Whole Woman’s Health: “An Open Letter to 21 Million Women”

Our friend Charlotte Taft has shed some light on a poem that was written by an abortion provider in 1988. In 2012, activism, politics and legislative decisions may feel overwhelming. They may make you feel hopeless to change what you know is wrong. But they are not. The lines between who promises to represent you as a woman but will fail to do so when elected, and those who actually will, are very clear. Work with us to change what those who have failed to represent women have inflicted on our State, and our Country. Keep reading, keep listening, keep trusting women – all with an active voice.

“An Open Letter to 21 Million Women” by B.J. Isaacson-Jones ( 1988 )

Where are you?

For over 16 years we have provided you with choices

Painful choices

I remember—

I sometimes cried with you.

Choices, nevertheless, when you were desperate.

Remember how we protected your privacy

and treated you with dignity and respect when you were famous,

had been brought to us in shackles with an armed guard,

or were terrified that you would run into

one of your students?

I remember each of you.

Our clinic was firebombed. Do you recall?

Exhausted and terrified we had been up all night.

We rerouted you to another clinic because you wanted an abortion that day.

Where are you?

Priding ourselves on providing abortions for those who cannot pay,

we have spent millions of dollars that we never really had caring for you.

We wanted to give a choice.

I also gave you cab fare and money for dinner from my own pocket.

Have you forgotten?

I remember you cried

and asked me how you could carry this pregnancy to term

when you were abusing the children you had, were having an affair,

tested positive for AIDS, could not handle another, were raped by your mother’s boyfriend,

pregnant by your father and shocked and torn apart when your very much wanted and loved fetus was found to be severely deformed.

Your mother picketed our clinic regularly.

We brought you in after dark. Have you mustered the courage to tell her that you are pro-choice?

You are. Aren’t you?

I recall shielding your shaking body, guiding you and you husband through the picket lines.

They screamed adoption, not abortion!

You wondered how you could explain your choice to your young children.

You broke our hearts.

You had just celebrated your twelfth birthday when you came to us.

You clutched your teddy bear, sucked your thumb and cried out for your mom

who asked you why you had gotten yourself pregnant. You replied that you just wanted to be grown.

You’re twenty today. Where are you?

I pretend I don’t know you in the market, at social gatherings and on the street.

I told you I would. After your procedure you told me that you would fight for reproductive choices (parenthood, adoption, and abortion) for your mother, daughters, and grandchildren.

You will . . . won’t you?

I have no regrets. I care about each and every one of you and treasure all that you’ve taught me.

But I’m angry.

I can’t do this alone.

I’m not asking you to speak about your abortion, but

You need to speak out and you need to speak out now. Where are you?

– B.J. Isaacson-Jones