Social change requires story telling. Stories of personal experience provide a window into lives otherwise hidden.
I have one of the breakthrough story telling masterpieces, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852). Based on blacks she had known, Stowe cleverly portrays slaves who mock and outsmart white owners. She also brings to light the heartbreak of couples torn apart by sales of slaves.
Just as daring were the first gay citizens and their parents who came out. It was, and remains for some, a dangerous thing.
Like race, attitudes toward gays has improved. Gay people have simply told their stories. Parents and Friends of Lesbian and Gays (PFLAG) has had a goal of story telling. Parents with gay children have talked to groups wherever they lived, telling of love for their children.
Story telling continues in the form of our friend “Mac” who comments here and blogs on AreaVoices about being a married gay man, The Gay Agenda. Another man’s story is attached.
There is little public story telling about abortion. While a celebrity or two has told of their personal abortion experience, it is not common.
It is just as difficult for a women to share her abortion circumstances today as it was for the Stowe story in the 1850’s or gays in the 1950’s. If the public heard the stories of women and the circumstances they faced when they chose abortion, political opposition would decrease.
I hope the day will come when women can tell their stories.