the application for which will be made available soon. Please spread the word if you know someone (anyone at all, regardless of income, gender, situation, age etc) who may need help funding their reproductive health care and we may be able to help.

The Abortion Pledge

I have mixed feelings about this because I believe that under any circumstances, women should be able to choose whether it’s right for them to have a child, even if having a child would bring hardship upon them. The pro-choice movement is not about enacting parameters within which one should or should not abort.

I believe that mothers, as the people who stand to lose the most over an unwanted pregnancy should absolutely have the first and last say in any decision. That being said, some mothers would choose to carry a child to term who had a crippling, painful birth defect because they want to. Some mothers would choose to have a child even though they are addicted to drugs or totally unprepared to be a parent.

We, as stewards of the pro-choice movement, are not at liberty to tell these women that they cannot be mothers any more than pro-lifers can tell us that we must be mothers should we become pregnant. While we may not agree with the reasons some people choose to abort while others choose not to, the point of choice is that we are free to choose. I would love to hear other thoughts about this if anyone wants to chime in. I think this is a little-discussed path down the pro-choice road and would be interested to hear different perspectives.

Adding to the Discourse

I have received a few comments recently from angry pro-life individuals who are attempting to shame the participants of this project with inflammatory rhetoric and slander. I have not approved these comments because I don’t believe they add to the discussion about this debate, and frankly, people who would accuse us of murder have controlled the dialogue for long enough and I am under no obligation to continue providing a platform for their hate-speech.

I struggled with this decision because I felt it armed these people with self-satisfaction knowing that we were deliberately ignoring what they believe to be “the facts” but after long and careful consideration about possible routes to foster a discourse, a conversation, or an educational experience with them while still protecting the rights and safety of my contributors, I decided to stand by my decision. 

I don’t back down from my decision to exclude these particular commenters, or feel as though I am detracting from a well-rounded debate about choice vs life because, really, this project is the best education we will ever be able to provide to the people who would rather reduce us to stereotypes and bible verses. If these people cannot read these stories and feel what we know to be true - that acting in the best interest of the mother is the same as acting in the best interest of the fetus - then there is no further discussion to be had and I will not subject the brave people who have the courage to come forward to further feelings of shame and ridicule.

In short: This bullshit stops here. We are not your pulpit. We are living, feeling people trying to make sense of tragedy, and we will not allow you to berate us into silence any longer.

"i was 21 years old and living out of my car when i found out i was pregnant"

i was 21 years old and living out of my car when i found out i was
pregnant. my boyfriend of almost six years and i had decided that we
wanted to be hobos and sold all our things and run off six months
before. we spent a lot of time crashing at his mother’s house between
random trips to festivals or nowhere in particular. i hadn’t had a
period for three or four months, but i really wasn’t worried until the
very end because i’ve always had really crazy irregular cycles. i
started to notice i was sick when my boyfriend made a giant pot of
zupa toscana with way too much sausage and it was so greasy. we ate it
for dinner three days in a row and every day it made me a little
sicker. i called planned parenthood but when i told the lady on the
phone that i wasn’t having periods but i kept getting negative
pregnancy tests, she told me they couldn’t do anything for me unless i
hadn’t had sex in a certain number of weeks. i didn’t understand, but
i have really terrible phone anxiety so i just gave up.

Read More

"Up until this very point, I was completely against the idea of abortion for anyone. I had the “it sucks to be you” mentality that many Christians have when it comes to things like this. The second I heard that it was positive, everything changed."

diariodiunagiovaneragazza:

To start off, I am not a writer, please don’t judge me based on my writing abilities.

I understand why people are freaking out. I get it. Hell, that used to be me about two years ago. I was a bible-thumping goody-two-shoes bitch who hadn’t experienced a single drop of reality. Now, however, I’m…

(Source: )

"My husband and I made a choice; we would have a CVS (chorionic villus sampling) test done, and if the results were positive, we would terminate the pregnancy"

When we found out that the embryo we’d just created stood a 25% chance of being born with cystic fibrosis, my husband and I made a choice; we would have a CVS (chorionic villus sampling) test done, and if the results were positive, we would terminate the pregnancy.

We had wanted a baby. We had been trying to have a baby. We had gone to the fertility doctor who told us the good news—we’re fertile, and the bad news—we were both carriers for CF. Our doctor outlined a plan for in vitro fertilization. My eggs would be extracted, his sperm would be collected, embryos would be created, tested for CF, and the healthy ones would be implanted. The rest would be donated for research. We had a plan, we were excited, and a week later we found out that I was already pregnant, and there was a one-in-four chance that the baby we’d wanted so badly could be born with a condition that would slowly and painfully drown her in her own mucus.

For three months we waited for the fetus to mature enough to be tested. For three months we told no one in our families that I was pregnant, and for three months I hid my morning sickness and hardened my heart at the ultrasound videos with the beating heart soundtrack. I chewed my nails off, lied to my friends, made up lame excuses for not having a drink.

"I have good news," the happy genetic counselor told me after three months.

And now here I am in my maternity jeans, you know, the ones with the big old comfy waistband, breathing easy for the first time in three months. A week ago the thought of having to get a second trimester abortion was terrifying and deeply sad to me, and yet there is no doubt in my mind that if the news had been bad, I would have gone through with it. I had made my choice, and was grimly glad for my right to do so.

 - Anonymous

Seeking Artwork for Upcoming Publication

As I put together the first edition of the zine, I am beginning to need artwork that I can use for the front and back covers, as well as throughout the piece. The work doesn’t necessarily need to relate to abortion, and can be any style. I will begin printing the zine in May, so there is plenty of time to submit stuff. I am also still accepting stories, so if you’re a follower, please continue spreading the word and encouraging others to share their stories. I will have a flyer soon that will allow anyone to post the call for submissions in their schools, neighborhoods and communities.

Just like always, submissions of stories and artwork can be sent to me at the confidential address ourstotell@gmail.com

Resources Page Added

Hey everyone,

I just added a page for resources which I will use as a place to put articles and info about sexual health, feminism and all manner of other related topics. I have just a few items up right now but will be adding tons more in the days to come, so keep checking back, and let me know if you’d like to see anything added to the list.